Notice of Death – December 26, 2018

Notice of Death 2017


Ira J. Cochran, Jr.
November 24, 1936 – December 25, 2018
Visitation: Thursday, December 27 from 9 am – 12 pm at Crossroads Baptist Church, located at 111 Crossroads Church Road in Marthaville
Service: Thursday, December 27 at 2 pm at Crossroads Baptist Church in Marthaville
Interment: Marthaville Cemetery

Vernon Jordan
September 27, 1928 – December 21, 2018
Service: Saturday, December 29 at 11 am at Memory Lawn Cemetery in Natchitoches


Edward Lee Harris Jr.
April 28, 1955 – December 21, 2018
Service held Dec. 27


Fr. Terry Edward Allen
October 17, 1935 – December 24, 2018
Service: Thursday, December 27 at 10 amat the Maryhill Chapel
Interment: Priests’ Cemetery at Maryhill


Jerry Wayne Leslie
January 2, 1942 – December 20, 2018
Service: Thursday, December 27 at 12 pm in the Chapel of Southern Funeral Home in Winnfield
Interment: Beech Creek Cemetery near Olla


Douglas Walter Williams
July 9, 1925 – December 22, 2018
Service: Thursday, December 27 at 1 pm at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel
Interment: Bethany Cemetery




Shooting - Payne Sub-Division (3).jpeg

A Montgomery man is dead and another in serious condition as a result of an early morning shooting in Natchitoches according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones Jr.

NPSO Patrol Division deputies responded to reports of shots fired in the 100 block of Cherie Loop in Payne Sub-Division off of La. Hwy 6 East in the Grand Ecore area near Natchitoches on Dec. 26 at 1:56 am.

Deputies arrived on scene, discovering two males suffering from gunshot wounds, one deceased, the other in serious condition lying in the yard of a residence.

Detectives assigned to the NPSO Criminal Investigations Division, Natchitoches Regional Medical Center EMS and the Natchitoches Parish Coroner’s Office also responded to the scene.

Michael R. Burks, 22, of the 1100 block of Rogers Road, Montgomery, La. was pronounced dead at the scene by Natchitoches Parish Assistant Deputy Coroner Steven Clanton.

The body is being transported to Shreveport for an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

A 21-year-old Montgomery man was transported from the scene by EMS to Natchitoches Regional Medical Center and transferred to Rapides Regional Medical Trauma Center in serious condition.

According to NPSO Asst. Chief of Investigations Reginald Turner, detectives along with patrol deputies worked throughout the night processing the crime scene and gathering evidence in the shooting investigation.

The Natchitoches Parish District Attorney’s Office was notified.

Detectives are in the preliminary stages of the investigation, interviewing the alleged shooter and multiple witnesses.

We will release further information is the case unfolds according to Sheriff Jones”.

The investigation is active and ongoing.

If you have any information please contact Detective Jared Kilpatrick or Darrel Winder at 318-357-7830.

Northwestern State’s facility enhancements complement University’s momentum

NSU Turpin 2018 (1)
Northwestern State supporters have been fulfilling the spirit of the giving season throughout all of 2018 as private gifts have helped complete or initiate several facility projects totaling nearly $800,000 with more improvements either in progress or on the horizon.

The Demons Unlimited Foundation “Victorious” campaign to upgrade NSU athletic facilities was kick started with $600,000 seating upgrade and $900,000 video board projects at Turpin Stadium within the past two years. This fall, the stadium main entrance underwent a $600,000 transformation that featured the addition of larger-than-life banners of 12 NSU football legends. A new road was constructed to assist in traffic flow around the stadium, which received a facelift of new trees near the main home entrance.

Other upgrades in 2018 included a nutrition center for all athletes, end zone hospitality areas at Turpin Stadium, a new interactive touch display data base showcasing NSU’s N-Club Hall of Fame, and resurfacing courts – in purple – at the Jack Fisher Tennis Complex.

NSU Director of Athletics Greg Burke cites the timing of the facility enhancements as integral to a wave of momentum that has swept across the NSU campus, highlighted by the highest enrollment (11,081) in the school’s 134-year history. The athletic program is complementing the university momentum. Case in point: the Demon baseball program, during the course of one weekend at the NCAA Corvallis Regionals this past May, generated $4.2 million worth of earned media according to metrics compiled by Meltwater, a company that monitors media output.

“As a department, we live by three core values, and it’s imperative that the first two — academic achievement and personal responsibility — never falter,” said Burke, who led a department with a 78 percent graduation rate that served more than 4,000 hours of community service. “Make no mistake, however, that fulfilling the third core value — competitive success — is also paramount for many reasons.”

The best, however, is yet to come as the crown jewel of the “Victorious” campaign will be a state-of-the-art strength and conditioning annex to the athletic field house. The $3.5 million annex will feature a weight area that spans 11,600 feet. The second phase of the initiative will include the addition of a high-tech rehab center and other sports medicine upgrades.

“The new weight room will rival any training facility not only in our conference, but in the country,” said NSU football coach Brad Laird, who quarterbacked the Demons in the early 1990s.

“We have a lot to sell recruits about NSU but one of our assets has to be quality facilities,” added softball coach Donald Pickett, who completed a decade at NSU last spring.

All 14 NSU sports will benefit from the new strength and conditioning center. In fact, it was the 2018 spring sports season that ignited a positive rush of momentum across the entire NSU athletic program.

Former Demon baseball Academic All-American Bobby Barbier, in just his second year at the helm, guided NSU baseball to its first Southland Conference Tournament title, 36 wins, and a strong showing in NCAA Regional play. The track and field program led by another former Demon athlete, Mike Heimerman, sent a school-record nine athletes to the NCAA Championships in Oregon, where the Demons’ 4×100 meter relay team earned first-team All-America honors while breaking a 36-year-old school record. The Lady Demons’ tennis team advanced to the conference tournament title match for the seventh time this decade.

Barbier now is spearheading a $500,000 privately-funded upgrade to Brown-Stroud Field that includes a new press box, two executive suites, chairbacks across the entire grandstand and new concessions and bathrooms. The renovation is scheduled to finish ahead of the Demons’ home opener against LSU on Feb. 20, a rematch of the NCAA Corvallis Regional matchup in which NSU led into the ninth inning.

Completing projects like the strength and conditioning annex and baseball grandstand project, along with locker rooms for the track and tennis programs that are also on the drawing board, will require unprecedented private support. Burke feels the timing is right.

“A window of opportunity based on the momentum of our university and athletic program is front and center,” Burke said. “It is vital that we — our administration, coaches, staff, former athletes and fans — capitalize at what is perhaps the most dynamic time period in the history of NSU.

“Completing that strength and conditioning annex, along with the sports medicine component, would turn this athletic program on its ear. That’s something that excites us greatly.”


* N-Club Hall of Fame display – ($50,000)

* Turpin Stadium Front Entrance ($640,000)



-75’X25’ banners installed

*Additional Turpin Stadium enhancements over the past two years:

-New video board ($900,000)

-Chair back seats ($600,000)

* Nutrition Center – ($10,000)

* Soccer drainage – ($5,000)

* Carpet (Fieldhouse Offices, Locker Rooms) – ($35,000)

* N-Club “NZone” Tailgate Hospitality Area – ($20,000)


* Baseball Grandstand Project – ($500,000)

* Track: New seating/press box installation ($288,000)

* Track Complex Updates – ($32,000)

* Softball Dugouts – ($20,000)

*Volleyball Locker Room Renovation – (estimated at $25,000)

* Soccer dugouts – (approximately $12,000)


* Strength and Conditioning Annex – ($3.5M)

* Tennis Locker Room- ($500,00)

* Track Locker Room – ($1M)

NSU-Annex Future


CREDIT: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services and NSU Photographic Services

School Board member gives dolls out to area children

Doll Drive - Willis 2018 (4)
School Board District 5 Member Katrina Willis held her third annual
Doll Drive on Dec. 23.

“I simply can’t find the words to express how amazing Our Doll Drive
was,” she said. “The smiles on the children’s beautiful faces were
priceless. I want to sincerely thank each and every person who played
a part in making it a success! May you continue to be blessed in all
that you do!”

Special thanks goes out to the First Baptist Church on Amulet Street
for hosting the event.

Willis hold this Doll Drive as a way to, “Change lives one doll at a time.”

Cooler temperatures, warm feelings as NSU student-athletes show their giving spirit

RadioMASH-NSU 2018.jpg

Rain and chilly temperatures made the second weekend of December feel like Christmas. Seeing Northwestern State student-athletes working in conjunction with the Natchitoches Area Jaycees made it feel that way as well. Led by their Student-Athlete Advisory Committee members (SAAC), NSU student-athletes helped raise almost half of the $4,200 worth of toys that were donated to children in and around the Natchitoches area as part of the annual Radio M*A*S*H (Make A Smile Happen) initiative.

A longtime partner with the Jaycees, dozens of NSU student-athletes from all of the school’s athletic teams saw first-hand the benefits of working a shift during the Dec. 7-8 toy drive.

“It was a blessing to see it, knowing the reason behind what we were doing,” said junior volleyball outside hitter Alexis Warren. “To see the amount of money and toys people donated for that reason was a tremendous feeling.”

Northwestern State student-athletes volunteered their time on a rainy weekend to solicit donations and sort toys, which helped brighten the holidays for nearly 600 children from 280 area families.

NSU student-athletes drove nearly $2,000 of the $4,200 cash donations raised by the Jaycees. According to Alan Pasch of the Natchitoches Jaycees, the Demons football team was responsible for the most money produced by Northwestern State’s athletic teams.

“It really means a lot because we had some guys stay back to help out,” said senior football offensive lineman Chris Zirkle, the community service coordinator for NSU’s SAAC. “I told them on short notice, and they took time out from going to see their families to help out.
“The feeling is indescribable seeing those kids smile and knowing we’re helping them enjoy the holidays a little more. We were cold out there, but we felt warm after we found out how much money we raised for them.”
The Radio M*A*S*H event is a longstanding partnership between the Jaycees and Elite Radio Group of Natchitoches, which launched the initiative in 1996, and is staged in the parking lot of the local Walmart Super Store, a high-traffic area for local consumers.

For several years, NSU Athletics has provided more than 5,000 hours of community service, annually assisting local, area, national and international causes. In 2015, Northwestern State won the inaugural #SouthlandStrong Community Service Award, presented to the Southland Conference member school whose student-athletes compile the most service hours, with NSU competitors more than doubling the second-place total.

Provencal students get in Christmas spirit for Winter Break

Provencal Winter Break 2018 Carline (6)
Provencal Elementary/Junior High School had a special
visitor/volunteer at car line before students went home for Winter
Break. One of Santa’s helpers, Barbara Gandy, greeted students in car

Lawanda Smith’s second graders at Provencal also wrote letters to
Santa and parent volunteer Justine Busby delivered the letters to the
post office. Ms. Melissa, from the United States Postal Service,
surprised students with letters from Santa before they went home to
count down to Christmas Day and open their presents.

Construction nearly complete on Legacy Cafe

Legacy Cafe
Mark your calendar, the Legacy Cafe grand opening is set for Jan. 18
from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. All of the kitchen equipment is ordered and the
layout is coming together. The Front of the House is just about done:
benches are built, tables have been ordered, and the chairs have
arrived. Soon we will be taking orders!

The Legacy Cafe will be open to the public Monday through Friday for
breakfast and lunch. We will be sharing our made-from-scratch menu
soon. Breakfast will include muffins, scones and quiche and don’t
forget coffee. Lunch will comprise of soups, salads and sandwiches.
Our cafe will serve as the hands-on training environment for our Youth
Workforce Development participants.

Beggining in March, the Legacy Youth Development program will serve
young people between the ages of 16-24 who are out of work and out of
school by teaching them life and occupational skills and help them to
overcome social barriers to employment.

Founded by Claire Prymus in honor of her late uncle, the Ben D.
Johnson Educational Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Its
mission is building community in Natchitoches and giving access to
social and economic success for all of its residents.

“Mr. Johnson helped me on my career path and gave me opportunities to
learn on the job and I am grateful for it,” said Betty Seymore, former
employee and neighbor of Mr. Johnson.

Mr. Johnson made a significant and lasting impact on Natchitoches and
its residents. He was generous and genuinely cared for those he came
in contact with. If you have a story or photo of Mr. Johnson consider
sharing them by emailing or calling (318)

We are excited to introduce our talented staff members that bring a
wealth of experience and passion for our mission.

Chef John Carriere has been in the food service industry for over 20
years, starting with catering while in high school. Through hard work
and various apprenticeships, Chef John worked his way up the ranks
holding many different positions: dishwasher, breakfast chef, banquet
chef, pastry chef, Sous chef, and Executive chef. After having worked
for a few years, Chef John attended school for culinary and pastry
arts in New Orleans. Following school, he worked in hotels and catered
while finishing a Bachelor of Science degree from LSU concentrating in
Food Science and Agriculture. In addition, Chef John taught at the
Louisiana Culinary Institute in Baton Rouge for four years. Chef John
is a Certified Executive Chef (C.E.C.) and whole heartedly looks
forward to teaching young chefs.

Shelley Mims is our Program Support Coordinator. She has 18 years of
experience in the food industry in Natchitoches, a Bachelor of Science
in Nutrition & Culinary Arts and a Master of Arts in Adult Education.
In addition to her food service background, Shelley also brings
experience in fundraising with strong ties to the community. She will
act as the life skills and culinary trainer for our Youth Development
Program participants. She will also act as a development associate
assisting with all aspects of fundraising and marketing. Shelly is a
lifetime resident of Natchitoches and has a passion for helping people
and her community.

Get Involved:

Give back with no cost to you by using when doing
your amazon shopping. Simply choose the Ben D. Johnson Educational
Center as your organization and a percentage of your purchase will get
donated to the program.

Mark your calendars for our first Annual Legacy Lunch on Martin Luther
King, Jr. Day on Jan. 21 from 12-3 PM. The $10 lunch will include: Red
Beans and Rice, Crack’lin Cornbread, Dessert and Drink.

In addition, the Foundation is looking to furnish its classroom and
offices. It currently needs desks, office chairs, visitor chairs,
classroom chairs, bookshelves, and office supplies.

Kiwanis recognizes Terrific Kids in grades 1-2 at LP Vaughn

Kiwanis TK 1-2 at LP Vaughn

Students in grades 1-2 at LP Vaughn received Terrific Kid certificates
for the month of December from the Natchitoches Kiwanis Club
recognizing them for their character development, self-esteem and

On front row from left:  Eric Issac, Kaylee Jones, Lacey Perry,
Carlton Wyatt, Gracelyn Reed, Walter Gay Jr., Sharon Baptise, Zoraymi
Cabrera, Za’kyra Gold, Zia Thomas, Zoey Carter, and Vice Principal
Cori Beth Manuel.

On back row from left: Nicholli Johnson, Shetoka Clark, JaKorey Patton,
Ronald Bowers, Melanie Sarpy, Rachel Coutee, Cale Honorable, Aadvik
Sharma, Rylee Queen, Devonte’ Jefferson, Braxton Kennedy, and Kiwanian
Heather Martin.

BOM Welcomes Malcolm Michael


BOM welcomes Malcolm Michael to its family. Malcolm joined BOM in July as a courier and assisting with upkeep of the bank’s branches. He graduated from St. Mary’s High School in 1976 and has worked in many industries like plywood, real estate and sales. Malcolm is married to Meg Michael and they have one son, Alex, who lives in Nashville, Tennessee. His hobbies include playing golf and riding his Harley Davidson. He is happy to be a part of the BOM family!

Notice of Death – December 25, 2018

Notice of Death 2017



Fr. Terry Edward Allen
October 17, 1935 – December 24, 2018
Visitation: Wednesday, December 26 from 5-7 pm in the main chapel at theMaryhill Renewal Center in Pineville
Service: Thursday, December 27 at 10 amat the Maryhill Chapel
Interment: Priests’ Cemetery at Maryhill

Mary Louise Carson
January 2, 1927 – December 20, 2018
Visitation: Wednesday, December 26 from 8:30 am – 12 pm in the John Kramer & Son Funeral Home Chapel
Service: Wednesday, December 26 at 12 pm in the Chapel of Kramer Funeral Home
Interment: Forest Lawn Memorial Park


Christine Bartley
August 26, 1965 – December 23, 2018
Service: Wednesday, December 26 at 2 pm at Jordan Hill Cemetery

Elouise Canerday James
May 3, 1928 – December 22, 2018
Visitation: Wednesday, December 26 from 10 am – 12 pm
Service: Wednesday, December 26 at 12 pm in the Chapel of Southern Funeral Home
Interment: Bethlehem Baptist Church cemetery in Calvin

Jerry Wayne Leslie
January 2, 1942 – December 20, 2018
Service: Thursday, December 27 at 12 pm in the Chapel of Southern Funeral Home in Winnfield
Interment: Beech Creek Cemetery near Olla


Douglas Walter Williams
July 9, 1925 – December 22, 2018
Visitation: Wednesday, December 26 from 6-9 pm at the Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home
Service: Thursday, December 27 at 1 pm at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel
Interment: Bethany Cemetery


Christmas Eve Services at FUMC: Families Gather Together

FUMC Xmas Eve 2018 (2)

Kevin’s Gallery

A standing room only gathering of worshipers came to First United Methodist Church of Natchitoches’ two traditional candlelight Christmas Eve Services, a beloved and decades long community tradition. The church was lit by handmade candelabras made by expert woodworker Tommy Covington. FUMC Choir Director Dr. Nicholaus Cummins, soloists Whitney Cummins, and Lisa Benner performed several carols. FUMC Pastor Rev. Doug de Graffenried led the service assisted by Rev. Clair Carter, Rev Julia Puac-Romero and Rev. Doug Cain. The service concluded with the congregation singing “Silent Night” and a benediction by pastor de Graffenried.

The services, always an occasion for family reunions, had an international flair this year. Ms. Leyla Fettweis, niece of Andy and Christine Ferrell and a native of Brussels, Belgium, will be living with her American family while earning her BFA in dance at NSU.

The Natchitoches Parish Journal is donating the night’s photography. Copy protection is off and anyone may download any they wish.