The Most Reverend, Bishop Michael Jarrell was celebrant of the Mass and conducted the funeral services.
Burial was in the St. John Cemetery.
Dr. Bienvenu, the son of Zerben Bienvenu Sr. and the former Zoe Hoffman, was born in St. Martinville, La. He graduated from St. Martinville High School, attended Southwestern Louisiana Institute and graduated from LSU School of Medicine in 1947. After an internship at New Orleans Charity Hospital, he served as resident physician at Lafayette Charity Hospital. He began practice of medicine with Doctors Hamilton, Davis and Breaux.
He had to leave this practice to serve two years in the Navy for the Korean War. He was stationed on the U.S.S. Repose, a hospital ship in Korea. He returned to his practice with what became the Hamilton Medical Group as Senior Associate in the Department of Family Practice and saw the department grow to six members. He was Chief of Staff at Lafayette General Hospital in 1964. He left private practice in 1989 to become the House Physician at Cypress Hospital and also worked at the Dr. Henry Tyler Mental Health Clinic along with the Lafayette Substance Clinic. In November 2001, he retired from the practice of Medicine.
He was a member of the Knights of Columbus Council #1286 for more than 50 years and an active member of the Cathedral parish, he was a trustee for 15 years.
After Vatican II Council at the request of the newly formed Parish Council, he co-authored the constitution and by-laws for the council. He served on the parish council as a member and the president. As one of the first lectors and ministers of communion he was also appointed parish trustee by his pastor when the renewal for the Parish was held, he and his wife served as co-chairpersons.
At the suggestion of the Ministerial Alliance of Lafayette ‘Operation Understanding,” a visit of all the churches and synagogues was organized under his chairmanship. He was the first male President of the Mount Carmel Parents Club. The athlete’s at Cathedral High School knew him as their team physician for many years.
In 1974 Dr. Bienvenu was Co-founder of the Acadiana Right to Life organization. He spoke extensively throughout Acadiana on the sanctity of Life and he also carried this message to a National Convention in San Antonio, Texas and to the Louisiana Medical Convention in New Orleans and Alexandria. As a member for many years of the Serra Club of Lafayette, he served as President twice and twice was its District Governor. In 1970, His Holiness, Pope Paul VI honored him with a Knighthood in the Order of St. Gregory the Great, the highest honor achieved by a layman.
Dr. Bienvenu has always felt an obligation to contribute to his community. He was an active member of the Chamber of Commerce for 38 years. He served a two year term as a member of the Board of Directors, and as Vice President for Community Affairs. He served three years on the Chambers Ad Hoc Committee on Education, was a member of committee on Health and Safety. He was placed on an Ad Hoc Committee in 1953 to study the feasibility of City-Parish Government appointed by the Mayor, and many other ad-hoc committees and served as recently as 1998.
In 1994 while on the staff at Cypress Hospital he received the Humanitarian award from HCA/Columbia. The Sertoma Club of Lafayette bestowed on him the Service to Mankind award in 1998. Acadiana Right to Life honored him in 2006 for his work and dedication.
Dr. Bienvenu is survived by his wife of 64 years, Gertrude Natalie Gauthier; seven children, Phillip Mark Bienvenu and his partner, Julian Harrison of Boulder, Colo., Rene Charles Bienvenu, Lafayette, Natalie Gertrude Bienvenu, Lafayette, Gregory Stephen Bienvenu M.D. and his wife Debbie, Little Rock, Ark., Stephen Francis Bienvenu and his wife Penny, Lafayette, James Carol Bienvenu, M.D. and his wife Melissa, Lafayette, Robert McNair Bienvenu and his wife Christina, Baton Rouge; 19 grandchildren, Jerome Ernest Hebert, Lafayette, Zerben Phillip Hebert (Special Services Navy Seal) San Diego, Cal., Edward Stephan Hebert (Special Services Navy Seal) Virginia Beach, Va., Charles Anatole Hebert, Slidell, La., Anthony Galbert Hebert, Scott, Sarah Hebert Crawford, Katy, Texas, Virginia Elizabeth Bienvenu, Lafayette, Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson, Little Rock, Ark., Catherine Marie Stone, Baton Rouge, Mathew Stephen Bienvenu, Little Rock, Ark., John Michael Bienvenu, Charleston, S.C., Scott Daniel Bienvenu, Lafayette, Andrew Thomas Bienvenu, Lafayette, James Morrow Bienvenu, M.D., Knoxville, Tenn., Melissa Marie (Missy) Bienvenu, Lafayette, John William Bienvenu, Lafayette, Edward Michael Bienvenu, Baton Rouge, Marion Christina Bienvenu, Natchitoches, La., Thomas McNair Bienvenu, Lafayette, and 13 great-grandchildren; one sister, Dr. Charmaine Mamantov, Knoxville, Tenn.; and one sister-in-law, Yvonne Durand Bienvenu.
He was preceded in death by parents and one brother, Mark Bienvenu.
A Scripture Service was conducted by The Very Reverend Monsignor Robie Robichaux, JCL, on Sunday, December 11, 2011, at 7 p.m. in Martin & Castille’s DOWNTOWN location.
Pallbearers were his 13 grandsons and the gift bearers will be his six granddaughters.
Honorary Pallbearers were Mr. Lawrence Gauthier, Mr. Gordon Delcambre, Mr. Edward Landry, Mr. Cyril Verret, Mr. Joe C Giglio Sr., Dr. Phillip Purpera, Mr. Gerald A. Gossen, Dr. Harold Jacobs, Dr. Hugh Larriviere, Mr. Paul W. “Wes” Castille, Mr. Expadie Laperouse Sr., Mr. Larry Bouillion, Mr. Dalton “Buddy” Hebert, Dr. Al Rees, Dr. David Rees, and members of the Carmelite Guild.
The family would also like to thank Agnes Kilchrist and staff for their care and kindness.
Memorial contributions may be made in Dr. Bienvenu’s name to the Carmelite Monastery, 1250 Carmel Drive Lafayette, LA 70501, or Hospice of Acadiana, 2600 Johnston Street, Suite 200, Lafayette LA. 70503.
View the obituary and guestbook online at www.mourning.com.
Martin & Castille - DOWNTOWN, Lafayette.