Dona Degatur Richard
Breaux Bridge – A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 25, 2020, at St. Bernard Catholic Church for Dona Degatur Richard, 59, who passed away on Tuesday, July 21, 2020.
Fr. Garrett McIntyre officiated at the Funeral Mass. Entombment followed at St. Bernard Mausoleum No. 2 in Breaux Bridge.
Dona was a lifelong resident of Breaux Bridge and graduated from Breaux Bridge Senior High School in 1978 as Valedictorian of her class. Upon graduating high school, she studied at the University of Southwestern Louisiana and was employed at the St. Martin Parish School Board Instructional Center in Breaux Bridge. She was highly engaged in the interests of our community and served as a board member for the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival Association for several years.
For many years now, Dona has served our community and parish as the Director of Tourism for St. Martin Parish. She was passionate about our regional Cajun culture and as a result of her leadership, tourism in St. Martin Parish has grown substantially with U.S. citizens and foreign tourists seeking out the Cajun experience. She has collaborated with local, regional and state government agencies and with business leadership and entrepreneurs to promote locally owned retail businesses, restaurants, non-profits, arts organizations, artists, filmmakers, authors, musicians, and music venues in our area. She routinely collaborated with the Chambers of Commerce of the cities in our parish.
Throughout her career, Dona has supported the work of regional and local documentary filmmakers, writers, and artisans who have captured our Cajun lifestyle. Over the course of several years, she has welcomed and hosted several foreign documentary filmmakers, photographers, and news agencies who have visited Louisiana to experience the Cajun way of life: our music, cuisine, and culture.
Dona’s service to our community was far-reaching. She has promoted every annual fair and festival in our parish, as well as numerous other initiatives and fund-raisers in our communities. Many organizations have sought out her expertise to serve in an advisory capacity. In recent years, she has been a trusted advisor for the founding members of the Saint-Luc French Immersion program in Arnaudville. She has collaborated with the organizers of the annual Breaux Bridge City-Wide Garage sale and has served as an advisory board member of the Teche Center of the Arts. Dona was a co-chairman of the City of Breaux Bridge’s Sesquicentennial celebration in 2009 and a co-chairman of The Bridge Collection, a legacy art exhibit from this celebration, the city’s 150 anniversary. Dona was a partner and supporter of The TECHE Project, advocating for a cleaner, less polluted Bayou Teche, and fully supported the organization in reaching National Water Trail status for our Bayou Teche, a waterway that traverses multiple communities and many parishes.
In addition to her travel for the promotion of tourism in St. Martin Parish, her passion for personal and leisure travel and world experiences include trips to Canada, Europe and a majority of the contiguous United States. Dona had a love for pets and animals and has always advocated for the humane treatment of animals. She advocated for many others, as well. Because of her position in public service Dona maintained a position of neutrality on certain political issues; however, in her personal and private life she fully and unequivocally supported and promoted human rights equality for all people.
Dona was fiercely loyal to her friends and family and appreciated deep and enduring relationships. Her love and devotion to her son Rocky was known by all who knew her.
She is survived in death by her loving son, Rocky Kyle Richard; her brother, Dr. Warren Degatur and sister-in-law Debbie Comeaux Degatur; and their children, Dr. Ben Degatur and wife Jennifer, Charles Degatur and wife Savri, Emily Degatur Hundley and husband Erik, Kallie Degatur, and Dr. Kate Degatur; her maternal aunts, Sr. Sophie Ann Guidry MHS, Louella Guidry Blanchard and Dorothy Guidry Patin and husband Perry; her maternal uncles, Richard “Patat” Guidry and wife Charlene, Raymond Guidry and wife Barbara, and Patrick Guidry and wife Lynda.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Warren Degatur Sr. and Velma Guidry Degatur; maternal grandparents Harris Joseph and Lucy Webre Guidry; and paternal grandparents, Alberie and Anna Castille Degeyter.
Pallbearers for her service were her brother Dr. Warren Degatur Jr., her nephews, Dr. Ben Degatur and Charles Degatur, her cousin Byron Blanchard, and lifelong friends, Frankie Dupuis and Joe-Blaise Dupuis.
The family requests that options for expressions of sympathy include donations in her memory to the Saint-Luc French Immersion School in Arnaudville (HYPERLINK “https://www.facebook.com/StLucImmersion/” https://www.facebook.com/StLucImmersion/), The Arc of St. Martin Parish, The T.E.C.H.E. Project, and The Teche Center for the Arts. Please visit their respective Facebook pages and request information.
Pellerin Funeral Home of Breaux Bridge was in charge of arrangements.
To view on-line obituary, sign guestbook and view video tribute, www.pellerinfuneralhome.com.