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Sunday, June 23, 2019

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Lovelace Grant “L.G.: LaPlante Jr. was born in Jackson, Mississippi and spent most of his childhood in Pascagoula on the Gulf Coast. After graduating from Tulane Law School in 1964, he decided that he had no desire to be part of a Downtown New Orleans law firm. Instead, he moved to Golden Meadow where he joined the firm of Diaz and Erny. It was there that he would begin a nearly 50 year legal and political career in Lafourche Parish, the place that would always be his beloved adopted home. One of his earliest jobs at the firm was to draft a proposal for Congressional funding for a hurricane protection levee system for the South Lafourche region. Years later, as the project took shape, he would point to the levee with pride and recall how it all began.

That early brush with politics sparked his interest, in starting his own political career. In 1972, he, along with the late Francis Dugas and Walter “Butch” Naquin, established the first independent District Attorney’s Office for Lafourche Parish. LaPlante served as Dugas’ first assistant for 3 years, at which time he resigned his position in order to run for State Representative of Louisiana’s 54th District.

Elected in 1976, he served for one four-year term. Although his tenure was brief, he devoted himself to serving his constituents with all of his energy and talent. Of his many legislative accomplishments, some he would be most proud of include:

Prohibiting the storage of nuclear waste in Louisiana’s salt domes

Obtaining funding for the Ellender Memorial Library at Nicholls State University

Helping to establish the charter for The Center to serve those with special needs

Maintaining funds for the construction of the South Lafourche levee system

Preserving the old Grand Isle bridge and constructing the fishing pier at State Park

Indeed, much of his legislative focus was on the protection and preservation of the unique and fragile environment of the Bayou Region. After becoming disillusioned with politics, he returned to his private law practice, yet never gave up his desire to help save and rebuild the fragile wetlands. As a lifelong resident of the Gulf Coast and an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed many hunting and fishing trips around the world he was happiest in the swamps and marshes near his home.

In his later years, the threat of coastal erosion and the impending loss of his beloved wetlands caused him to explore new ways to assist his community. Devoting his talents to more direct applications, he would help to design and receive two U.S. patents and a Corp of Engineers grant for devices to dredge, rebuild, and re-seed the marsh in hopes of stopping and reversing wetlands loss.

With all of his achievements, he will best be remembered as a devoted husband, father, and friend who always had a joke or a funny story to entertain whoever was in his presence, and a bit of advice and a helping hand to anyone he felt in need, without any fanfare or reward. That will always be his greatest legacy.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Lovelace Grant LaPlante Sr. and Maxine Thurman LaPlante.

He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Cheramie LaPlante, son, Dr. Lance LaPlante and his wife, Angela Watkins LaPlante, their daughters Chantèe with husband Jacob, and Angèle Mary.

A private memorial service will be held at the First Baptist Church of Larose on Monday, November 21 at 10 a.m.

Samart-Mothe Funeral Home of Cut Off entrusted with arrangements.