"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you." Isaiah 43:2. Thomas Louie Hebert, a lifetime resident of Port Allen, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his family on September 13, 2013. He was 79. He is survived by his devoted wife of 61 years, Geraldine Hotard Hebert. He leaves to cherish his memory, a son, Timothy Hebert and wife Deby; a daughter, Mitzi Fourroux and husband Donnie, all of Port Allen; and a son-in-law, Daniel Hebert of Brusly. He was the beloved "Poppie" to his grandchildren, Dan, Tommy, Mark, Nikki, & Brandon Hebert, Johnathon, Chris & Amanda Fourroux and 6 great-grandchildren, Jaynee Hebert, Carter and Peyton Hebert, Emaleigh Corrent, and Rachelle and Jordan LeJeune. He is also survived by two brothers, William & Joseph Hebert. Tom was preceded in death by his parents Edward and Lela Hebert, his daughter, Ginger, a granddaughter, Heidi and his brother Robert. Tom graduated from Port Allen High School in 1953 and began working for the La Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. He joined the Port Allen Fire Department in 1955 and became the first paid firefighter in Port Allen. He was named Fire Chief and served until 1966, when he went to work for the Louisiana State University Fireman Training Program. He served this program in many facets and was named Director in 1981. He retired in 1995. He received numerous distinguished service awards and commendations during his career and held many state and federal certifications in firefighting. He was a member of the La Fire Chiefs Association and a lifetime member of the La State Firemen's Association. In 1994, Tom was awarded the La State Firemen's Association Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his lifetime support for and dedication to the fire service. He served as WBR March of Dimes Director, WBR director for Muscular Distrophy fund drive and Civil Defense Director of Port Allen. He was also a charter member of the WBR Sheriff's Flotilla and President of the Port Allen Jaycees. Poppie enjoyed spending time with his large extended family. He loved to travel, play practical jokes, and tell stories of his firefighting days. He enjoyed going out to lunch, but every Sunday, would cook for his whole family, even creating his own menus to distribute. Poppie will be missed by all who knew and loved him. Visitation will be held at the First Baptist Church of Port Allen on Monday, September 16, 2013 from 9am until funeral service at 11am. Burial will follow at Greenoaks Memorial Park in Baton Rouge. His grandsons will serve as pall bearers. The family wishes to thank his goddaughter, Donna Labbe', Cookie Fontenot, Jackie and Rachel and the staff of Amedysis Hospice for their compassionate care of Poppie. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
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Published in TheAdvocate.com from Sept. 14 to Sept. 15, 2013