John Reed Tarver, 82, died suddenly on April 21, 2014 at his home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was the son of G. F. and Lena Tarver and was born in Natchitoches, Louisiana. He graduated from high school in Goldonna, Louisiana, after which he served in the Air Force during the Korean War in the missile program at Cape Canaveral, Florida. He then attended Louisiana State University where he graduated with a degree in Journalism. He worked at various newspapers in Louisiana and eventually became involved in politics. He served under Governor John McKeithen as director of the Louisiana Tourist Commission and then worked for United States Congressman Speedy O. Long as a legislative assistant. Thereafter, he returned to academics, earning his Masters in History from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches and his Ph.D. in History from LSU. He worked for many years at LSU's Ag Center in the editorial department and as the Ag Center's Historian. John was known as a talented writer, historian, and political consultant. He was particularly proud of his grandsons Reed and Paul with whom he enjoyed spending time on the family farm in North Louisiana. He is survived by his wife, Annis Dowden Tarver, his sister Elizabeth Thornton, his daughter Elizabeth Landry, his son-in-law Robert B. Landry, III and his grandsons Reed and Paul Landry. He is preceded in death by his parents, his son John M. Tarver, and his brothers, Floyd, Donald, and Milton Tarver. Memorial donations in his name may be made to Louisiana Trails, P.O. Box 176, Goldonna, Louisiana 71031, a non-profit dedicated to enriching the outdoor opportunities for residents of John's native North Louisiana. A memorial service will be held at a later date at John's family cemetery in North Louisiana.
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Published in TheAdvocate.com from Apr. 23 to Apr. 24, 2014