Charles Gary Blaize, Sr. passed away on November 10, 2014, due to natural causes. A resident of Houma, Louisiana, for many years, he was born in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, on March 31, 1943. As a child of an oil field worker, he moved extensively in his younger years but always considered Bay St. Louis his home. After having attended eighteen different schools, he finally returned to the Bay to enter St. Stanislaus High School as a sophomore where he went on to excel in basketball, track, football, and numerous school organizations. A friend recently commented that he could still remember Gary running down the basketball court making his left-handed jump shot. Upon graduation from St. Stanislaus, Gary received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy. According to his senior college yearbook, "he was an asset to his company in soccer and lightweight football." In addition, he was identified as having "an exceptional ability to make friends. Anyone who knows him will attest to the fact that he was one of the most agreeable and easy-to-get along with guys to come out of the Class of '65". After his graduation from the United States Naval Academy in 1965, Gary entered active duty with the United States Navy where he served with distinction first aboard the USS Topeka and next aboard the USS Horne, a guided missile frigate. While on the Horne, he earned a commendation in 1968 for his actions as Gunnery Assistant and Condition III Ship's Weapon Coordinator in Vietnam while serving under Captain Stansfield Turner, a future Director of the CIA. As weapons officer, he was one of three people in the country charged with the responsibility of detonating nuclear missiles if nuclear war became inevitable. After active duty, he continued service in the US Naval Reserves where he trained with the Navy Seal Reserve "River Rats" at the Naval Air Station Base in Belle Chasse, Louisiana. He earned the rank of Commander prior to his separation from the Navy. Following his departure from active duty, Gary attended law school at Louisiana State University. He received his law degree in 1973, and moved to Houma, Louisiana, where he practiced law until health concerns required him to close his practice several years ago. While living in Houma, he was active in the state Republican Party where he served on the Republican State Central Committee, in Terraneans' Mardi Gras Krewe, in New Orleans' Jerusalem Temple Shriners, in the Terrebonne Fellowship #481 Masons where he was a past Master, and in numerous other local and civic organizations. He was extremely proud of his Masonic affiliation, and he was also a member of the York Rite, Scottish Rite and Kajon Grotto. Throughout his life, he continued to be a loyal supporter and enthusiastic fan of the St. Stanislaus Rock-A-Chaws, the United States Naval Academy Midshipmen, and the LSU Tigers. He could also be found coaching his sons' ball teams over the years. Gary also loved to play Bridge, was a voracious reader, and was extremely interested in family history, long before the Internet made it "easy". Prior to Hurricanes Katrina and Camille, he spent untold hours searching religious and civil records in churches and court houses along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and in South Louisiana. Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Hazel Kergosien Blaize and Joseph Sebastian "Cotton" Blaize, formerly of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. He is survived by his two sons Charles Blaize, Jr. and wife Marci Landry Blaize of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and William "Billy" Broussard Blaize and wife Renee Templet Blaize of Houston, Texas. He leaves behind his three cherished granddaughters who loved their "Paw Paw Blaize": Abby Frances Blaize, Avery Elizabeth Blaize, and Elizabeth "Lizzy" Rosa Blaize. In addition, he is survived by his sister, Janet Blaize Kyle of Baton Rouge, three nieces, Megan Kyle Canty, Kelly Kyle Lastor, and Colleen Kyle Lilly, plus great nieces and nephews, James and Lily Mills, Claire Canty, and Richard Brackin as well as many members of both the Blaize and Kergosien families who will never forget the efforts he made in researching the roots of their family history. Services will be held at Rabenhorst Funeral Home, 825 Government Street, Baton Rouge, LA, on Friday, November 14, 2014, at 6:30pm. The family will receive friends beginning at 4:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family request donations be made in Gary's honor to the Wounded Warrior Project, Shriners Hospitals For Children, or any Brothers of the Sacred Heart or Sisters of St. Joseph School. A Celebration of Life will be held in Houma at a later date to be announced. A graveside service will be held in the Garden of Memories Cemetery in Bay St. Louis, MS. Gary will be buried with both Masonic and Military honors at a date to be announced.
Published in The Advocate from Nov. 11 to Nov. 15, 2014.