If you're older than 40 and know something about Louisiana politics, you may know about Edward Clark Gaudin, who entered eternal life on Thursday, March 19, 2020. This eighty-eight year old man, "Clark," "E. Clark," "Clarky," "Mr. G," "Dad," or "Pops," will be remembered for the following: never miss Sunday Mass; taste everything at least once, even if you don't want it; always vote, and when you vote, always vote Republican. He was a principled man, for sure, and its one of his remarkable attributes. Clark was born in New Roads in Pointe Coupee Parish to Vida Swindler and Alton Francis Gaudin. He was the youngest of their two children, his older sister being June Gaudin Allor, who predeceased Clark in 2010. He graduated from New Road's St. Joseph's Academy in 1948. He graduated from LSU in 1952. He delivered pressed shirts and clothing for his father's New Roads Riverside Cleaners and served in the Army briefly during the Korean war. Afterwards, he graduated from the LSU Law School in 1958 and married and remained married to Marianne Hurst of New Roads, La. for thirty-three years. Clark, and Marianne, who predeceased him in 1992, were the parents of two girls and one boy. His kids remember he lived to grill a steak without lighting fluid because it marred the taste; when they were forced to rake the yard, they not only were expected to collect the leaves but weren't done until they collected the dead grass underneath, too; he loved to barbecue chicken–it was one of his "things"– as was his Old Fashions, which started the party and were likely flammable. He loved horses, cowboys, Native American art, John Wayne and war movies. He served Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church for more than fifty years as parent, lector, usher, Eucharistic minister. He joined Kiwanis and was a captain of a Manresa Retreat House weekend. He will be remembered for his snazzy suits, sweet cologne, and love of figurines. Nevertheless, politics was his passion. As a Baton Rouge attorney, he served for twenty-one years as state representative for District 69. Notably, he was the first Republican from East Baton Rouge Parish since Reconstruction. He also won six consecutive legislative election contests. Clark was staunchly pro-life, pro-family, pro small government and opposed amending Louisiana's unique forced heirship rules. He attended many Republican National Conventions, loved President Ronald Reagan ("Ronnie Baby"), and retained an avid interest in Republican politics until his death. He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Shirley Armetta Gaudin of Alexandria, daughter, Allison M. Ashy and her husband, Alton; daughter, Dana A. Gaudin; and son, Todd E. Gaudin, and his wife, Hope; two nieces and two nephews, his sister's children; two adult step-children, six grandchildren, three step grandchildren. After a grave site burial service, a future memorial service is planned.
Published in The Advocate from Mar. 23 to Mar. 24, 2020.