Irby Anthony Gascon, Jr., a native of Plaquemine and resident of Vidalia, LA, for over 56 years, died Monday, May 13, 2019, at Sunrise on Siegen in Baton Rouge. He was 92. Affectionately known as "Coonie," he was born on November 12, 1926, the oldest child of Irby Gascon, Sr. and May Cazes Gascon. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Beverly Allain, brother Barry Gascon, special cousin Annabell Pitre, and beloved wife of 72 years, Theresa "Teedy" Bradford Gascon. He is survived by his children Karen Foley (and husband Edward) of Natchez, MS; Kim Mascagni (and husband Charles) of Baton Rouge, LA; Irby Gascon III (and wife Bella) of Van Nuys, CA; his grandchildren, Logan Foley of Baton Rouge, Cullen Foley (and wife Sage) of Baton Rouge, Kate Feltus (and husband Lane) of Natchez, Charles Mascagni III (and wife Fran) of Baton Rouge, Malorie Sitar (and husband Adam) of Prairieville, LA, Liza Pigott (and husband Jake) of McComb, MS, John Edward Mascagni of Ruston, LA, and Sofia Gascon of Van Nuys, CA. Coonie is also survived by great grandchildren, Callan, Jane, and Will Sitar, and Ellis Mascagni, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He attended Addis Levert Elementary School and graduated from Plaquemine High, where he was a member of the boxing team and band. He attended Louisiana State University before enlisting in the US Coast Guard in 1944. In his early twenties he wrote a sports column "Coonie's Corner" for The Iberville South and was a member of jazz band The Music Makers. Coonie had a passion for guiding the youth in Iberville Parish. He coached for the Plaquemine American Legion baseball team, which won the Class B State Title in 1948, and whose players and coaches formed decades-long friendships. He was a volunteer fireman, member of the LA State Firemen's Association, and Jaycees. When transferred to Vidalia in 1961 with Estate of William G. Helis where he worked in the petroleum industry for 37 years, he continued nurturing young people by coaching Dixie Youth baseball. A supporter of Cathedral School, he held offices in the Cathedral Athletic Association, Home School Association and was a member of the Cathedral School Board. He was also a supporter of the Natchez Swim Association in the 1980s. Cheering on his children, grandchildren and their friends in athletic pursuits brought him incomparable joy. A faithful member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, he served many years on the Parish Council and was a member and officer in the Men's Club. Coonie was also a member of the Knights of Columbus Council 1034. Coonie was a lifelong fan and season ticket holder of LSU Tiger football. His love for anything LSU began as a teenager hawking CocaCola on Saturdays in Tiger Stadium. Coonie will be remembered for his outgoing, jovial nature (for he never met a stranger), and his deep love and loyalty for his Catholic faith, his cherished wife Teedy, his family, and his many friends. The family would like to give special thanks to his caretakers at Sunrise and to Hospice Angel Debra Braud and Deacon Mike Chiappetta at Hospice in His Care. Special thanks also to Dr. Kenneth Stubbs, and caretakers in the early days of his declining health: Rose Williams, Deirdra Arrington, Shelia Marshall, and Addie Bass. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church or Cathedral School Athletic Association. Visitation will be held at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Vidalia on Friday, May 17, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. Mass of the Resurrection will be Saturday, May 18, at 10:00 a.m. at the church. Burial will follow at the Natchez City Cemetery under the direction of Laird Funeral Home. Online condolences may be sent to the family at lairdfh.com.
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Published in The Advocate from May 15 to May 18, 2019.