John Ricord "Rickie" Gautreau, 1935-2020, passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by his wife and children on November 9, 2020. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Theresa Arceneaux, and his children: Leslie Willis and her husband Rick, Duane Gautreau, Gregory "Beetsy" Gautreau and his wife Michele, Gayle Babin and her husband Brent; 11 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Sully and Lucille Gautreau; his brother Donald Gautreau, and his sister Mona Braud. Rickie spent the majority of his life in Gonzales, LA, though he and his family lived in Douglas, AZ for a few years of his childhood. He worked for Ethyl Corporation and later as a salesman and accountant for Louisiana Utilities until his retirement. But he was first and foremost a "family man." He dearly loved his wife, Theresa. He was a wonderful, devoted father to his four children and a fun-loving grand- and great-grandfather. Throughout his children's and grandchildren's lives, he and Theresa attended nearly every graduation, sports game, dance review, band concert, and piano recital. Friends and extended family members knew him as a witty, kind, thoughtful man who was fun to be around. People were naturally drawn to him, and he loved parties and good conversation. Rickie was a man of many talents and interests. His main passion was music: he was a first chair clarinet player throughout high school and a self-taught pianist who played daily right up until his final days. LSU and Saints football was a close second. He could also play a mean game of pool and cook a perfect jambalaya (and had the trophies to prove it). His game room walls were lined with pool trophies from competitions at Pearl's Bar and in the '70s, he won the title of the first "mini" Jambalaya King of the World and cooked jambalaya for nearly every family event thereafter. He also enjoyed sketching, painting, fishing, reading about astronomy and physics, working crosswords, playing party games, and clipping his favorite comics and headlines from the newspaper to make his family laugh. He loved to dance, and he and Theresa were usually the first ones on the dance floor when a good "jitterbug" song was played. We will miss his laugh, his quick wit, his playfulness, and mostly how good it felt just to be around him. We will forever carry the unconditional love he had for us and we for him.
Published in The Advocate from Nov. 21 to Nov. 22, 2020.