Rev. Roger Tarver, former pastor of First Baptist Church of Crowley and Larry Evans, Associate Pastor will conduct the services. Visitation will be at Geesey-Ferguson Funeral Home Thursday, March 14th from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to service time at First Baptist Church, Crowley. Interment will be in the Pilgrims Rest Cemetery in Richard.
Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Jo-Anne Love Parrott Arnaud of Crowley, three daughters, Denise Anne Arnaud of Crowley, Rebecca “Becky” Jo Arnaud Sonnier of Portland, Oregon and Rachelle “Ricci” Arlene Arnaud of Crowley; 11 Grandchildren , Christopher Shawn Bandy and his wife Allison “Snooks” Brunet Bandy of Alexandria, Michael Scott Bandy and his wife Amy Landreneau Bandy of Redell, Megan Nicole Domingue of Lake Charles, Steven “Luke” Colligan Sonnier and his wife Lindsey C. Heins Sonnier of Lafayette, Elizabeth “Beth” Amy Sonnier of Lafayette, Richard Edward Sonnier of Lafayette, Jennifer Elizabeth McCain Fjeld and her husband Jeremy Joseph Fjeld of Iota, Allison Rachelle Leckelt and her husband Warren Paul Leckelt of Iota, Laura Blair Childress Kirsch and her husband Kurt Joseph Kirsch of Crowley, Victoria Brooke Childress of Ruston, and Nicholas William Arnaud of Crowley; 14 Great Grandchildren, Avery Jane Bandy, Riley Paige Bandy, Emery Reese Bandy, Micah Elizabeth Bandy, Gabriel Robert Bandy, Ayrn Katherine Bandy, Samuel Luke Sonnier, Audrey Claire Sonnier, William Rufus Leonards, Emma Elizabeth Leonards, Nathan Scott Leleux, Jordan Cade Broussard, Seth Michael Broussard, Kayden Elizabeth Kirsh; one brother, Shelby Wayne Arnaud and his wife Jeanette Marie Doucet Arnaud of Mire, Louisiana and one sister, Bonnie Elaine Arnaud Broussard and her husband Allen Broussard of Rensselaer, Indiana.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents, David Daniel Arnaud and Lillie Ann Kitchingham Arnaud of Crowley; his maternal grandparents Charles Samuel Kitchingham and Alice Smithee Kitchingham of Winn Parish and his paternal grandparents James Arnow and Ruth Goss Arnaud of Eunice.
Richard was born Friday, September 6, 1935 in Crowley at the Acadia Hospital. In the eighth grade he met the love of his life, Jo-Anne and in 1953 they eloped to New Orleans, Louisiana. He graduated from Crowley High School in 1954 where he lettered five years playing football for the Crowley High Gents. After his marriage he and Jo-Anne attended SLI in Lafayette where he graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. After graduation he and his wife went into business with his father-in-law, Larry Parrott and for the next ten years ran an International Harvester dealership in Crowley.
After closing the business Richard began his career at the Louisiana Vocational Technical System as Related Instructor. At night and during the summer he earned his Master’s in Vocational Education from McNeese State University in Lake Charles. In 1976 He and Jo-Anne spent one year in Blacksburg, Virginia at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) where he earned his Specialist in Vocational Education. Richard then returned to work for the Louisiana Vocational Technical system in Crowley and served as Supervisor Trainer, Assistant Director and was the Director from March 1992 until he retired with 30 years of service in January 2002.
Richard was very active in his hometown of Crowley. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Crowley having served in various positions through the years and was a former deacon. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge and was a past Worshipful Master. He belonged to the Eastern Star and had served as Worthy Patron. He was a member of the National Society of Sons of the American Revolution. He served one term as an Acadia Parish Police Juror. In past years he was involved in the Crowley Rotary Club, Camp Fire Girls of America and Boy Scouts of America. He passionately pursued the family hobby of genealogy with his wife Jo-Anne and had served as the President of the local genealogy society Pointe de l’Eglise. He was a member of the Le Comite des Archives de la Louisiane and the National Genealogy Society. His other hobbies included hunting, fishing and football.
Richard was well known throughout town due to his lifelong habit of having never met a stranger. Within minutes of meeting someone new he would ask about their family and background. His friendly, joking personality served him well throughout life and he will be remembered as an outgoing man with many lifelong friends.
Pallbearers will be his five grandsons, Christopher Bandy, Michael Bandy, Luke Sonnier, Richard Edward Sonnier, Nicholas Arnaud and longtime friend, Jimmy Meche.
Words of comfort may be sent to the family at www.geesey-ferguson.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Geesey-Ferguson Funeral Home, 301 N Ave F, Crowley, LA 70526, 337-783-3313