Wayne Paul Hirschey

May 7, 1939October 1, 2021

Wayne Paul Hirschey, born May 7, 1939, a lifelong resident of Baton Rouge, passed away on October 1 after a long and courageous battle with Parkinson's disease dementia. He was surrounded by his beloved wife of 57 years, Gayle Gauthier, and his four girls, Elke, Heidi, Erika, and Gretchen. He was 82. A most admired and well respected home builder, Wayne carried on the legacy of his father's building business, SH Hirschey Company. He built homes for more than 400 Baton Rouge families throughout his 37-year building career. Wayne, which means, “builder,” poured his heart, soul and talent into every home he built. He created lasting friendships with many of his clients. Wayne graduated from Catholic High School in 1957. In 1958, he met the love of his life, Gayle, at the Communion rail at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church. They courted for six years, marrying in 1964. He served in the United States Army and graduated from LSU in 1965. Wayne was deeply rooted in his Catholic faith, serving as an altar boy; attending daily Mass; and beginning each year with his annual Manresa retreat. He was a member of CYO; Knights of Columbus; Homebuilder's Association and a board member of Citizens Savings and Loan. Lovingly called Wayne, Dad, or O'Dad, he will be fondly remembered for his manicured lawn; home football parties; pond fishing; fish frying and margarita making with country music blaring; weekly letters to his four girls; traveling to Hawaii; daily jogs and bike rides with his girls; sports ranting; and frequent Baskin Robbins outings with a truck full of neighborhood children. His generosity, humility, random acts of kindness, service and compassion to everyone he encountered will continue to live in the hearts of many. He is survived by his most cherished Gayle; his four loving daughters, Elke Hirschey Ellzey (David); Heidi Hirschey Smith (Brad); Erika Hirschey Gragg (Mark); and Gretchen Hirschey Ferachi (Kenny); and his sixteen grandchildren-Gibson and Haynes Ellzey; Caroline, Allie, Bradford, Catherine and Virginia Smith; Anna Grace, Thomas, Sophie, Mary Virginia and Charlotte Gragg; and Sara Manning Miller, Madeleine, Andrew, and Anna Catherine Ferachi. He also is survived by his siblings, Ken (Shirley) Hirschey; Pete (Alice) Hirschey; and Janie (John) Hollowell. He was preceded in death by his parents, Scottie Harry and Lula Fontane Hirschey. Visitation will be held at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church, 445 Marquette Avenue, Wednesday, October 6, from 8:45am-10:30am followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30am. Interment to follow Mass at Roselawn Memorial Park. The family extends its deepest appreciation, gratitude and love to his extraordinary hospice nurse, Suzie Boudinot, and dedicated caregivers, Annette Perkins and Susan Brown. Donations may be made to American Parkinson's Disease Association; Alzheimer's Services of the Capital Area; or Hospice of Baton Rouge. To view and sign the online guestbook, please visit


  • Visitation

    Wednesday, October 6, 2021

  • Mass of Christian Burial

    Wednesday, October 6, 2021

  • Interment

    Wednesday, October 6, 2021


Wayne Paul Hirschey

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Ashley Cowart

October 7, 2021

Thinking of Wayne Hirschey and of this wonderful family, and sending positive energy and many prayers! Love to all of you, Ashley Cowart

Sonja&Mike Parker

October 6, 2021

Wayne and his wonderful family lived down the street from our family, Joe&Doris Caldwell. Wayne built my parents house. Later, he built the house Mike and I have lived in for almost 30 years. We will miss him but think of him with fond memories. Our thoughts and prayers go to the family. Sonja

Steve and Kathy Lagarde

October 5, 2021

Dear Gayle and Girls,
It is so hard to find the proper words to express the loss that we, along with most of Baton Rouge, are experiencing with Waynes' passing! Wayne was one of my own Dad's "Little Boys", a nickname that he gave only to his most special friends.
In addition to being a wonderful friend, Wayne was my mentor, co-worker, builder, and always present overseer in times of need or trouble. We will miss his kind heart and encouraging words, but his memory will be with us into Eternity.
Love always,
Steve and Kathy Lagarde

Norman Stewart

October 5, 2021

Our prayers and sympathy to the Hirschey Family during your time loss. Our children have fond memories of him allowing them to play football on the Hirschey lot. He will truly be missed from the neighborhood.
Norman and Janice Stewart of 5934 Valley Forge, Ave

Jerry Roberts

October 5, 2021

Wayne, it was a privilege to be able to do a few jobs with you. Did the electrical work. Sorry about the PD on Sammy's dentist office.
I remember seeing and talking to you at Mercy many times. I will miss that.

Sharon Hickey kadair

October 5, 2021

So many fond memories of my neighbor and friend. Condolences to Gayle and daughters.)

William Butch Hart

October 5, 2021

Gayle , so sorry for your loss . My heart & prayers go out to you & your family . I fondly remember our trip to Europe & Wayne buying all the watches . Love , Butch

michael romano

October 4, 2021

very close to each otherI gratuated with Wayne from CHS in 1957.Me Al Baban , and Wayn were very close friends. I went to work with vocational rehab and met Sims Waynes father in law. When I told Sims I gratuated from CHS He asked me if I knew Wayne. I worked for vocational rehab for 30 years retired in 1994. The last time Ihad a chanch to talk to wayne was several years ago at Dr. Bonacosso the Dentist who also treated me. That was yhe last time I saw Wayne. The last words Wayne told me before we left the dentist office was ;I always like talking to Catholic High Boys

Tammy Moreau

October 4, 2021

Dear Miss Gayle & to the Hirschey girls -- I have such fond memories of Mr. Wayne growing up down the street from you. So many summer days & afternoons playing in your yard, slumber parties, & the trips for ice cream. We were blessed with an idyllic childhood. In my mind he will always be whizzing by on his bike.

I am so truly sorry for your loss. But, I know that he is at peace. You have so many beautiful & happy memories to fill your hearts. Sending prayers of comfort to you & your families. Much love & my sincere condolences, Tammy Moreau

Cheryl Clement Ottinger

October 4, 2021

I wish to express my sincere condolences on Wayne's passing. He and my Dad, Max Clement, were good friends and collaborated together on several of our houses that were built by Wayne. Wayne even came to New Orleans for my Dad's funeral in 1974. My Dad always spoke so highly of Wayne and admired his talent, work and ethics. I know he will be missed by all of his family and friends.
Cheryl C. Ottinger, Lafayette, LA