OBITUARY

Gerard Landry Jr.

May 10, 1923April 10, 2019
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Gerard “Buddy” Landry, Jr. (1923-2019)

Gerard “Buddy” Landry, Jr. passed away at his home on April 9, 2019, in Toca, LA, at the age of 95. Buddy was the beloved husband of the late Leatrice Mason Landry and the son of Adrienne Rose Landry and Gerard Landry, Sr. He is preceded in death by his sister, Dorothy Landry DelBuono (John), brother Herbert Landry, and adopted brother, Richard Landry (Virginia). Buddy is survived by his adopted sister, Barbara Kellum (Bill); children—Decker Landry (Julie), Lynne Landry Ford (Joe), and Karen Landry Bertel (James); grandchildren—Adrienne Landry Lay (partner Allan Molero), Alice Landry Walter (August), Brad Joseph Ford (Georgina), Kristy Ford Dillingham, Ryan Gerard Ford (Kristine), Lauren Bertel DeFrates (Anthony), Michael James Bertel, Katherine Seelos Bertel (partner Michael Moran), and Renee Bertel Lake (Sylvester); great-grandchildren—August Lay, Zackary Lay, Anna Mace, Alex Enzer, Wilder Dillingham, Landry Dillingham, Mason Ford, Reid Ford, Mallory Ford, Zachary DeFrates, Aedan DeFrates, Dylan DeFrates, and Halyn Lake.

Buddy lost his mother at an early age. He grew up during the Depression in New Orleans on Desire Street under a stern father with sister, Dorothy, and brother, Herbert. He and Herbert found time to become gymnasts. With this up-bringing, Buddy developed a strong work ethic. At the outbreak of WWII, Buddy immediately went to the Custom House to enlist in the Marines. Although in fine physical form, he was rejected because of a minor overbite condition of his front teeth. He walked down the hall and joined the Navy.

Buddy trained to be a radioman/gunner in the Grumman Avenger Fighter Plane. After rupturing an eardrum during training, he was assigned as a radioman to the aircraft carrier, USS Lexington (CV-16), while the ship was under construction. It was the second carrier assigned that name during the war. He entered the Pacific Theater and saw action from Tarawa to Tokyo. He survived a Kamikaze attack to his duty station in the “island” of the ship where numerous shipmates were killed. CV-16 also survived a torpedo attack. The Japanese, having thought she was sunk on two occasions and through the voice of Tokyo Rose, nicknamed the ship the Blue Ghost. Buddy was truly a member of the “Greatest Generation.” After the war, Buddy married and with his first wife, Merle Decker, raised three loving children. He was employed by the Times Picayune as a linotype operator until he retired. With great pride, Buddy built a succession of houses and cabinetry for his family and others. As a master carpenter, cabinet maker, brick layer, and cement finisher, he built for his children log cabins, a dollhouse, turtle pens, and pet cages as well as custom houses and, later in life, furniture. When the grandchildren came along, Buddy crafted such pieces as bassinets and toy chests. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005 at the age of 82, he built his last house, a one-bedroom cottage where he and Leatrice enjoyed nature and lived near family.

Buddy’s two greatest passions were carpentry and dancing. He was the hardest of workers, but come the weekend, he loved dressing up in a suit and tie to go dancing at social functions and the Jefferson Orleans. Living life to the fullest, he danced at his 95th birthday party and worked in his woodshop until he could work no more. One month before his 96th birthday, his tired body and soul were ready to go to God and his wife, Leatrice.

Buddy was a great dad and grandfather and will be remembered with much love and affection. Relatives and friends are invited to attend a memorial gathering to be held at ST. BERNARD MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME, 701 W. Virtue St., Chalmette, LA on Wednesday, April 17th from 10:00AM – 11:00AM, followed by a prayer service beginning at 11:00AM. Buddy will be laid to rest in St. Bernard Memorial Gardens.

Services

  • MEMORIAL GATHERING Wednesday, April 17, 2019
  • EULOGY AND PRAYER SERVICE Wednesday, April 17, 2019
REMEMBERING

Gerard Landry Jr.

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