Ourso Funeral Home

134 Houmas Street, Donaldsonville, LA


Dawson "Martin" Cancienne

August 10, 1951March 2, 2020

Martin Cancienne, one of the most recognizable faces at the Louisiana State Capitol for nearly 30 years, died Monday at Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans. He was 68.

Mr. Cancienne was best known in political circles for his experience in monitoring the effect of federal legislation on state and municipal governments, guiding constituents through the federal procurement and appropriations process, and assisting constituents in communicating with numerous executive branch agencies.

For more than a decade, Mr. Cancienne served as District Director and Chief of Staff for longtime Louisiana Congressman Billy Tauzin. In that capacity, he helped to bring tens of millions of dollars in federal funds to his home state for critically important flood control projects. For his efforts, Mr. Cancienne was presented the United States Army Commander’s Award for Public Service in 1999. The award was for “exceptional meritorious service” to the United States Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District.

During that time, Mr. Cancienne developed a close relationship with current Louisiana Congressman Garret Graves of Baton Rouge, while working side-by-side on a wide variety of pressing coastal issues that continued up until his death.

Most recently, Mr. Cancienne worked closely for more than 15 years with another former Louisiana Congressman, Robert Livingston, as a partner in The Livingston Group, LLC, where he focused on appropriations, health and education matters, energy and agriculture issues, and Corps of Engineers projects.

Prior to his congressional employment, Mr. Cancienne was a sugarcane grower and active in the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation serving as Vice President from 1989-1991. In addition, he was Chairman of the American Farm Bureau’s Sugar Advisory Committee, and a Board Member of the Louisiana Agriculture Finance Authority.

Mr. Cancienne attended Nicholls State University in Thibodaux; Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge; and Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama.

Dawson “Martin” Cancienne was born August 10, 1951 in Belle Rose, Louisiana, and spent his entire life there. He was preceded in death by his parents, Paul Joseph and Elizabeth Martin Cancienne and siblings James Paul and Mary Elizabeth Cancienne.

Mr. Cancienne is survived by his beloved wife of 44 years, Sally Graugnard Cancienne, and four married children: Paul Joseph (Lauren V.) Cancienne II; Charles Martin (Ashley) Cancienne; Michael Andre’ (Lauren C.) Cancienne; and Denise (Nick) Kahm. He is also survived by 12 grandchildren: Grace, Martin, and Nina Kahm, and Alice, Betty, Cameran, George, Henry, Charlie, Madeline, Cecilia, and Claire Cancienne, in addition to siblings Sister Mary Paula Cancienne, RSM; Thomas Earl (Tracy) Cancienne; Phillip Clarence (Cynthia) Cancienne; and Mary Louise (Wade) Vache. A private memorial service is planned. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency (LOPA), 2380 O’Neal Lane Suite H, Baton Rouge, LA 70816; and the Ascension Catholic Interparochial School, 618 Iberville Street, Donaldsonville, LA 70346.


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Dawson "Martin" Cancienne

have a memory or condolence to add?

Toby Gascon

March 18, 2020

To the Cancienne Family:

Please accept my deepest condolences for your loss. I will forever be grateful for the impact Martin had on my life and my career, and I will forever cherish his leadership, guidance and compassion. His kindness will always be missed, but never forgotten.

You have a beautiful family which was always Martin's biggest and proudest accomplishment in his life. May the care and love of those around you provide comfort and peace needed to get through the days ahead.

My sincerest condolences,
Toby Gascon

John Capone, Jr

March 8, 2020

A good friend, classmate, best man in his wedding, and godfather to my daughter that will be sorely missed by both my family and I. We shared some good times together while growing up in Donaldsonville, La. On behalf of the John Capone, Jr. family I would like to offer our condolences to Sally and his children and the rest of the Cancienne family. Rest in eternal peace Smokey.

Julie Tatum

March 6, 2020

We Send heartfelt condolences to the entire family. What an accomplished man Martin was! We know he rests in heaven now with our Lord Jesus, hallelujah! Special prayers for sweet Sally and the children. With love, Jim and Julie Tatum and Family

Abbie “LeGleu” Hue

March 5, 2020

My sincere condolences to Mr. Cancienne’s family & friends; especially his wife, Mrs. Sally. May you find inner peace in knowing that he is now at peace. My continued thoughts & prayers for all.