OBITUARY

F. Wayne LeBleu

October 20, 1947April 4, 2021

F. Wayne LeBleu October 20, 1947 - April 4, 2021

F. Wayne LeBleu, beloved son, husband, father, and coach, passed away April 4, 2021.

Born in Opelousas, Louisiana, to Joseph Gabriel LeBleu and Billie Marie (née Leake) LeBleu, Wayne graduated from Opelousas High School and received both his MS and BS from Northwestern State University. It was at Northwestern that Wayne would discover his passion for education and coaching and his soulmate, Judy G. Rogers.

The ultimate storyteller, Wayne could command the attention of any audience and often had them in stitches by the end of his stories. There was never a room he did not own. The avid LSU fan, his autumn Saturdays were spent cheering on the Tigers–even during the Hallman years.

Wayne impacted the lives of countless students and athletes, as a teacher, a coach, and an administrator for eight schools across Louisiana and Texas:

Coushatta High School (1970-1973) Cottonport High School (1973-1977) Oakdale High School (1977-1979) Breaux Bridge High School (1979-1981) Irving High School (1984-1989) S.H. Rider High School (1989-1996) Woodville High School (1996-1999) Jefferson High School (1999-2001)

As head coach of the S.H. Rider High School Raiders, Wayne was blessed to have both his sons among the many players whose lives he inspired on and off the field.

During the off-seasons, and even after retirement, Wayne continued to guide players as camp director of the Offensive/Defensive Summer Line Camp, which he was part of for over 30 years.

He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Gladys Jeanne LeBleu, brother Frank G. LeBleau, and favorite Great Dane Duke.

Wayne is survived by his wife of 51 years, Judy; son Jay R. LeBleu and wife Dawn; son Tyler W. LeBleu and partner Robert Raiford, Jr.; grandchildren Adylin LeBleu, Aubrey LeBleu, Katie Higgs, and Michael Higgs; beloved English Bulldog Lola; brother Floyd D. LeBleu and wife Priscilla; sister Dinah M. Laurich and husband Rich; sister Teeta L. Moss and husband John; and sister-in-law Mary LeBleau; half-siblings Gwendolyn (Gwen) S. Lafleur and Paul C. LeBleu; and several nieces and nephews.

A private family memorial will be held with a public celebration of Wayne’s life to take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers that donations be made in Wayne’s honor to the Saint Jude’s Children Research Hospital.

Memories

F. Wayne LeBleu

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
Brian Salter

April 12, 2021

I have so many great memories of being a Rider Raider and especially of going to Lineman Camp in Thibodaux, LA, with coach LeBleu. Thanks for the memories, Coach! You were loved by many and you will be missed by many. Rest In Peace, and Geaux Tigers!

Teresa Bohannon

April 12, 2021

Wayne was by far the best principal that I have ever worked with...he was kind, good- hearted and loved to make you laugh...he loved his students and had a heart of gold for his special needs students...he will be forever missed

Clem Mancini

April 11, 2021

The fact that Wayne LeBleu had a positive attitude about our football players at Rider High School and disciplined them with fairness, made the seven years I coached with him some of the best in my career. He was filled with great sayings that encouraged players and coaches alike. Though the voice is quiet now, the spirit echoes still.
Wayne was not only great to work with, he was an outstanding friend. As a member of his coaching staff, my family became members of his family! One spring break, we took a fun vacation together during which we visited his parents and siblings in his home town. After being introduced to true Cajun food there, we traveled on to New Orleans and experienced the customs and traditions of the area.
During the football seasons, our wives, who were our biggest fans, traveled together to support us and our team. Since my wife, Elcid, and Wayne shared the same birthday, we always celebrated October 20th together. Even after we went to different jobs, they never missed talking to each other on their special day.
I will always miss this man; I loved him like a brother.
Clem Mancini

Tamara Mancini

April 11, 2021

My heart breaks for this family. Coach LeBleu always made me feel like our families were joined together. There’s something really special about being a coach’s kid - how we instantly have extended families that share a deep bond. Growing up, I shared my life with a lot of coach’s families, but Coach LeBleu, Mrs. Judy, Jay, and Tyler were extra special and I love you all. Thanks for getting us together, Coach. I have many fond memories of being with your family, but one spring break trip stands out. The LeBleus took the Mancinis to Louisiana and it was the best time! We visited the entire LeBleu clan, surrounded by love, laughs, stories, hugs, and big smiles. We went to Balloo’s house and ate crawfish, and went to LSU and toured the stadium where Coach Le Bleu’s beloved Tigers play. We also piled into Uncle Floyd’s motor home and went to New Orleans and had dinner at Tujague’s where we ate in a private room, maybe because of the sheer number of people, but more likely because of the very loud Cajun/Italian raucous! Thank you, Coach, for showing me your amazing Louisiana. One other memory, near and dear to my heart, is the Bible Coach LeBleu gave me. All senior football players at Rider received a Bible from Coach LeBleu. My dad’s first year coaching at Rider with Coach LeBleu was my brother’s senior year at Old High. It was a rough football season for both my brother and Dad, but Coach LeBleu showed us all love and compassion and gifted my brother with a Bible that senior season, even though he did play for that other school. I knew then what an exceptional man Coach really was. So, how special did I feel when Coach gave me (a girl, who didn’t play football, or sports for that matter) a Bible my senior year? I was over the moon! I’ve carried it around with me this last week, re-reading the inscription, and I miss him so much. Thanks Coach, for being in my life, for sharing your big heart, and for your love. You will forever be missed. Love, Tamara

Jennifer Tyner

April 10, 2021

Judy, Tyler, Jay, you’re in my thoughts. I am so sorry for your loss. Please know that your friends love you and are here for you.

Roosevelt &Rosie Flanigan

April 9, 2021

We are thankful for Coach Wayne's impact on our lives and for investing in both Ramon and Rae Lynn. Our last togetherness was in New Orleans eating cajun food. Love to the family

Charles Boudreaux

April 8, 2021

Rest in Peace old friend. What great times we had growing up in Opelousas and so many fun times and laughs. To Wayne's family please accept my sincerest condolences. You all are in my thought and prayers.

Judy Tyner

April 8, 2021

When I think of Wayne, the very first thing that pops in my mind is that big smile and hearty laugh. Not to mention the bear hugs. He always brightened my day and brought a smile to my face. Wayne, I wish I had more time with you, dear friend, You will be sorely missed.

Michelle Ballard

April 8, 2021

What can you say about a man like Coach Wayne LeBleu? The man was larger than life with a love for his family, friends, and the great young men God entrusted him to mold. I will never forget his huge smile or his voice! You always knew he was on his way to visit us in the library, because you could hear him greeting those he passed in the hall! And as far as this Raider is concerned, the fact that he NEVER let those stinking yotes beat us was AWESOME! I will never forget the shirt that was printed by the Booster Club that had his face in the clouds with a halo and a slogan about seven is Heaven when beating those yotes! The look on Judy’s face was priceless!! Thank you Judy, Jay, and Tyler for sharing your most precious man with all of us! I love you all!! Michelle Ballard

Kent Plemons

April 8, 2021

My deepest sympathy, prayers and condolences to the LeBleu family for the loss of Coach LeBleu.

I had the distinct pleasure playing for Coach LeBleu in his very first year at Rider HS where it was immediately apparent what a great coach, mentor and a tremendous role model he was. He taught us to never quit with his own work ethic and gave us all values that would carry on into our adulthood as men.

One of my fondest memories of coach would ultimately be the thing that taught me the most about him as a coach and mentor. I had the fortune of traveling with him and a couple other linemen to the lineman camp in Louisiana prior to my senior year. He was still a new coach to Rider and we were all still learning about him as our new head coach, but that would all soon change. Not only did I learn a lot about football and a foreign place called Louisiana, I learned a lot about Coach LeBleu on the long drive to and from the camp and I came to respect him even more. While in Louisiana on the way back from lineman camp, we stayed at his mother’s house in Opelousas and gained insight into where Coach came from and found the roots of his kind nature. We were all treated as members of their very own family and were introduced to all the wonderful food Louisiana is known for by Coach and his family.

I can still hear coach on the practice field with his unique way correcting missed plays and mental errors. He made colorful references to when Moby Dick was a minnow and how much gas it took to power a piss ant’s motorcycle around the inside of a Cheerio among many others. Those who know, know, and we loved him for it. It was all part of what made coach such an endearing person and why we all played out hearts out for him under the Friday night lights.

Coach, thank you for being the great man you were and may you rest in peace.