OBITUARY

Julius "Bob" Marcantel, Sr.

March 2, 1936April 12, 2018
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  • FAMILY

  • Betty Holland Marcantel, Wife
  • Daniel Marcantel, Son
  • Loretta Landry, step-children
  • Rosetta and John Taylor, step-children
  • Zacharia Marcantel and wife Ashley, Grandson
  • Lindsey Marcantel Green and husband Justin, Granddaughter
  • Brandon Marcantel, step-grandson
  • Jason Cooley, step-grandson
  • Kelli and Jeremy Landry, step-grandchildren
  • Troy Marcantel, Great Grandchild
  • Zachery and Aubree Marcantel, Great Grandchild
  • Caleb and Leo Cooley, Great Grandchild
  • Brantley Landry, Great Grandchild
  • James Wilmer "Little Will" Marcantel, Son
  • Julius Marcantel, Jr., Son
  • Lula Mae Royer Marcantel, first wife

Services

  • Visitation Sunday, April 15, 2018
  • Rosary Sunday, April 15, 2018
  • Mass of Christian Burial Monday, April 16, 2018
REMEMBERING

Julius "Bob" Marcantel, Sr.

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Kenneth Richard

April 13, 2018

I've played music with Bob for over 30 years. I've never known a finer man.
Once while eating a meal at Lonepine Music Park someone ask Bob how long we'd been playing music together he looked at me and I said I wasn't quite sure. He said "Not long enough". That really meant a lot to me -- I never will forget it. Many fond memories. You have my prayers and sympathy.

Darlene Dougharty

April 13, 2018

I've been a friend of Bob's for a long time. We had a love of music and jamming as common ground, and played in a couple of groups together at events, Nursing Home's and churches. He was a talented musician and we had some fun times! He was always so friendly and outgoing. Betty, Zach and family, I am so sorry for your loss. He is going to be missed!

FROM THE FAMILY

Bob had a smile that would light up the room.

FROM THE FAMILY

Enjoying the day at work

FROM THE FAMILY

Bob and Lula Mae celebrating his 60th birthday.

FROM THE FAMILY

Peaceful, carefree day on the beach

FROM THE FAMILY

Bob and Lula Mae in the early 90's

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Bob doing what he enjoyed most

FROM THE FAMILY

Bob holding his dog Eggs, standing next to Tom, and behind the calf he proudly "packed a long way" to be in the picture.

Biography

Julius Bobbit "Bob" Marcantel, Sr. was many things to many people. He was a husband, a brother, a father, a favorite grandpa, a friend, and always someone special. To family and friends who knew him best, he will be remembered as one of the best men they've ever had the pleasure of knowing. Since I'm writing this about my grandfather, I will be referring to him mostly as grandpa from here on because calling him Bob feels very unnatural to me.

He was the son of Wilmer Marcantel and Eva Pruitt Marcantel and grew up on David Marcantel Road in DeQuincy, LA, also known as "Marcantel Settlement." Grandpa was raised with six siblings, three brothers: Leo, Roy, and Tom; and three sisters: Eva, Azalea, and Retha. According to stories, he was exceptionally mischievous as a boy and was always getting his younger brother, Tom, into trouble with his numerous shenanigans.

Most of his childhood recollections included his younger brother Tom, or Uncle Tom for me. Every chance they got, they would sneak away from their work to go fishing. In their down time they learned how to play instruments to stave off boredom (Grandpa’s words). Although grandpa’s signature instrument was the banjo, he started off at age 10 playing the guitar while Uncle Tom played the fiddle. They say that sometimes their mother made them go practice in the barn (I’m guessing when they were in the beginning phases of learning) but that most of the time they played on the porch in the evenings (presumably when they got better).

One of grandpa’s adventures (and one that I would have paid dearly to watch) began with him telling Uncle Tom that he could run faster than a yearling calf. Naturally, to prove it he tied a rope to a yearling and held on tight the other end. According to Uncle Tom, when the yearling took off grandpa finished the run being dragged on his belly behind the calf.

Even with all the stories of "play", grandpa’s upbringing involved a lot of work, and hard work at that. One of his roles when he was a child was to help feed his family. He was walking behind his daddy’s horse “Black” plowing fields when he was barely taller than the plow. Not one to shy away from hard work, one of his proudest childhood memories was when his father (Great Grandpa Wilmer) took a break from plowing, and grandpa, without asking and for the first time, took up the plow and did several more rows for him while he was gone. When his father came back he saw that his rows were good and straight and said, “Well it looks like you don’t need me here, I’m going to find something else to do,” and that was that.

In the fields of Marcantel Settlement they farmed sugar cane, sweet potatoes, corn, peas, peanuts, beans, and pretty much anything else that would grow. As a boy, one of his seasonal farm chores included protecting the cornfields from crow scavengers by waiting in the field at dawn with a shotgun in case any crows were to be so bold as to come looking for breakfast. He and his siblings also did household chores, many of which no longer exist today, and aren't even fully understood by my generation.

In the spring of 1953, at age 17, he married Lula Mae Royer and went to work for the railroad. In 1954 he welcomed his first-born son Julius B. “Dingus” Marcantel Jr., and graduated from DeQuincy High School by taking night classes the same year. In 1957, Daniel Lynn Marcantel was born and shortly thereafter (around 1960) grandpa started working at PPG as a machinist. In 1969, James Wilmer “Little Will” Marcantel was born with the genetic disorder called Down’s Syndrome, and Bob and Lula Mae became highly active in the local Down’s Syndrome Association. Sadly, in 1975, at the age of 6, Little Will succumbed to a heart condition common in children with his disorder and the loss, naturally, had a great effect on the family. Ten months later, in 1976, Bob became a grandpa for the first time when my cousin Zacharia Marcantel was born, who added a silver lining to a hard time in our grandparent's lives. Ten years later, I (Lindsey Danielle Marcantel) was born and became, effectively, grandpa’s little shadow for the first half of my life.

Grandpa worked hard to be a good husband and father and he did his best to fulfill his family’s needs. To teach his sons about work, they raised pigs and livestock together, and he made sure that they learned how to farm the land where they grew up near Houston River on Sam Dunham Road. Years later he would pass his knowledge and skills on to his grandson and great-grandson Zacharia and Zachary.

Additionally, grandpa was an excellent provider for his family and he enjoyed what he did for a living. With his strong work ethic he did his best to succeed in his career and made life-long friendships at PPG. Even though he retired after 32 years, he spent another 30 years after that attending monthly meetings and yearly crawfish boils with his work family.

Before my time, the family owned a camp at Toledo Bend where grandpa spent an untold number of hours hunting, fishing and camping with his boys, Dingus and Daniel. They would load up the boat with a tent, supplies and fishing poles and spend weekends in secluded coves. According to my father, Daniel, much of his childhood was spent somewhere with grandpa and Uncle Dingus in the woods. Memories of Toledo Bend also mean a lot to my cousin Zacharia who, being a decade older than me, got to experience the fishing, hunting and overall good times that weekends at Toledo Bend had to offer. Either at home or in Toledo Bend Grandpa and the boys would take care of procuring the food, and grandma would work her magic in the kitchen oftentimes using pots and pans made by grandpa in the metal shop at PPG.

When grandpa’s retirement finally arrived in the early 90's, he was well prepared. In retirement, his hobbies took center stage and he found new pleasure in playing music, traveling and spending time with family. He played multiple instruments, but the banjo was his signature sound, and he traveled to various Blue Grass Festivals and other meetups to play with his contemporaries. He also enjoyed traveling the country with his family. Some of his favorite vacations included traveling west to the desert and anywhere where big steam engine trains were still in operation.

In 1996, grandma passed away from complications involving breast cancer and grandpa spent the several years following traveling and playing music either alone, or with me, his granddaughter Lindsey. He and I went on many trips but none more memorable than the surprise trip to Schlitterbahn near San Antonio where he became the main attraction because he rode every ride with 12 year old me wearing his jeans, Stetson hat, and long sleeve (plaid) button down shirt. He told every lifeguard there that he was the “coolest person” out there, and he was right (both literally and figuratively).

In the early 2000’s he met his second wife, Betty Holland and they were married in the summer of 2001. She shared his love of traveling and music, and he continued his travels and music playing with her by his side. In 2009 Bob suffered the loss of his oldest son, Dingus, who was brought home from Colorado for burial in the family cemetery.

As grandpa grew older his role in the family changed from being a "provider" for his family to being that of an advisor, counsellor and friend to whom we could turn to when we needed to feel grounded or figure out life’s next steps. He was very good at his job, and talked many of us, including myself, off of more than one metaphysical ledge.

He was a man of many interests, loved to talk, and was great conversationalist. A talk with him could last for hours and span subjects as varied as volcanoes and undersea geology, the stock market, and metric vs. standard sockets; he never missed a beat.

Grandpa also took on the role of teacher, wishing to pass on some of his musical abilities. He tried and (sometimes) succeeded with subsequent generations, always so proud of his students. His more successful moments were when he got Betty’s granddaughter, Kelley, to sing with him on stage at a festival; and, more recently, he taught his great-grandson Zachary how to play the banjo. Zachary is the only one in the family to carry on the banjo playing tradition.

Ultimately, grandpa was blessed with six grandchildren: Zacharia Marcantel, Brandon Marcantel, Jason Cooley, Lindsey Marcantel, and Jeremy and Kelley Landry; and six great-grandchildren: Zachary and Aubree Marcantel, Troy Marcantel, Caleb and Leo Cooley and Brantley Landry.

After complications with lung cancer, he passed away on April 12, 2018, surrounded by his loved ones, at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital. His faith was important to him and his services were held at Our Lady of LaSalette Church where he was a member for several years. He was lovingly laid to rest next to his family in Royer cemetery.

Simply stated, grandpa was loved by more people than we can all collectively name. The number of people who regarded him so highly always amazed me, and it makes me proud to be the descendant of such a great man. He is profoundly missed but will never be forgotten. I think I speak for us all when I say that I will try my best to live by the values he showed and instilled in so many of us. He was a good and kind person and always strove to do the right thing; he was a caring and giving person; and he was someone who was a vital part of other people’s lives. Grandpa leaves behind him a legacy of great family, life-long friendships, and many cherished memories. Everyone whose life he touched will always remember him.

His loving granddaughter,

Lindsey Marcantel Green