So very sorry for y'all's loss. I'm gonna miss Mr. Smokey.. He was always sweet to me. When he found out I was sick he never failed to ask me how I was feeling when I saw him. I didn't know him long enough.. Wish I had .. He was a sweetheart .. Love to you all, and prayers for you as well..love
Someone told me to copy the eulogy to the guest book so it would be printed out with the rest of the comments when the guest book is closed. So here are my and my siblings' words and thoughts, everyone had a part in writing this, I was just the one who delivered it. Special thanks to my sister for allowing me to use her beautiful words. I miss you so much Dad!!.....
I am proud to be standing up here representing my mom, my brothers, Todd and Noonie, and my sister Michelle. In my heart I know Dad wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
First, we would like to thank the Duhons, not just for your love, support, and help over last few days but for being such an integral part of shaping the man our Mom fell in love with all those years ago. The Duhons are nothing if not rich in faith, love, and family. It is that strong family bond that started with Paw-Paw, Maw-Maw and all eight of you that has not only developed our dad and you into the individuals you are today but is now being carried on through our generation with our families and will continue through their families. Being one of nine children in the pre-electronic era lended itself to lots of mischief as you could probably imagine. But don't fret Duhons, We have decided to spare you and not share the many tales of “torture” he endured at your hands growing up but are convinced those pranks contributed to his wicked sarcastic sense of humor, of which we enjoyed and inherited so thanks to all of you for that!
As teenagers our mom and dad met and fell in love at the Lutcher dance and in his desire to provide for her and his future family, he enlisted in the Marine Corps. Our mom, upon getting the call to tell her what he had done, promptly hung up on him and he hitched a ride to go find her to smooth things over. He served his country for four and a half years as a Marine including 6 months in Puerto Rico standing by for the Cuban Missle Crisis, although all the pictures we have seen from this time were him and his fellow Marines playing volleyball on the beach! Tough assignment! But he was proud of what the Corps gave him. It helped shape his sense of discipline, loyalty, respect, and work ethic. Once a marine, always a marine as he would say!
Our mom and dad were married for 49 years and truly lived for each other. Together they provided a good, stable home for us. There was rarely a time when you saw one without the other. Besides us four children, Dad enjoyed all of his grandchildren, and great granddaughters. Kevin, Shawn, Glenn, Katie, Hailey, Cody, Madison, Michael and Mason, Paw-Paw loved ya'll with all his heart. How he loved taking care of you as babies! We all knew if Paw-Paw was around no one else had a shot at holding you. He was very grateful and proud to be able to meet and hold his great granddaughters, Jaelynn, Olivia, Chloe and Malori. Dad loved those babies!
After his honorable discharge from the Marine Corps he went to work at the only job he would hold for his entire career. He was a pipe-fitter and welder at Shell Chemical in Norco for 35 years. He worked hard his whole life to provide for us and the work wasn't always easy. He endured long hard work hours in the heat and he never complained. He was a good worker who was well respected by his peers, took pride in every task and always excelled at everything he did. He often told us he was the only welder at Shell that passed all of his welding tests with zero defects… and it rubbed off, his sons followed in his footsteps and are both welders today.
Dad knew how to work hard but also balanced home and relaxation as well. There would usually be an announcement when he needed some downtime from work. He would tell each of us “If Shell calls, I'm not home” He was none too happy when my sister missed the notice once and after working many hours of overtime, he needed a break and “was not home” Michelle answered the phone and with the receiver still to her ear she said, “Dad, you home? It's Shell.” Needless to say Dad went back to work that night.
That was our Dad though, always there in times of need, the calm in the storm. He was strong, level-headed and independent. We all say that is the one thing we are most grateful for, he raised us all to be strong independent individuals. An invaluable trait to have as an adult. His unconditional love and support made us feel like we could do anything. He loved and guided us as children but allowed us to spread our wings as we got older to figure out who we were as adults. We were able to do this knowing he would be there if and when we made mistakes, and we all did! He never harped on failures but helped each of us to pick up the pieces and move on after them. “Live and learn” he would say, and “it is what it is.” He never told us what to do but instead helped guide us to figure it out for ourselves.
Dad was truly a selfless man, he thought of everyone before himself. From learning to like the wings when we had chicken for dinner (because that's the piece no one else wanted) to protecting us from the pain and suffering he endured during his last years. He was always more worried about Mom and us more than himself. He even pre-planned his funeral with Aunt Paula. He had her write down all he wanted with great detail in the hopes he could spare us any burdens during this difficult time.
But the most powerful example of this was on his last night with us, my sister and I stayed with our mom and dad. Without knowing it then, we each had individual moments alone with him where we told him we were there together and neither he nor mom would be alone and it was ok to let go. My sister and I had a private conversation that night in which we discussed how we were not sure we could handle actually being at his side when he took his last breath and where would we ever muster enough strength to endure that. But in true Dad fashion he protected us from that too. We were all awake to the wee hours of the morning ensuring he was as comfortable as we could make him. Eventually though we did finally doze off. When we all startled awake a mere hour after we dozed, he was gone. He protected and shielded us right up to the end.
Dad, we want to thank you for everything you gave and did for us but we'll ask for just one more thing. We are going to need your strength, Dad, to learn to live without you in our lives because its gonna be the hardest thing we will ever have to do. We know you're still here because you would never leave us completely. Just walk with us Dad for a little bit longer until we can all get a handle on this new world without you.
Your loving children....Todd, Noonie, Michelle and Missie
Watch over your lil Chloe Bug, you will always live on in her heart, rest peacefully pawpaw love you
Love and miss you already, especially your smiles. Vickie