Jason John Thibodeaux, 92, passed away on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 with his family present at his home in Fort Pierce, Florida. Jason was born on September 1, 1921 in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. He was the first of five children born to John Horace Thibodeaux and Delores Marie (Tauzin) Thibodeaux. He attained the rank of Eagle Scout and graduated with honors from Thomas Jefferson High School in Port Arthur, Texas in 1940. He was a member of the Honor Society, Vice President of the Student Body Congress and named one of the 100 best high school students in the State of Texas for 1940. He accomplished all this and managed to work everyday after school and on Saturdays to help support the family. Jason served in the United States Army in World War II under General George Patton in the 550th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion. He landed on Omaha Beach on the fifth day of the D-Day invasion, fought in the Battle of the Bulge and for the liberation of Paris. He earned a commendation for his efforts during the Third Army's Rhine crossing at St Goar, Germany. Upon liberating the concentration camp at Buchenwald, his service was complete and he was honorably discharged after VE Day. After the war, Jason attended the University of Texas at Austin and earned a Bachelor's degree in History. As a college student, he met and married his first wife, Louise Amstutz, in 1945. They eventually had ten children together. After graduation, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army in June of 1949. He went on to serve in Korea and Viet Nam where he was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service in battle. He retired from the Army with the permanent rank of Major in September 1966 to El Paso, Texas. He then taught at Burgess High School in El Paso until 1970. He was passionate about writing, astrology, golf and Jai Alai. Jason wrote a novel as well as numerous opinion editorial articles published by the Fort Pierce Tribune. Until 6 weeks before his death, he golfed 18 holes, three days per week at the Island Pines Golf Club where he was a well-known regular and was loved by all. He is survived by his soul mate Pat Kern. He was the beloved brother of Mary Joyce Hebert of Port Arthur, Texas and Delores Broussard of New Iberia, Louisiana, and Ronald Thibodeaux. His children are Cheryl Jensen, son-in-law Grant, Greg Thibodeaux, daughter- in-law LeeAnne, Suzanne Karr, Robert Thibodeaux, daughter-in-law Dani, Mark Thibodeaux, Mary Lou Peck, son-in-law Rob, Victoria Walls, and Katherine Thibodeaux. Seven of his eight children reside in the State of Washington. He has 21 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. Most reside in the Pacific Northwest as well. Jason was preceded in death by his second wife Ruby (Luikart) Thibodeaux, his brother Leroy, and his children Cynthia and Daniel. He was buried with full military honors at Tahoma National Cemetery on November 29, 2013.
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Published in The Beaumont Enterprise on Dec. 15, 2013