Martin & Castille
330 Saint Landry Street
Lafayette, LA 70506
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Joseph Watkins Elsbury Jr.

1929 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Flowers
Joseph Watkins Elsbury Jr. Obituary
Joseph Watkins Elsbury, Jr.

1929 - 2017

LAFAYETTE - Long time Lafayette resident Joseph Watkins Elsbury, Jr. passed away peacefully at his daughter's home in Baton Rouge on January 3, 2017. He was 87. Joe was born in Houston, Texas on April 16, 1929 to Josephine and Joseph Watkins Elsbury, Sr. The Elsburys were among some of the earliest settlers of Houston and thus inspired Joe's interest in genealogy. He graduated from St. Thomas High School in Houston where he played cornet in the school concert band. He graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Petroleum Engineering in 1951. While there he was an active member in Kappa Delta Kappa Fraternity, now known as Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and played cornet with a local dance band, Norman Stewart and the Skyliners. Upon graduation from college Joe embarked upon a long and storied career as an oilman in Louisiana and Texas.

In 1955 he married Felicia Mallet of Houston and relocated to Lafayette to work under the tutelage of his friend and mentor, J. P. Owen, Sr. Joe worked for the Owen enterprise a few years and then for himself in drilling and exploration. In 1976 he started Elsbury Production Company. Along the way he partnered with Dick McGrew to form Elsbury & McGrew and Edward Acker to form Elsbury & Acker. Both partnerships enjoyed many years of successful oil and gas business and exploration ventures.

Joe had many interests. He was an accomplished bridge player, achieving the title of Gold Life Master in the America Contract Bridge League. He loved to fish and was an avid reader of all genres, especially Louisiana and Texas history. He was constantly in pursuit of all things genealogical, given his family's important place in the history of Houston. He and Felicia traveled to England in search of his Elsbury roots and he compiled notebooks of family history for his cousins. His lifetime passion for music, especially opera, gave him much joy and he and Felicia were major contributors to the arts. Most of all he loved his immediate and extended family and he will be greatly missed by all.

A most important association of which Joe took great pride was being a member of the "Old Timer" group in the men's bar of the Petroleum Club of Lafayette. He was also a regular in the card room of the Lafayette Town House from the late 1950's until the private club closed in the late 1990's.

He had professional affiliations with the Society of Petroleum Evaluator Engineers and the Independent Petroleum Association of America.

Joe is survived by one son, Joey Elsbury and wife Cheryl of Broussard and two daughters, Emily Elsbury Leary and husband Tim of Baton Rouge and Eve Elsbury of Dallas, Texas. He is also survived by four grandchildren, Claire Rutland and Kathryn Davis both of Baton Rouge and Derrick Elsbury of Lumberton, Texas, and Taylor Elsbury of Broussard, and three great-grandchildren, Davis Romano, Brayden Rutland and Peyton Rutland, all of Baton Rouge and two nieces, Kathy Riedel Davis of Ruston, LA and Elizabeth Riedel Neymark of Embudo, NM. He was preceded in death by his wife Felicia Mallet Elsbury; parents Josephine and Joseph Watkins Elsbury, Sr.; and sister Mary Ellen Elsbury Riedel Ellsworth.

Visitation will be Tuesday, January 10 from 9:00 a.m. until time of service at Martin and Castille Funeral Home, Downtown, 330 St. Landry Street. Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. in La Chapelle de Martin & Castille with Interment following at Fountain Memorial Cemetery, 1010 Pandora Street, Lafayette, Louisiana.

Officiant for the service will be Felicia's cousin, Msgr. Charles Mallet. Pallbearers will be Derrick Elsbury, Taylor Elsbury, Bradley Romano, Chase Rutland, Russell Davis, Rick Stewart, Pete Curfman, Judge Kenneth Boagni, Guy Owens, and Brian Vesey.

Memorial contributions may be made 232-HELP, 1005 Jefferson Street, Lafayette, LA 70501, (337) 232-4357,

View the obituary and guestbook online @

Martin & Castille- DOWNTOWN, 330 St. Landry St., Lafayette, LA 70506, 337-234-2311
Published in the The Advertiser from Jan. 7 to Jan. 8, 2017
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