Thomas Merlin Achord, 72 years old of Ponchatoula, Louisiana, passed away, Wednesday, February 27, 2013, at his home. He was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend that will be dearly missed by everyone that knew and loved him. He was born on Sunday, February 2, 1941, in Ponchatoula, La., son of the late Johnnie Achord and the late Eula Wax Achord. Surviving are wife of 26 years, Nina Gail Achord, sister, Minnie Louise Easley, daughters, Laurie Flynt and husband Wayne, Julie Bennett and husband Arthur Ray, Jr., and Vanessa Norton, sons, Chris Higginbotham and wife Debra and Charles "Buck" Higginbotham, 16 grandchildren, Thomas and Emily Shuff; Ashley Bonds, Jonathon, Mathew, Ryan and Chelse Flynt; Justin and Jesse Bennett; Heather "Squirrel" Shaw; Christian and Erin Norton; Briar, Courtney, Corey and Colby Higginbotham. He is preceded in death by brothers, Henry "Hurley", Ewell, Berlin Leon, Howard "Butch" Achord, sister, Betty Achord Thompson. Pallbearers will be Steve Butts, Mike Easley, Roger Upham, and 5 of his grandsons Thomas Shuff, Justin Bennett, Christian Norton, Corey and Colby Higginbotham. Honorary pallbearers will be grandsons Briar Higginbotham, Jesse Bennett, Jonathon, Matthew and Ryan Flynt. Friends will be received Sunday, March 3, 2013 from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. at Harry McKneely & Son Funeral Home - Ponchatoula. Visitation will resume on Monday, March 4, 2013 from 8:00 a.m. until funeral service begins at 11:00 a.m. at Harry McKneely & Son Funeral, with Bro. Sidney Ray Sutcliff officiating. Interment will follow in the Briar Patch Cemetery Loranger, Louisiana. An on-line guest book is available at www.harrymckneely.com.