Charles E. (Budgie/Charlie) Roemer II
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Charles E. (Budgie/Charlie) Roemer II died Saturday, July 7, 2012 in his sleep on his farm, Scopena, in south Bossier Parish. After a ten-year struggle, Alzheimer's felled him within sight of his 90th birthday.
He is survived by his High School sweetheart and bride of 70 years, Adeline, a partner in all his endeavors, and their five children, seventeen grandchildren, and thirty-six great-grandchildren. All will treasure his bold character, humor and wit, razor-sharp mind, passion for life, and his ever-present compassion for those in need of a helping hand.
Born December 11, 1922, a depression-era farm boy, he was reared by his mother and step-father, Maggie and Vernon Mayer. "Budgie" volunteered and served in the Army Air Corp in WW II, attended Louisiana Tech, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from LSU.
Budgie, a farmer at heart, helped LSU introduce a new cotton variety, "Stardel"; specialized in the cultivation of hybrid seed corn; owned an implement dealership, two cotton gins, and several crop dusters. He helped organize REA cooperatives to bring electricity to rural areas in Louisiana, testifying in Congress and the White House to get it done.
Living in a time of racial segregation by law, he encouraged minorities to run for office, was a strong civil rights advocate, and at times was physically threatened by those w ho opposed his views. He refused to defer, pointing to a line in the Declaration of Independence, "All men are created equal." His civil rights commitment led him to support a "long-shot" candidate for governor in 1970-71, Congressman Edwin Edwards. He helped manage that successful campaign employing many innovative political techniques. Afterwards, Budgie became Louisiana's Commissioner of Administration for 8 years, gaining a reputation for swift, fair management decisions to bring the operations of State Government into better focus and discipline. In Parishes across Louisiana, he earned the reputation as a "good man" doing a tough job.
Budgie supported everything in which his children and grandchildren were involved. He, Adeline, and his five children drove to the national parks of America every summer in a car with five kids in the back seat, no super highways, no airplanes, no campers, no credit cards, just a twenty-five dollars or less motel room for seven, and 35 cent gasoline. He drove the family roundtrip to every LSU home football game, and then, to Methodist Church early the next morning. He loved movies, books, games, and cards and tried to teach the boys poker, at which he was a "master". Most of all, he loved tennis, built a concrete court in the front yard, had a wicked left-handed serve and slice, and loved doubles.
A special thank you to the caregivers both professional and family over the past several years who did such loving work, to the nine grandson pallbearers and the fourteen honorary pallbearers including the five granddaughters and the Honorarble Edwin Edwards. On behalf of you all and the hundreds we are unable to mention in this brief recollection of a life fully lived, here is to Budgie Roemer, a giant of a man.
Love and thanks for giving so much to so many.
So long, Dad.
Rose-Neath Funeral Home
Bossier City, LA
Published in The News Star on July 9, 2012