NORFOLK-On September 15, 2019, Dr. Odilon “Del” Presley Delcambre began his new life with God. He met life's challenges with intelligence, dignity, humor and grace, and was always guided by his deeply rooted faith.
Del was born in Iberia Parish, Louisiana on April 27, 1925, to Odilon P. and Marie Emie LeBlanc Delcambre, along with his twin sister Sue. They were the second set of twins, for a total of seven children in the family. They lived in a red barn house on the banks of the muddy Bayou Petit Anse deep in the heart of south Louisiana's Cajun country, with no electricity, no inside running water, no plumbing, central heat or air conditioning. Nevertheless, he was a gifted student and graduated from New Iberia High School in 1941.
Since there was an urgent need for medical personnel of all types for the war effort, Del joined a Navy program known as V-12, an accelerated program that allowed him to acquire two degrees in 6 years; the first at Southwestern Louisiana Institute, which is now the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, with a BS degree in chemistry, and then at Baylor Dental College in March 1947 with a DDS degree.
At Southwestern, he was awarded the Accounting Forum Award for the highest grade as a freshman and was elected to the Alpha Chi honorary chemistry fraternity. At the age of 22, the now “Dr.” Delcambre reported as a Lt. JG to Pensacola Naval Air Station and, after 6 months training, transferred to the USS Midway CVB-41, home based in Norfolk. He was discharged from active duty in 1950, and resigned from the Navy as Lt USNR. He then married and was in private practice as a general dentist in Portsmouth, VA for 47 years until his retirement in 1997.
Community service was always important to him. He proudly served as President of the Kiwanis Club of Portsmouth, and President of the local chapter of the American Cancer Society. He also served as fund raising chairman of the Portsmouth United Way. Spiritually, he was active in many ministries as a member of Trinity Episcopal Church, serving both on the vestry and as an usher. Professionally, he was honored to serve as President of the Tidewater Dental Assn, and awarded the Simmons Award in 2004 for meritorious service to dentistry by the Tidewater Dental Assn. He also received a lifetime membership in the Virginia Dental Assn in 1990 and was honored to be chosen as a Fellow in the International College of Dentists.
Del is preceded in death by his first wife, Clyde Holland Hayes Delcambre, and second wife, Elizabeth Ward Delcambre. He is survived by his wife Page C. McGaughy; sister Peggy Motty; beloved daughter Kathleen Delcambre Meinzer; grandson Alexander Meinzer and his wife Caitlyn; great-granddaughter Diana Meinzer; stepson Gregory Lumsden and his wife Wendy; and grandchildren John and Molly; his stepchildren with Page McGaughy, Katherine Keel, Peter Axson, III and his wife Joy, and Elizabeth Axson; and their respective families.
A memorial service will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church, 500 Court St., Portsmouth, VA, 23704 on September 28, 2019 at 11 am. At Del's request, in lieu of flowers donations may be made to Trinity Episcopal Church or the charity of your choice. Read More