As many already know via television, Facebook, and radio, Erath's own DL (Doris Leon) Menard passed away early this morning at the age of 85.
Mr. D.L. was born the only child of Ophy and Helena (Primeaux) Menard on April 14, 1932. Per his granddaughter Nelda, “he passed away at 7:20 am on July 27, 2017, and is no longer in pain.”
He was dubbed the “Cajun Hank Williams” many moons ago and most of us grew up hearing that phrase in our youth. When asked what. D.L. stood for, he would say with the biggest smirk that it meant "Darn Lucky"... If you ask me, our small town of Erath and our people were the lucky ones to have him part of our community, our heritage and of course, our music. He was such a humble, sweet man with a quick wit who loved to laugh.
Those who knew him will remember this man with the sweetest soul, who made chairs for a living in our small town. He also is the man who performed at many events for us, too. His music always made us feel like dancing, especially his biggest hit “La Porte En Arrière (The Back Door).
As a retired teacher, I saw him enter our Erath schools often to graciously donate his time and perform for our children for Cajun units, proms, special events and to promote his unique brand of music.
At Dozier Elementary, I watched in awe as his young granddaughter Nelda sat beside him to perform together. The first time I remember this she was probably in 1st grade or so. It was such a precious sight to see. As someone who treasured her time with her grandfather, that touched my heart and soul beyond belief.
Another moment special for me is when he performed at the Erath High Jr. Sr. Banquet in 1993. I was so proud of how the young teenagers at that time welcomed this man and his music. After the performance, they gathered around him proudly so I could take a picture. He, of course, was beaming with pride to pose with them. Throughout his career, he offered his time to Dozier Elementary, Erath Middle, and Erath High often and we thank him for that! My hope now is that he knows those memories are buried deep in our hearts!
DL and his late wife Louella had seven children, Larry, Rebecca, Doris, Curt, Dick, Todd, and Darrell that led to several grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Please keep all in your prayers as they mourn their father, grandfather and family member. Please also keep our community in your thoughts as we lay to rest our quick witted Erathian and local music legend.
Just this past July 2nd, our Erath 4th of July Association graciously honored him on his 55th Anniversary of his hit “La Porte En Arrière (The Back Door). Many of us knew deep in our hearts it would be his final performance and sadly, it was. Kudos to the Association for sending him off in a remarkable way! The best part was that his family performed with him that night. Such a wonderful memory for all of them.
Rest Easy, Mr. DL, our very own Cajun Hank Williams! Erath will miss you in more ways than you can imagine. We were “Darn Lucky” to have you as our own!
DL (Doris Leon) Menard April 14, 1932-July 27, 2017.
You can read more about Mr. DL with this Wikipedia link en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D._L._Menard
Music in the video is “La Porte En Arrière (The Back Door) that was written and performed by DL Menard.