Obituary: Donna B. Brown

Donna Bean Brown passed away on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 at the age of 64. Beloved wife and best friend of 37 years to Danny Mack Brown. Loving mother of Misty Brown Spiers (Jason). Daughter of the late Norma Burford Bean and Aaron Eugene Bean. Sister to the late Pamela Bean Cousins, her precious baby doll. Grandmother to Jacob, Dylan, Jadyn (Tater) and Xander. All the light of her life. Steve Cousins, a cherished brother in law, niece Stephanie Irwin (Ryan), great nieces Ferin, Kyley, great nephews Camden, Ryker, and Slayden, nephew Steven Cousins (Connie), great niece Makayla, and great nephews Steven and Austin. Late brother-in-law Alton Brown, niece Jenny Brown, nephew Chris Brown, great nephew Brandon, and great nieces Kayla and Marissa. Mother-in-law Genevieve L. Brown. She leaves behind many true friends and loved all of them unconditionally.

Donna loved boiled seafood and a beer every Friday night of her married life and was a diehard #1 fan of the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, and the LSU Tigers. Donna was also the farm manager for Brown’s Thoroughbred Farm, a true horse woman that raised and raced many winning racehorses over the years. She was also a member LAHBPA and LTBA. Among her talents, she was also a very good bass fisherman, along with other things too numerous to mention.

She fought a courageous battle with Hodgkin’s cancer 37 years ago, and an ongoing battle with heart disease since 2007, however she could not survive her most recent diagnosis of Leiomyosarcoma, a rare aggressive cancer, and will be sorely missed by all.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend the funeral services at E.J. Fielding Funeral Home, 2260 W. 21st Avenue, Covington, LA 70433 on Monday, December 23, 2019 at 2:00 PM with visitation on Sunday evening from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM and on Monday beginning at 1:00 PM until service time. Interment will follow in Pinecrest Memorial Gardens. E.J. Fielding Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Please sign the E.J. Fielding Funeral Home online Guest Book at

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Funeral Services Set Thursday For Former LQHBA President Gerald Libersat, Sr.

Gerald David Libersat, Sr.

February 17, 1940 – November 04, 2019


ABBEVILLE, LA—NOVEMBER 5, 2019—A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 3:00 pm Thursday (Nov. 7) at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church in Abbeville for longtime Louisiana horseman Gerald David Libersat, Sr., 79, who died Monday at his residence.

He will be laid to rest at St. Paul Cemetery with Reverend Louis Richard officiating the services. Vocalist for the service will be Barrett Bertrand, and lectors, Shannon and Keri. Pallbearers will be Jacob, Brock and Colin Broussard, Brooks and Barrett Bertrand, and Mark Libersat.

Gerald will be lovingly remembered by his family and friends as a selfless, admirable caretaker and role model not only dedicated to his family and faith whole heartedly but also to his community, serving as past president and board member of the Abbeville Harbor and Terminal District for 31 years, Board of Directors of Bank of Abbeville, Chamber of Commerce for over 10 years, serving as president 1986-1987, Woodmen of the World Association member for over 15 years. Retired owner of Murphy’s Lease and Welding.

Besides his ultimate passion toward his family, his other great passion was his love of horse racing. Throughout his 32 years in the industry he has been recognized as a leading owner and breeder with an impressive career including 159 wins, 147 second wins and 167 third place finishes.

With the help of his son and trainer, Kevin Broussard, together some of their greatest accomplishments include winning 30+ year Breeder Award, along with setting numerous track records and being a leader in the industry. He has also served as president of the Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association. It is with great honor his family will continue to carry on his great legacy.

Gerald is survived by his caretaker and loving wife of 37 years, Julie; son, Kevin and his wife Jill; daughters, Keri, Shannon and Lisa; nine grandchildren, Brock, Jacob, Colin, Jenna, Anna, Kaitlyn, Kylie, Brooks and Barrett; and four great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, May and Murphy “Mutt” Libersat; son, Gerald “Boz” Libersat, Jr.; and brothers, Donald Libersat and Rodney Libersat. The family requests that visiting hours be observed at Vincent Funeral Home – Abbeville, 209 S. St. Charles St., on Thursday (Nov. 7) from 9:00 am until 2:45 pm when the procession will depart for the church. A rosary being prayed at 2:00 pm.

The Libersat family would like to thank St. Joseph Hospice and Senior Helpers, along with a special thanks to Regina, Roz and Mrs. Kitty.

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Obituary: Catherine “Cathy” Jones

Catherine “Cathy” Jones

JANUARY 12, 1946 – SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
Obituary of Catherine "Cathy" Jones


Catherine “Cathy” Jones passed away from complications due to Alzheimer’s on Tuesday September 3, 2019 at the age of 73.Beloved wife of Colden R. “Butch” Jones. Devoted mother of Amy Kacpura, Alison Ferguson (Chris), and Brian Jones. Loving grandmother to Camille Kacpura and Georgia Ferguson. She was preceded in death by her parents, John Bernard Clements and Catherine Cleary Clements. She was born in New Orleans. Catherine was a graduate of St. James Major and Southeastern Louisiana University. She was long time employee of Maison Blanche, where she achieved the rank of Master Merchant for outstanding work in sales. She will be remembered for her kind smile and infectious laugh. Visitation will be held at Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home, 5100 Pontchartrain Blvd., New Orleans from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. on Friday, September 6, 2019 with a funeral mass to follow. Interment will be at All Saints Mausoleum. The family would like to thank the staff of Heritage Manor for their care and compassion. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.




9:00 am – 11:00 am



5100 Pontchartrain Blvd.
New Orleans, Louisiana


Funeral Mass

11:00 am – 12:00 pm



5100 Pontchartrain Blvd.
New Orleans, Louisiana

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Randy Romero, Classy Cajun With Deft Touch and Strong Spirit, Dies at 61

By T. D. Thornton

Randy Romero, the strong-willed Louisiana jockey who parlayed “Ragin’ Cajun” fearlessness as a bush-track phenom into a Hall-of-Fame career highlighted by a gentlemanly demeanor and dramatic victories aboard championship distaffers, died the night of August 28, according to published reports. He was 61 years old.

Romero’s deft, sure-handed horsebacking skills were eclipsed only by his reputation for having rock-solid spiritual faith in the face of numerous on- and off-track adversities. For decades he courageously battled liver and kidney troubles. In mid-June of 2019 Romero disclosed that he was receiving hospice care after doctors deemed him too weak to undergo further surgeries.


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Obituary: Franklin Delano Rowell


Franklin Delano Rowell

JULY 20, 1933 – AUGUST 9, 2019
Obituary of Franklin Delano Rowell

Franklin Delano Rowell – July 20, 1933 – August 9, 2019

Frank left this earth for his heavenly home Friday, August 9. Frank is proceeded in death by his parents, William and Mary Rowell of Dallas, Texas. Also, two brothers James W. Rowell of Irving, Texas and Charles Rowell, who died as a child in Dallas, Texas. Two sisters, Margaret Wightman, and Mary Frances Hester both of Athens, Texas. A stepson, Clinton Wayne Hargis, of the Woodlands, Texas.

He is survived by his wife Barbara, a son, Raymond Diehl and his wife Susan of Brownwood, Texas, a daughter Debbie Burkhart and her husband Glester of Kempner, Texas and a daughter Darlene Neely and her husband Jack of Marshall, Texas. A daughter Lynn Wellborn of Denton, Texas. A step daughter, Kathryn Stevens of Azle, Texas. Nephew James W. Rowell Jr. and his wife Susan. Many grandchildren, great grandchildren, relatives and friends.

Frank was born in Dallas, Texas but lived in many places, finally retiring to Arnaudville, Louisiana where he bred and raced Thoroughbred Race Horses in Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Texas. He currently resided in The Woodlands, Texas since 2011. Frank joined the US Army July 27, 1948 at the age of 15 years old. He commanded troops in Japan and Korea. Served his country with the B Battery 31st FABN, 7th Infantry Division – US Army.

Frank had a successful business career and created several prosperous entrepreneur business enterprises. Among them Vice President, Technical Films Inc., and Manager of the Media Division of the US Postal System. Successful business ventures included, Restaurant owner and operator, Owner and executive of a construction business, housing contractor, and most recently owner and breeder of thoroughbred race horses. He respected and honored business partners, nephew James W. Rowell Jr. and Ernie Longoria.

Frank will be laid to rest 11:15 AM, Friday, August 16 at the Dallas – Fort Worth National Cemetery, 2000 Mountain Creek Parkway, Dallas, Texas 75211.

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Trainer Troy Young Dies at 58

Young was a rodeo champion and successful trainer for 30 years.


Veteran Louisiana trainer Troy James Young, 58, died at his home in Opelousas Aug. 16, according to his family.

Born in Crowley, La., Young got introduced to horses through his father, Lee, who grew up on a livestock and crop farm in St. Landry Parish. Lee Young trained Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds at Evangeline Downs and Delta Downs and built Louisiana Stud for C.T. Fuller of Pennsylvania. Louisiana Stud was sold in the 1980s and later reopened as Copper Crowne.

Troy Young inherited his father’s riding talent and won cutting horse titles at the National High School Rodeo Finals in 1976 and 1977, competing against riders from 31 states and two Canadian provinces. Young also won championship titles in calf roping, team roping, and earned several all-around cowboy titles. His rodeo career extended into college, where he attended McNeese State University on a rodeo scholarship.

Like his father, Young found his way to the racetrack. He won 22 races his first year as a licensed trainer in 1984 and finished in the money in 44% of his starts.

Hero’s Countess in 1988 would become the first of 56 stakes winners he would campaign during 30 years as a trainer. His other top performers included grade 3 winner Dickey Rickey, Rebel Stakes winner B.J.’s Delta Pro, seven-time stakes winner Doctor Mike, and Leslie’s Love, who won six stakes on dirt and turf. Young also trained One Brick Shy, who would win the inaugural Claiming Crown Jewel Stakes at Canterbury Park in 1999 and later win the Louisiana Champions Day Turf Stakes.

In all, Young won 865 (17%) races and placed in an additional 1,448. He would retire from racing in 2013 with $15,789,018 in purses. He left racing to manage the family’s Indian Hills Country Club, which was started by his father.

Young’s family said he enjoyed family cookouts and gatherings, hunting, fishing, dancing and watching football with family and friends. He is survived by his children, Tyler James Young of Lafayette, La., Meghan Leigh Young Duplantis and husband Chase Henry Duplantis of Arnaudville, La., Kaitlin Young LeBlanc and husband Oliver John LeBlanc, IV of Church Point, La.; mother, Shirley Leger Young of Grand Coteau; the mother of his children, Hester A. Young; his brother, Marty Young of Grand Coteau; sisters, Lea Ann Young Bullara and husband Dean of Opelousas, LA and his sister, Shirlene Young of Lafayette; and five grandchildren.

The family requests donations be made to St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital, which has been the beneficiary of a charity golf tournament held annually at Indian Hills.


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Former longtime T-P horseracing scribe Bob Fortus dies at 69

Bob Fortus, a longtime Times-Picayune writer who won national awards for his painstaking coverage of horse racing in New Orleans over three decades, died Tuesday of complications of injuries he suffered when a car struck him on March 29. Fortus, who died in Capitol House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Baton Rouge, was 69.

Fortus, who had walked with a cane after surgery two years ago to remove a benign tumor from his spine, was hit when he was crossing North Lopez Street at Grand Route St. John, police said.

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Obituary: Melvin Phillips

Benton – Mel Phillips, age 69, passed away on Monday June 17, 2019, after a rather short battle with pulmonary fibrosis. The visitation will be held Saturday, 10:00 AM at First United Methodist Church, Old Minden Road, Bossier City, followed by a Celebration of Life.

Mel attended Mcleansboro HS in southern Illinois and played basketball on scholarship at North Texas State University. He entered the U.S Navy where he met Brenda which would begin their journey from CA to LA, where they’re resided 37 years. Mel started his career with Prudential and years later transitioned to Edward Jones, Acquiring many loyal clients and friends. His hobbies have been golf, horses, baseball and fishing, but his most recent passion has been watching his two granddaughters play softball. Mel loved people and gatherings with family and friends. He was a man of strength and honor, who set a Godly example and lived out his faith. “Mr. Mel” will remain in the hearts of those he touched.

Mel was preceded in death by his Father, Carrol Phillips; mother, Kathleen; Brother Leon; son, Tony Ortiz, he is survived by his wife, Brenda; brother, Roger and wife Miya; children are daughter, Ginger, and Michael Bellindo, son, Tommy Ortiz; daughter, Tina Phillips. Grandchildren are Marco, Bryson, Jessica, Ava and Dylan; One great-grandson Luca, with numerous nieces and nephews.

The family request memorials are made to the Helping Hands of United Methodist in lieu of flowers.

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Obituary: Mario Andre Espin

Mario A. Espin (better known as Kit among his friends) was born in 1950. Over the years he lived in Montana, New York, Missouri and Florida. He earned degrees in engineering and business administration, but his passions were rodeo and horses, and he was always easy on horses. A true cowboy, he and his wife Dee owned Santa Fe Equine, in Earleton. He passed unexpectedly on May 29, 2019. He is survived by his wife, siblings and niece, and in-laws.

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Ronnie Virgets, distinct New Orleans voice and storyteller, dies at 77


Ronnie Virgets, a thoroughly rounded, freewheeling writer who could hold forth in a distinctive New Orleans accent on such diverse topics as modern literature, horse racing and the foibles of his fellow citizens, died Monday night (May 20) at Ormond Nursing Home in Destrehan. He was 77.

The cause of death has not been determined, said Lynne Jensen, his longtime companion.

Mr. Virgets, awarded for his writing and television work, never shed the distinctive accent of his native 3rd Ward. “He was a walking, talking paradox,” Jensen said. “He was a genius y’at. How much more of a paradox can you get?”


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