Obituary: Alta Vascocu Franks

Alta Vascocu Franks, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and friend went to be with her Lord and Savior Friday, October 28, 2022 at the age of 90.

Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, Alta graduated from Fair Park High School and attended Northwestern State University. As a teenager and very young adult, Alta was well known as a softball pitcher for her church league through Ingleside Baptist Church.

Later, she worked for Mid States Oil where she met the love of her life, John Franks. Alta and John married August 17, 1952 and remained devoted to one another until John’s death on December 31, 2003. Both Alta and John were faithful members of Trinity Heights Baptist Church for over 40 years.

Alta was preceded in death by her loving husband of 51 years, John Franks; mother and father, Mary Camille and Gordon Lee Vascocu; and sisters, Evelyn Losey and Melva Langford. Alta leaves to cherish her memory her only child, Karen Franks Recchia and husband, David; granddaughter, Lauren Mason Nunnery and husband, Neil; grandson, John Franks Mason and wife, Stephanie; step granddaughter, Amanda Recchia Oswalt; great-grandchildren, Faith Ingles, Logan Ingles, Jude Mason, and Maddie Oswalt; sister, Mary V. Caskey; and several special nieces and nephews. Alta also leaves to cherish her memory special friends, Bobby and Jane Jelks, Lonzo and Susan Lanier, Shirley and Norman Graham, Betty and John Fryar, Betty and Russell King, Brenda McDonough, and Betty Faye Womack.

The family would like to express their love and thankfulness to those who have blessed them with their love and care for Alta. Special thanks go to Dr. Dan Moller, beloved physician and friend for 40 years, Dr. Mandy Crow for her care and compassion to Alta these last few years of her life, faithful and loving sitter and longtime companion, Ella Feaster, and sitters, Kissy Day, Donna Kennon, and BJ Davis. The family also wishes to give special thanks to Wade Gipson, Betty Smith, Bruce Hunter, and Janelle Ward for their dedication to our mom and grandmother.

A Memorial Service honoring the life of Alta will be held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, November 4, 2022 at Trinity Heights Baptist Church, 3820 Old Mooringsport Road, Shreveport, Louisiana. Officiating will be Dr. Scott Teutsch, Reverend Billy Crosby, and Reverend Dan Lay.

A visitation for Alta will be held on Thursday, November 3, 2022 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, 1815 Marshall Street, Shreveport, Louisiana. A private graveside service will be held prior to the memorial service.

Honoring Alta as pallbearers will be David Recchia, Neil Nunnery, John Mason, Logan Ingles, Bobby Jelks, Roger Johnson, and Lonzo Lanier.

The family suggests memorials may be made to Trinity Heights Baptist Church, 3820 Old Mooringsport Road, Shreveport, LA 71107 or the charity of your choice.

Alta will always be remembered for her deep love for her family, her friends, and especially her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29: 11

Obituary: Jerry Dale Cart, Sr.

A Memorial Service celebrating the life of Jerry Dale Cart, Sr., 82, will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, September 9, 2022, at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, 2201 Airline Drive, Bossier City, Louisiana.  The family kindly requests that attendees wear a mask.

Jerry was born on February 16, 1940, to Norval “Sleepy” and Reba (Sledge) Cart in Hinton, Oklahoma, and passed away on August 19, 2022, in Bossier City, Louisiana.

Jerry grew up south of Hinton and attended Hinton Public Schools until he joined the United States Air Force at the age of 17.  After leaving the service, he was a Park Ranger and Lake Patrol Officer at Ft. Cobb Lake in Oklahoma.  Throughout his life, Jerry was an entrepreneur in both Oklahoma and Louisiana, opening several convenience stores, a lumberyard, a Chrysler car dealership, and a Piggly Wiggly grocery store.  Jerry was also appointed as a Special Deputy Sheriff for Bossier Parish in Louisiana.

At a young age, Jerry became a cowboy competing in local rodeos.  His passion for rodeos lead him to become a rodeo stock contractor and rodeo producer for several years in numerous states.  In 1980, Jerry was named Rodeo Man of the Year by the Short Grass Country News.  Jerry’s love for horses led him to become an owner and trainer of thoroughbred racehorses.  He entered horses in races in Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas for more than forty years.  Louisiana Downs Racetrack named him Trainer of the Month several times throughout his career, and in 2009 he was honored as Leading Trainer.

Jerry enjoyed playing dominos, watching westerns, eating ice cream, and listening to country music.  He lived a long full life and will be dearly missed.

Jerry is preceded in death by his parents; three sisters, Juanita, Jo, and Mickey; and one brother, Bobby.  Jerry is survived by his wife, Flo Cart of Benton, LA; four sons, Kelly Cart of Binger, OK, Brad Cart and wife, Connie of Binger, OK, Jeff Cart and wife, Lori of Binger, OK, Jerry Dale Cart, Jr. and wife, Diane of Binger, OK; one daughter, Jana Pierce of Bossier City, LA; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.  Please visit Jerry’s tribute page at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jerry Dale Cart, Sr., please visit our flower store.

Obituary: Phyllis Tidwell Wood

Funeral services for Ms. Phyllis Tidwell Wood were held at 4:00PM, Thursday, July 28, 2022, at Griffin Funeral Home located at 911 Warren Drive in West Monroe, LA, with Pastor Lewis Bartett officiating.

Phyllis was born on September 22, 1943, in Wilhite, LA, and passed away peacefully from this life on July 20, 2022, at her home in Vixen, LA.

She was a custodian at Pinecrest Elementary School and loved her job because of the kids. She loved to be around children. Her favorite pass time was anything that had to do with horses. She had a love for horses like no other.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Dallas Tidwell and Flossie Foster Tidwell; brother, Marty Tidwell.

Those left to cherish her memory include her son, Slade Gilbert; brother, Gary Tidwell and wife Ann; special friend, JR Mayo. She is also survived by an extended host of family and friends.

OBITUARY William Joseph Deckwa Jr.

William Joseph Deckwa Jr.

OCTOBER 11, 1938 – APRIL 19, 2022
Obituary of William Joseph Deckwa Jr.


Leitz-Eagan Funeral Home

William Joseph Deckwa Jr., a leader in the home renovation industry, passed from this earth on

Tuesday, April 19th at East Jefferson Hospital. He was surrounded by his loving family, who are

forever grateful to the compassionate caretakers, nurses, and doctors who attended to him

during the last hours of his life. He was 83 years old.

Better known to all as Bill, Mr. Deckwa was born on October 11, 1938, to Althea Fos

Deckwa and William Deckwa Sr. He grew up in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans along with his

beloved sister, Stella Deckwa Jenevein. Mr. Deckwa graduated from Holy Cross High School in

1958 where he was a star player on the basketball team.

Highly accomplished throughout his life, Mr. Deckwa began his career as a teller for the Whitney

National Bank before taking a job with NASA in 1969. He was proud of having helped send a

man to the moon! Afterwards, Mr. Deckwa was employed as a finance manager with Alside

Siding Supply. In 1984, Mr. Deckwa and his wife, Doris, opened their own company, Wholesale

Siding and Window Supply. With a dedication to hard work and customer support, the Deckwas

built the company, which is still flourishing in its 38th year, into a great success.

In addition to being a successful businessman, Mr. Deckwa was a man of many talents. He was

inducted into the Louisiana Poetry Society, wrote and published country music songs, was well

known as a horse owner at the New Orleans Fairgrounds, and played a mean game of pool.

However, his greatest talent was developing and nurturing relationships throughout his long and

blessed life.

Mr. Deckwa is survived by his beloved and loving wife of 52 years, Doris Junda Deckwa. While

residing in Metairie for the past five decades, the Deckwas raised six children: Rob Picou (Jodi),

Terry Deckwa Duvieilh (Warren), Rhonda Picou Sabadie (Guy), William Deckwa III (Elaine),

Donna Picou Crowley (Kevin), and Chris Deckwa (Kim). “Paw Paw” Bill was also blessed with

17 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.

A celebration of Bill Deckwa’s life will be held on Friday, April 29, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm and

Saturday, April 30, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, with a Funeral Mass directly following, at Leitz-Eagan

Funeral Home, 4747 Veterans Memorial Blvd. in Metairie. Interment will be in St. Bernard Memorial Gardens, Chalmette, LA. The online guestbook is available at

Obituary: Louie Randolph Davis, Jr.

Louie Randolph Davis, Jr. (Randy) was born on September 13th, 1952. He
passed away on March 19th after a brief illness.

Randy attended Fair Park High School and graduated from Louisiana Tech University. He went on to work alongside his father, Louie, and mother, Tootsie at the family business, South States, Incorporated.

Randy was very social, often hosting parties, and had a deep affection for the annual Cross Lake Flotilla. He enjoyed raising race horses and adored animals, especially his rescue dogs. His sarcasm and wit were unparalleled.

Randy was preceded in death by his father, Louie Randolph Davis, Senior, and mother, Edna Irene “Tootsie” Davis. He is survived by his sister, Dianne Davis Hanes, and husband Gordon, his nieces, Lee Anne Tilley, Joni Tilley Deardorff and husband Chad, April Tilley Mobley and husband Mark, along with six great nieces and nephews, and numerous cousins. The family would like to thank Marco Contreras, Susan Overstreet, Lamar Pugh, Bobby Pugh, Jean Cottingham, Heather Tolbert Miller, Cindy Walker, and Jessica Ray for their support of Randy.

A graveside memorial service will be held at 1 pm on March 26th at Forest Park West (4000 Meriwether Road, Shreveport, LA). In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Randy’s name to The Tootsie Davis Family Education Program at CADA or the Humane Society of Northwest Louisiana.

Emmit O. Pickett Obituary

Emmit O. Pickett

Doyline – Emmit Ovie Pickett, age 76, passed away on March 19, 2022, after a battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. He died peacefully with his loving family by his side.

Services will be held to celebrate the life of Emmit Ovie Pickett at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, March 25, 2022, at Hill Crest Memorial Chapel. Interment will follow at Hill Crest Memorial Park. The family will receive friends at 1:00 p.m. until service time.

Emmit, known to most as “Punkin” was born on March 24, 1945, in Minden, LA, to Eugenia and Ovie Felix Pickett. He attended elementary and secondary school in Doyline, where he graduated in 1963.

Punkin was quite the athlete lettering in baseball and basketball. He was a member of the State Baseball Championship Team in 1962 and All-State Basketball Player in ’62 and ’63. He was honored by his classmates as Most Athletic at Doyline High School. He continued his love for playing ball in college where he attended Northeast Louisiana University in Monroe, LA.

After college, he joined the Army National Guards and worked at Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant and then for KCS Railroad for 35 years retiring as Conductor. He was a member of First Baptist Church, Doyline.

Punkin had many hobbies such as playing league ball, racing his stock car at Hilltop Speedway, and when Louisiana Downs was built… horse racing!! And those who knew Punkin knew how much he loved the sound of bell going off and those magical words “and they’re off!” Through the years he had numerous winning horses and quite a few favorites… Nitro Chip, Ovie, Benwill, The Pickett Factor, End Up, and Cajun Country.

His love and compassion for animals was evident by his support for various animal rescue facilities. His last rescue and companion was his little dog he lovingly named “Webster.”

Punkin is survived by his son, Russel “Bud” Pickett and wife Jennifer of Shreveport; daughter, Robin Pickett Stewart and husband Chuck of Madison, MS; grandchildren, Benjamin “Ben” Pickett, William “Will” Pickett, Megan Stewart Slee and husband Eric of Madison, MS, Charles “CJ” Stewart III and wife Danielle of Chattanooga, TN; great-grandchildren, Paisley Stewart, Aubree Stewart, Kennedy Slee; sister-in-law, Willie Pickett of Doyline, and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents, O.F. and Eugenia Pickett; brothers, Bobby “Bob” Pickett, James “Wick” Pickett; sister, Marion “Black” McBride; and sister-in-law, Ann “Net” Pickett.

Pallbearers will be Cory Pickett, Paul Wilson, David Beaird III, Sonny Cox, Nicky Rawls, and James Serio.

Honorary Pallbearers are his grandsons, CJ Stewart, Ben Pickett, and Will Pickett.

The family would like to express their appreciation to the doctors and staff at Willis Knighton Hospital in Bossier City. In addition, the compassionate care that was provided to Punkin at Colonial Oaks Nursing Center and Amedisys Hospice will forever be appreciated.

Memorials may be made to Alzheimer’s Association at or your favorite animal rescue center.

Hickman, Fixture of Texas, Louisiana Industry, Dies

Willie Stuard Hickman, who served in several roles in the Thoroughbred industry in Texas and Louisiana, passed away Mar. 15. Had been hospitalized with pneumonia and was 64 years old.

Born in Red Rock, Texas, Hickman at various times trained racehorses and worked in the racing office at Sam Houston Race Park for over two decades. As stall superintendent, jockey room coordinator and most recently, stakes coordinator, Hickman had lasting relationships with horsemen in both Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing. He also did an excellent job as jockey agent to rider Alfonso Lujan. One of the most successful Quarter Horse jockeys in the region for 11 years, Lujan won over 2,100 races prior to his retirement in 2018.


Read TDN Article

Louisiana Trainer, Racing Official Palmisano Dies at 74

Palmisano trained through 2005 and later became paddock judge at Fair Grounds.

Gary Palmisano Sr., a longtime trainer and racing official in Louisiana, died Dec. 1 in New Orleans after a 19-year fight with cancer. He was 74.

Palmisano trained from 1976-2005, according to Equibase, winning 353 races for owners that included Bryan and Vickie Krantz, who raced as Krantz Stable and were prior owners of Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots and the defunct Jefferson Downs. Led by stakes winners Destiny Calls  and Coach Rags, Palmisano’s horses earned just shy of $4 million.

Palmisano died in the early morning Wednesday with his wife Karen and son Gary by his side. The latter is an executive for Churchill Downs.


Read BloodHorse Article


Robert was born December 24, 1940 in Jackson, Mississippi. He is the son of Robert Carter Nicholas Stockett and Caroline Price Stockett. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Jackson for over 60 years. He was a graduate of Murrah High School class of 1959, The University of Mississippi Class of 1963, and the Jackson School of Law Class of 1965. He was admitted to the Mississippi Bar Association in 1966. He was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order. He served as a director of the Rankin Hinds Pearl River Flood & Drainage District for over 20 years, a founding director of Jackson Preparatory School, founder and past president of Lake Caroline Inc., General Partner of Coliseum Ramada Inn, Metro Ramada Inn, Ramada Renaissance Hotel and McComb Ramada Inn. He enjoyed raising and racing Thoroughbreds and was a member of the Jockey Club as an owner.

Robert was preceded in death by his father Robert Carter Nicholas Stockett, his mother Caroline Armstead Price Stockett and his brother Samuel Henry Stockett.

Survivors include his wife Barbara Burke Stockett; his children, Susan Stockett Carnell (Glenn) of Corinth, TX; Robert Carter Nicholas Stockett III (Carroll) of Jackson; Kathryn Rutledge Stockett of Church Hill, MS; Samuel Nicholas Stockett (Mary Claire) of Jackson; and Charles Burke Stockett (Samantha) of Oxford, MS; 9 Grandchildren; and uncle Dr. H. Richard Johnson.

Honorary pallbearers are Johnny Stewart, Joe Speed, Dr. Bob McLean, Vaughn Watkins, John Lenoir, Trent Carnell, Phillip Carnell and Carter Stockett.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to French Camp Academy, 1 Fine Place, French Camp, MS 39754.

Obituary: Richard Ray “Dickie” Barber

Richard Ray “Dickie” Barber

1946 – 2021



Dickie was born August 4, 1946, in Tylertown, MS, to the late J.C. and Audie Walker Barber, and passed away peacefully at his home in Loranger, LA September 22, 2021, at age 75. He was a member of First Pentecostal Church of Hammond.

Dickie was a thoroughbred farm manager for 40 years having managed Camelot Farm for Dr. Jerry Adkins where he managed the stallion careers of Frazier River and Finest Hour. He also managed Time Bandit and Joe’s Son Joey at  Heritage Stud for Sonny Oechsner.

He later worked as a foreman for the Tangipahoa Parish Government.

Dickie is survived by his wife of 56 years, Dianne Price Barber; children, Renee Barber, and Krystal Barber; grandchildren, Tyler Ray Barber, Ragan Renee Szalajeski, and Lucas James Szalajeski; brothers, J.M. Barber (Melvia), and Dossie Barber (Linda); uncle, Ray Walker (Joyce); and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews. Special thanks to friends and family for their outpouring of support.