For more than 35 years, every Knights of Columbus Law Enforcement Appreciation Banquet was meticulously planned by Claude Babineaux.
Babineaux, who died in January, was honored Sept. 30 as the founder of the banquet, which celebrated its 40th year of recognizing law enforcement officers with a dinner and awards ceremony in Gonzales.
Babineaux’s reputation for telling corny jokes and pestering folks to volunteer for his many causes were remembered by Sheriff Jeff Wiley and others who have attended the banquet for years.
Two of Babineaux’s three sons attended the banquet and sat silently as KC member Bud Braud talked about the elder Babineaux’s many accomplishments.
Keith Babineaux, who works for the Sheriff’s Office, said he was touched by the tribute.
“Dad never wanted any attention. He was just a servant to the community,” Keith said. “I think about him all the time.”
Claude Babineaux was a retired maintenance supervisor with Southern Maintenance Inc. and a U.S. Army veteran. He left a large footprint of service in the city of Gonzales where he served on numerous boards and councils. He was a member of the Gonzales Hall of Fame, Seniors and Lawmen Together with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the city of Gonzales Planning and Zoning Commission.
He also was a devoted volunteer with Boy and Girl Scout groups and was a longtime member of the St. Theresa Council 2657 Knights of Columbus.
Babineaux also started similar banquets to honor teachers and firefighters. He passed the banquets’ leadership torch several years ago.
To continue Babineaux’s legacy, members of five Knights of Columbus councils in Ascension Parish honored law enforcement members from the Gonzales Police Department, Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office and Louisiana State Police Troop A.
Gonzales Police Chief Sherman Jackson presented Detective Jacob Ory with the award for his service as a juvenile officer. He was hired in 2009 and eventually promoted to detective.
Lt. Laura Gremillion was honored for her service as a 911 dispatcher by Wiley, who praised Gremillion for her years of service.
Trooper Douglas Thompson received the award for his work with State Police.