Services Friday for Cajun humorist Dave Petitjean

CROWLEY - Dave Petitjean Jr., well-known Cajun humorist and entertainer, passed away on Tuesday, June 18, 2013, at the age of 85. Mr. Petitjean was a resident of Courtyard Manor Nursing Home in Lafayette along with his wife of 63 years, Audrey.

Dave grew up in Rayne and briefly attended Louisiana State University at the age of 16, but left to join the U.S. Navy and was assigned to the USS Estes, flagship for the 7th Fleet.

After the war, he studied Agriculture at Southwest Louisiana Institute (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette). He graduated and joined Olin Chemical Co. around 1950, from which he retired after some 25 years.

He then joined Louisiana Farm Bureau Insurance (Acadia Parish) and retired in 2000.

His goals exceeded expectations as he would entertain the world with humor, laughter, appearing in many movies, making commercials and emceeing. He made countless humor tapes and CDs that would make lasting impressions on his audience with his wife Audrey always at his side.

Mr. Petitjean’s acting credits include appearances in 14 movies and TV series, including Glen Pitre’s 1986 film “Belizaire the Cajun,” “The Big Easy,” “Angel Heart” and “In the Heat of the Night.” He recorded three CDs for Komaday, the comedy label of Flat Town Music Co. of Ville Platte.

He was one of the first Cajun humorists to perform at the long-running “Rendez-Vous des Cajuns” radio and TV show at the Liberty Theater. His expert timing and facial expressions were among the keys to his success.

Mr. Petitjean was able to turn his Cajun humor into motivational-speaking engagements at business conventions that took him to 44 stages throughout the country.

He had retired from performing in recent years.

He has inspired many people around the world during his journey. He was a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and Louisiana Legends.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, June 21, at 1 p.m. at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Crowley where Dave and Audrey were members.

Fr. Gary Schexnayder, pastor of St. Elizabeth Seton, will officiate for the services.

The family requests visiting hours Thursday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. A rosary will be recited by Deacon Dan Didier Thursday at 7 p.m., followed by eulogies by family friend Glenn Quebedeaux and long time colleague Murray Conque.

Burial will be in Woodlawn Mausoleum.

Dave is survived by his wife, Audrey Robichaux Petitjean; two sons, Joseph Dave Petitjean III and wife Karen of Ville Platte, and George Petitjean and wife Monica; one sister, Josie P. Cook of Rayne; five grandchildren, four step-grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph Dave Petitjean Sr. and Mae Prejean Petitjean; and one brother, Tommy Petitjean.

Pallbearers will be Joe Dave Petitjean, Adrian Canter, Jim Petitjean, Robert Cook, Dave Cook and Louie Cook.

The family requests memorial contributions be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Tribute#33755020, P. O. Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38148, 1-800-822-6344, or at stjude.org/tribute.

The family wishes to thank his many caregivers for their care and devotion to Mr. Dave, especially family friend Glenn Quebedeaux.

Words of comfort may be sent to the family at www.geesey-ferguson.com.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Geesey-Ferguson Funeral Home, 301 N. Avenue F, Crowley, LA 70526, 337-783-3313.

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