Alton Thomas Puckett, Jr. passed away on Tuesday, June 13, 2023 at his home in Georgetown, Tx., surrounded by members of his loving family.
“A gift to many” and “a huge part of our community” are two ways that Alton Puckett has been described.
A native of Lake Charles, LA, Alton was born on January 17, 1950 to A. T. and Marjorie Puckett. He graduated from Landry Memorial High School in 1968, received his Bachelor of Science degree from McNeese State University in 1972, then married his high school sweetheart, Gisele Guilbeaux, on June 17, 1972.
Master’s work at LSU followed until 1975, then he and Gisele found themselves as Floridians when Alton was working as a Florida Wildlife, Game, and Fish biologist until 1977. After returning to Lake Charles, he sold real estate for a couple of years, then worked at the Gulf Calcining Plant 5 years.
During this time, Alton was pondering what he really wanted to do with his career, and…he established his own photography studio, Puckett’s Photography, in 1984 and was a renowned photographer in the Lake Charles area for over 30 years. Many homes have the stamp of “Puckett’s” on their cherished graduation, bridal, and family portraits. Alton’s unique gift was photographing children. He thrived on the challenges of these photo sessions, especially the special needs children. His bird chirps were his favorite distractions for the little ones, and a secret observer could watch the child and Alton looking all over the room for the bird. After the bond was established, the pictures came easy!
One of Alton’s proudest accomplishments was volunteering to photograph a special needs child who had never been in front of a camera. The mother admitted that she did not have one picture of her child. She cried when she had multiple photo choices of her daughter.
After retirement from his photography studio, Alton worked as a Youth Wetlands Education Coordinator. Being that he always loved working with plants and flowers, he became a Louisiana Master Gardener, using his skills to beautify the flower beds at Tuten Park on a regular basis.
An obvious characteristic of Alton was that he seemed to be driven by curiosity. Not many people will take the time to ask a person a question, and then multiple follow up questions, just because they are curious. Another uncanny ability that Alton possessed was remembering brides’ names, and many times, the date of their weddings, years after the event when he saw them in public.
Alton was always involved in family life, whether for special occasions or supporting the three boys in their multiple sporting events, especially St. Louis Catholic High School.
Pickleball became the sport of choice for Alton and Gisele when they moved to Georgetown, Tx, in 2021 to be closer to family. Alton was playing pickleball the week before he became ill in May.
Those left to cherish his memory are his wife Gisele Guilbeaux Puckett of Georgetown, TX., 2 sons; Jeremy (Kelli) Puckett of McKinney, TX., Jonathan (Leslie) Puckett of Austin, TX., sister, Debbie (Don) Starkovich of Lake Charles, LA., brother, Randy (Donna) Puckett of Rio Verde, AZ., and 5 grandchildren, Andrew, Sadie, Adalyn, Celeste, and Ross Puckett.
Alton was preceded in death by his parents, son, Adam Puckett and sister, Patricia Ann Garmley.
A time of gathering for family and friends will be from 4:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M., with a Vigil - Scripture Service at 6:30 P.M. on Friday June 16, 2023 at Johnson Funeral Home, 4321 Lake St, Lake Charles, LA. 70605. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 A.M. Saturday, June 17, 2023 at St Martin de Porres Catholic Church, 5495 Elliott Rd., Lake Charles, LA. 70605. Burial will follow at Consolata Cemetery.
The family wishes to thank caregivers Armando Flores and Lucy Montalvo for their compassionate care of Alton in his last days.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the St. Louis Catholic HS Foundation for the Alton and Gisele Puckett Scholarship fund by sending a check to:
St. Louis Catholic Foundation
1620 Bank Street
Lake Charles, LA 70601
With notation FOR THE ALTON & GISELE PUCKETT SCHOLARSHIP FUND
Or make a donation online at:
again with notation FOR THE ALTON & GISELE PUCKETT SCHOLARSHIP FUND