John “JC” Perroncel, Sr.
November 7, 1941 – June 16, 2023
Died at age 81
JC was born on November 7, 1941, in New Orleans, LA where he was raised surrounded by a large extended family. Even from a very young age, JC was exuberant, industrious, and resourceful. He married Carol Ann Gelpi in 1959, and together they had three children. In 1967, he was widowed at age 26 when Carol passed away of Hodgkin’s disease.
In 1969, he moved to Lake Charles, LA where he lived the next 54 years. In 1976, he gained three teenage boys when he married their mother, Shirley LaTour. Despite the blended nature of his family, JC raised all six children as his own. Two years later he earned his private pilot’s license. That same year he opened Louisiana State Optical on Prien Lake Road. An avid flyer, he owned several planes throughout the years and he shared many stories about his adventures flying and traveling around the country. He and his wife Shirley shared a love for adventure, horses, and traveling, until she passed away in 2007 from pancreatic cancer.
JC loved to entertain and host family and friends in his home. He was a fabulous cook and was always looked for an excuse to prepare and share a delicious meal. He had a knack for tasting a dish and then recreating it down to the last herb or spice. Over the years he had several restaurants in Lake Charles and Metairie, LA. If storytelling is an art, JC was an artist, or – as he would say – a “master.” He enjoyed sharing stories with family, friends, and really anyone he met (he loved a fresh audience). The stories recounted his rambunctious youth, the practical jokes he played on family and friends, and his many unbelievable escapades. If you knew JC, you could recite at least one of his stories – the more unbelievable they seemed, the more true they actually were. He seemed to have a joke or a story for every event and occasion. His greatest joy came from making others laugh. However, his true passion was being on stage (whether at the casino or at his home) singing karaoke and sharing his stories and jokes OVER and OVER. He truly loved people, making them happy, making them laugh, and helping in any way he could. He always “had a guy” that could help if you were in need.
JC’s many attributes made him impossible not to love and he was beloved by family and many friends. Even to brief acquaintances, JC was unforgettable. His quick wit, character, dramatic flair, and humor made him a success in business and personal relationships. He truly possessed, as he would say, a “dynamic personality.” It was a gift to know him and he is sincerely missed.
He was preceded in death by his father, Lloyd T. Perroncel, Sr. and his wife Chris Burns Perroncel; mother, Marie “Stella” Sanfilippo Locantro and her husband, Raymond F. Locantro, Sr.; his wife of eight years, Carol Gelpi Perroncel, and his wife of thirty-one years, Shirley LaTour Perroncel; two brothers, Lloyd T. Perroncel, Jr., and Douglas W. Perroncel; brothers-in-law, Sal Mannino and John Estes; grandson, Andrew Ryder; and two great grandchildren, Dylan Heaton and Faith Heaton.
He leaves to honor his memory, six children; John C. Perroncel, Jr., Connie Perroncel Thrift and husband Jamie, Cathy Perroncel Vickers and husband Steve, Dennis Ryder and wife Cathy, Keith D. Ryder, and Mike Ryder and wife Claudia; nine grandchildren, Carol Ann Perroncel Sackville-West and husband Tom, Kristyn Lambert Thigpen and husband Blaine, Michael J. Bua III and wife Kristel, Scott Thrift, Tatum Thrift Spikes and husband Lee, Heather Ryder Heaton, Austin Ryder, Chloe Ryder Prosperie and husband Hunter, and Griffin Ryder; thirteen great grandchildren, Jackson Sackville-West, Madilyn Lee, August Thigpen, Savannah Bua, Gianna Bua, Walker Spikes, Wyatt Spikes, Lance Heaton, Tyler Heaton, Daymon Ryder, Maddy Ryder, Chloe Ryder, and Capri Ryder. He also leaves one brother, Raymond F. Locantro, Jr. and wife Donna; two sisters, Estelle Perroncel Mannino and Sarah “Sarita” Locantro Estes and sisters-in-law, Mary Ellen Gelpi Vignes, Susan Gelpi Joffrion and husband Rene “Buddy”, Melissa Lipari Perroncel Davidson and Pat LaTour Barras.
A Catholic Funeral Service will be at 2:00 PM Friday, July 14, 2023 in the Chapel of Johnson Funeral Home. Father Aubrey Guilbeau will officiate. A rosary service will begin at 12:00 PM with visitation beginning at 12:30 PM until the time of service at 2:00 PM in the funeral home. Memorial tributes shared by his family will follow the service. Interment services will be in Consolata Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to Shriner’s Hospital for Children at donate.lovetotherescue.org/give/496996/#!/donation.