Rayford Joseph Fontenot

September 17, 1935 ~ February 4, 2024

Born in: Mamou, LA
Resided in: Lake Charles, LA

Rayford Joseph Fontenot, 88, peacefully passed away on Sunday, February 4, 2024. Born in Mamou, Louisiana to Eugee’ and Eva Fontenot on September 17, 1935, Rayford left a lasting impact on those who knew him.

At the age of 17, Rayford joined the Navy, earning the nickname “Frenchie.” His journey led him around the world, and he eventually settled in Eunice, Louisiana, where he met and married Gloria Veronica Andrepont. In 1962, they moved to Lake Charles, where he became a highly respected auto body and repair shop manager, leaving his mark at Neal Plymouth, Calcasieu Chrysler, Don Siebarth Pontiac, and Billy Navarre.

Rayford was not only skilled in his professional life but also found joy in various hobbies. An avid fisherman and gardener, he was renowned for his tomatoes, banana peppers, and cucumbers. Additionally, he showcased his talents as an incredible woodworker, sketch artist, and self-taught guitar player. Rayford even left his musical legacy by writing and recording several songs.

Rayford is survived by his loving children: Cas J. Fontenot (Stephanie), Cornel P. Fontenot (Jenny), Anastasia R. Gallien (Clayton), Darleen J. Ezernack (Jerome), Craig M. Fontenot (Tina), Corey J. Fontenot (Heather), Rachel A. Fontenot, and Virginia J. Fontenot; and his sister, Jane Fontenot Thibodeaux of Eunice, LA. He is also remembered by 19 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Reuniting with his beloved wife, Gloria A. Fontenot, in heaven, Rayford is also preceded by his parents and his siblings: Hazel Higginbotham, Bee Fontenot, Burke Fontenot, Helena Fontenot, Anthony E. Fontenot, and Clarence Dale Fontenot.

A Mass of Christian Burial in celebration of Rayford’s life will take place at 11:00 AM on Saturday, February 10, 2024, at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church, 3939 Lake Street, Lake Charles, LA. Father Randall Moreau will serve as the Celebrant, and burial will follow in Highland Memory Gardens Cemetery, under the direction of Johnson Funeral Home.

Visitation hours will begin at 4:00 PM on Friday, February 9, continuing until 8:00 PM, with a rosary being recited at 6:30 PM. The visitation will resume at 9:30 AM on Saturday morning, continuing until leaving in procession to the church.

The family would like to thank the staff of Grand Cove Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, and especially the staff of the Southwest Louisiana Veterans Home for their compassionate care of our dear father.

Memorial donations may be made to the Wounded Warriors Project.

Words of comfort and condolences to the family can be expressed at


Visitation: Friday, February 9, 2024
4:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Johnson Funeral Home
4321 Lake Street
Lake Charles, LA 70605

Rosary: Friday, February 9, 2024
6:30 pm

Johnson Funeral Home
4321 Lake Street
Lake Charles, LA 70605

Visitation: Saturday, February 10, 2024
9:30 am - 10:30 am

Johnson Funeral Home
4321 Lake Street
Lake Charles, LA 70605

Mass of Christian Burial: Saturday, February 10, 2024
11:00 am

Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church
3939 Lake St.
Lake Charles, LA 70605

An image showing the branch of service for Navy Veteran

View current weather.

Tribute Video

Memories Timeline


Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle

  1. Candle 1
  2. Candle 2
  3. Candle 3
  4. Candle 4
  5. Candle 5
  6. Candle 6
  7. Candle 7
  8. Candle 8