Walter James “Jimmy” Aguillard, Sr., 80, passed away on Friday, October 27, 2023 at his home surrounded by his family. A native and lifelong resident of Lake Charles, Jimmy was born on October 31, 1942 to Emile and Junice Aguillard.
Jimmy was raised in southwest Louisiana, and his love of the land developed into a lifetime career as a farmer of rice, soybeans, and cattle. He started farming as a young child, alongside his father, and went on to receive the Outstanding Young Farmer Award when he expanded his 30 acre rice crop to 300 acres and added 350 acres of soybeans. He also received A Friend of the Land Award from Gulf Coast Soil and Water Conservations District for being a good steward of the land, in March of 1979. Although Jimmy retired from farming in 2006, he instilled his love and good stewardship of the land into his son and grandsons who continue his legacy today. He continued to help in the daily operations of the farm until the very end.
Jimmy had a great love of family. He was a wonderful Father, Grandfather, and newly titled Great-Grandfather. He was happiest when his large brood surrounded him. He, along with his wife of 60 years, hosted huge family dinners at least once a month, where they all would feast on cajun delicacies and sweet desserts. Jimmy’s love for his family could only be paralleled by his love for the church. He was a lifelong member of Christ the King Catholic Church and could be found there every Sunday at 8:00 am, usually singing in the choir. After church it was not unusual to find him surrounded by his wife, kids, and grandkids. These were his best days, when he was encompassed by the love of his family and the Lord.
Jimmy had a love of cajun music. It was said he had the “golden voice”. His love of music was not just for public display; at home he regularly picked up his guitar and played as his children danced at his feet. Jimmy played with Simply Cajun, Les Estrangers, and the Midnight Ramblers, as well as many other local musicians. He also released an album under his own name with nine of his own original songs. Jimmy also played with the Lacassine Playboys. Their recording album “Don’t Bury Me” won three Le Cajun Awards in August of 2011 – Band of the Year, People’s Choice Award, and Best First CD. In November of 2011, Jimmy was inducted into the Cajun French Music Association’s Hall of Fame.
Those left to cherish his memory are his wife, Mercedes Aguillard, his 8 children; Dr. Jeff Aguillard (Christi Bono), daughter; Jolene Michelle Aguillard Hardesty, son; Walter James Aguillard, Jr. (Miyuki), son; Jody Aguillard (Mitzi), daughter; Junice Nicolle Aguillard Messina (Sal), son; Jude Damien Aguillard, daughter Jessica Marie Aguillard Foreman (Kevin), son; Jordan Blaise Aguillard (Jessica), sister; Anna Belle Taylor, step-brother; Leon Matte, 22 grandchildren; Zoe, Ana-Claire, Lauren, Kianni, Kyler, Zion, KoKoro, Trevor, Madi, Myah, Brayden, Grant, Nico, Marie, Jesse, Hunter, Hanson, Harper, Emilia, Branson, Jesslyn, and Blaire, 1 great-grandchild; Raisa, 1 grand-dog; Teddy.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a grandson; Skyler Aguillard, brothers; Oscar Aguillard, Harry Aguillard, sister; Virgie Marceaux, step-brother, Murrell Matte, Step-sister, Mary Ann Matte Broussard, and his step-mother, Nora Belle Aguillard.
Visitation for Mr. Jimmy will be Thursday, November 2, 2023, from 5:00PM until 10:00PM with a Rosary to be recited at 6:00PM at Johnson Funeral Home, 4321 Lake St., Lake Charles, LA 70605. Visitation will resume at the funeral home on Friday, at 9:00AM until 10:30AM. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, November 3, 2023, at 11:00AM at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church, 3939 Lake St. Lake Charles, LA 70605. Entombment will follow the Mass at Consolata Cemetery.