Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Richard Douglas LeDoux, Sr., Lt. Colonel, USAF (Retired)December 17, 1929 – April 28, 2018
EUNICE~It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that the family of Richard Douglas LeDoux, Sr., Lt. Col., USAF (Retired) announces his passing on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Eunice Manor at the age of 88. A Celebration of Life will be celebrated at 1:00 pm on Tuesday, May 01, 2018 at Ardoin’s Funeral Home in Eunice. Burial will follow in the LeDoux Cemetery with Deacon Gary Gaudin.
Born December 17, 1929, Chanute Field, Rantoul, Illinois, to Staff Sergeant Francis LeDoux and Pearl T. LeDoux. Because his father was a career military man Richard grew up moving to his father’s duty stations at Nicols Field, Philippine Islands; Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas; Post Field, Fort Sill, Oklahoma and Mitchell Field, Hempstead, Long Island, New York.
On December 12, 1941, five days short of his twelfth birthday, he left New York by train for his parent’s home town of Eunice, Louisiana, where he lived for the next eleven years. He graduated from Eunice High School in 1948 and Southwestern Louisiana Institute in 1952 with a BS Degree and as a Distinguished Military Graduate with a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.
He married Bertha Lee “Teadie” Manuel on February 15, 1952 and together they went to his first duty station which was Air Force Pilot Training at Kinston Air Base, North Carolina. Their first daughter Jeanne Denise, was born at Marine Corps Camp LeJeune, North Carolina, on December 10, 1952. They next went to Greenville Air Force Base, Mississippi for his second six months of pilot training and then to Gary Air Force Base, San Marcos, Texas where he completed the Air Force Helicopter Pilot School. Then he went on to Korea as a rescue pilot. While he was in Korea their second daughter, Suzanne Angelique, was born on August 02, 1954. Upon his return from Korea, he attended the Aircraft Maintenance Officer’s school at Chanute AFB, Rantoul, Illinois, and graduated with a Flight Test Maintenance Officer’s specialty.
Next he and Bertha and by now their two daughters were stationed at Sewart AFB, Tennessee where he was first assigned to a Helicopter and then a C-130 squadron. While at Sewart AFB, Richard, Junior was born on April 20, 1959, shortly after his birth Richard, Sr. and his family were transferred to Japan for a three year tour. By the time Richard, Sr. had been in the Air Force for twenty years, he had served six and a half years overseas in the Far East and Southeast Asia in the countries of Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The last five years of his time in the Air Force was spent in Southern California overseeing flight testing and development of the “Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Program” for the Air Force.
In addition to his BS degree from SLI and a year and half in pilot training and helicopter training, while in the service he also completed a year-long Aircraft Maintenance Officer School, Squadron Officer’s School, The Industrial College of The Armed Forces and while preparing for his dissertation for his Master’s degree in Political Science was sent to Thailand as a helicopter instructor rendering him a thesis short of a Master’s Degree.
After retiring from the Air Force, Richard, Sr. became “Jack of all Trades” giving flight instructions to fledgling flight students, aerial application (“crop dusting”), teaching at LSUE, managing the grounds and stables of quarter horse race track, repairing small tools and electrical and pneumatic equipment and advising the city administrators on disaster preparedness. However his greatest passion was for organizing and overseeing a rural water system that encompassed a one hundred and forty square mile area.
He is survived by his three children, Jeanne Gray, Suzanne Mumphrey and husband, Scott and Dik LeDoux and wife Debi; six grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Bertha Lee “Teadie” Manuel LeDoux and his son-in-law, Daniel Gray.
At the request of the family, visitation will be held at Ardoin’s Funeral Home in Eunice on Tuesday, May 01, 2018 from 10:00 am until time of services.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Veterans Association, Wounded Warriors or any service organization that benefits veterans.
Family and friends may view this obituary and sign the guestbook at www.ardoinfuneralhomes.com
Ardoin’s Funeral Home of Eunice, 1301 West Laurel Ave, (337)457.3371 is in charge of arrangements.
~ GUEST BOOK ~
WEDNESDAY, MAY 02, 2018Dick was a true and faithful friend. His dad, Francis, who founded the Savoy-Swords Water System in the early 1970’s, hired me as system attorney and Dick continued me in that position when he took over as head of the system. He grew that fledgling rural water system many times over. His management guaranteed thousands of homes with consistent clean water and outstanding service. He was a special client – he always paid me for my advice even when it was not what he wanted to hear, because if it were up to him “that wouldn’t be the law”. Dick was right handed and I am left handed. I put on my pants belt with my left hand, right to left “like a girl” as he said. At one of my last visits with him as I was leaving I turned around facing him and said I had to adjust my belt, and made a prolonged effort with my belt, pointed to it and asked him if it was OK. I will leave it up to you to say the words that was his response. What a man!~Vernon C McManus, EUNICE, LA
TUESDAY, MAY 01, 2018May Dick rest in peace, the times we visited, swapped stories and experiences will live in our memories.~Bill & Geri Blansfield, Austin, TX
TUESDAY, MAY 01, 2018Uncle Dick, I love you very much. I loved you even before you granted me mercy and forgiveness for a big mistake I made that’s between us and I’d rather not get into here. Before you had been my hero, and I emulated you and wanted to even join the Air Force, but I don’t think I had what it takes. I loved your jokes and beer drinking songs you used to sing, your stories about your days in the war you used to tell us. I love you for believing in me when no one else did not only in high school when I wanted to join the USAF Academy, but also in my present life, over weight and trying to be a novelist. You were to me a loving and forgiving man. Sure, you could get angry, but you had a sense of humor about you that made you big on mercy. That’s my memory of you. I love you very much. Rest in peace.~Leah Russell, Beaumont, TX
SATURDAY, APRIL 28, 2018Really great man! Mr Dic gave me my first real job at 14! I still use lessons today that he taught me back 38 years ago! He and Ms Teadie both we a great help to me! Rip Mr Dic, thanks for the life lessons!~John B Stagg, Eunice, LA