Leo Paul Blaize, Jr.Lionel "Leo" Paul Blaize, Jr., was born February 11, 1917, the third of three children, to Lionel "Leo" and Anita Parillo Blaize, in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi and died peacefully at his residence in Port Allen surrounded by family on Sunday, January 20, 2013.
He was the epitome of the "Greatest Generation," embodied all that it represented, and left a legacy of service. His word was his bond; commitment, dependability, responsibility, promptness and a strong work ethic were among his character traits and what he respected in others. Having grown up on the Gulf Coast, he enjoyed good seafood. He also had a special affection for dogs. He graduated from St. Stanislaus College in 1934 and married Josie Scafide in 1940. He served in the US Coast Guard during WW II and spent two and a half years as a radio operator on troop transports in the South Pacific, participating in the assaults on Saipan, Tinian, Leyte, Luzon and Okinawa. In 1947, he moved his family to Port Allen and attended LSU on the GI Bill, graduating with a degree in accounting in 1950.
He worked in the lumber business and was sales manager for Baton Rouge Supply and Baton Rouge Lumber Companies. Devoted to his family, Church and community, he led by example. A member of Holy Family Catholic Church, he served on capital campaigns, as an usher and Eucharistic adorer. He was president of both its parish council and Holy Family School Boosters Club. He served as Commander of American Legion McKinley Bourg Post 160, president of the Port Allen Lions Club and treasurer of the Knights of Columbus, Council 2875 with seventy-seven years of membership. His dedication to public service was highlighted as a member of the Greater Baton Rouge Port Commission for twenty- nine years, past-president and member of the West Baton Rouge Police Jury for twenty-eight years and third vice-president of the Louisiana Police Jury Association. He also was a charter member of the Board of Directors of First National Bank of Port Allen, member of the West Baton Rouge Library Advisory Board and helped organize the West Baton Rouge Tourist Commission. In October, 2007, he received the WAFB power of 9 Award for his volunteer work at the age of ninety. Always a sports enthusiast, he served as a volunteer coach for KC and CYO basketball, time keeper for the St. Joseph Seminary Prep School basketball team and proudly helped coach a Little League baseball team to a championship. He was an avid golfer, taking up the game at the age of forty-five and making a hole-in-one at the West Side Golf Club when he was eighty. He also had an uncanny memory for numbers and played Bouree' with a group of friends for over forty years. He was preceded in death by his parents, paternal grandmother, Mary Regina Drick; maternal grandparents, Francesco and Rosalie Palmisano Parillo; Josie, his wife of fifty years, and his siblings, Alice Blaize Scafide and Joseph Sebastian "Cotton" Blaize. He is survived by his second wife of twenty years Jeanette Gaudin Harvey Blaize, five daughters and a son: Andrea Blaize Brown, Anita Blaize Wilkinson, Angela Blaize Foley, Leo Paul Blaize, III, MD, Anna Blaize Wilkinson, and Alisa Blaize Dixon; twenty-two grandchildren: Charlotte Brown Jackson, Debra Brown Bourgoyne, Tammy Brown Bradley, Catherine Wilkinson Bergeron, Julia Wilkinson, MD, Margaret Wilkinson, John Wilkinson, Erin Foley Schuhmacher, Elizabeth Foley, MD, Stephen Foley, Michael Foley, Leah Blaize Balhoff, Leo Paul Blaize, IV, Matthew Blaize, Andrea Blaize, Lauren Wilkinson Wilson, David Wilkinson, Joelle Wilkinson, Paul Dixon, Ellen Dixon Cupit, Mark Dixon, and Mary Beth Dixon and twenty-one great-grandchildren: Spencer, Eric, Elizabeth and Stephen Jackson; Patrick, Michael, Sam and Grace Bourgoyne; Claire, Jonathan and Andrew Bradley; Gabrielle and Natalie Bergeron; Blaize and Mary Keating Schuhmacher; Thomas and Andrew Balhoff; Patrick and Audrey Wilson; Haley Cupit and Laiton Dixon. Visitation was at Holy Family Church in Port Allen on Wednesday, January 23, from nine to eleven a.m., followed by Mass of Christian burial celebrated by the Reverend Leo Guillot. Entombment with full military honors followed immediately at St. John the Baptist Cemetery in Brusly. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to St. Vincent de Paul or the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.