Julian Eugene Dufreche, 66, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by family on Monday, January 9, 2017. He was a life-long resident of Ponchatoula and member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church. He was born on June 10, 1950, in Hammond, Louisiana, to the late CJ "Buddy" Dufreche, Jr. and the late Patricia Perkins Dufreche.
Julian will be remembered for his many life-long passions. His love of nature included hunting and fishing, especially fly-fishing. All those who fished with Julian believed him to be one of the best. His Cypress collection and restoration of antique slot machines were of great importance to Julian, and he was extremely proud to showcase them to friends and family. Classic cars were another hobby, and he enjoyed driving his candy apple red '66 Mustang to car shows around the area.
Love of community and volunteerism were instilled in Julian by his late father, and former Ponchatoula mayor, CJ "Buddy" Dufreche. A list of accomplishments include his tenure as Tangipahoa Parish Clerk of Court (2004-2017), Mayor of Ponchatoula (1988-2004), Ponchatoula City Councilman (1976-1988), Ponchatoula Councilman-at-Large, Past President of the Louisiana Municipal Association, Past President of the Tangipahoa Municipal Association, Past President of the Tangipahoa Economic Development Foundation, Past President of the Ponchatoula Kiwanis Club, Board member and Past Chairman of the Louisiana Community Development Foundation, Past Cubmaster- Cub Pack 100, Citizen of the Year- Ponchatoula Chamber of Commerce, Past Board of Directors for Reynolds Boys' Home, Past Board of Directors for the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival, Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival King 2004, Representative for the Governor's Advisory Commission on the Tangipahoa River, past coach and referee for Louisiana High School Athletic Association, and numerous other boards. As a bat-boy for the 1961 Ponchatoula Athletic National Championship Baseball Team, he continued his love of baseball by coaching youth baseball and becoming Louisiana State Commissioner for semi-pro baseball, as well as past Commissioner of Baseball for Louisiana in The National Baseball Congress.
During his administration as Mayor of Ponchatoula, he was involved in the formation of The Ponchatoula Industrial Park and was instrumental in Ponchatoula becoming "America's Antique City." But, perhaps Julian will be most remembered as Founder and First Chairman of The Ponchatoula Area Recreation District. It was the highlight of his career and will most definitely be his community legacy.
His role as a husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend will be what everyone that knew him will be most proud. His extreme dedication to family was evident in every aspect of his life. Julian always said, "If you don't have God, family and friends, you have nothing." He lived his life making sure his wife, children and grandchildren knew how proud he was of them and how much he loved them. He took every opportunity to boast about his family, especially his grand-daughters. Without a doubt, they were his pride and joy.
He is survived by his devoted wife of 44 years, Janet Cortez Dufreche, son Edward Corey Dufreche and wife Melissa; daughter Strader Cieutat and husband Johnny; daughter Julianna DePaula and husband Tim; grandchildren, Kirstin Drozd, Helena and Gabriella Cieutat, Lena DePaula, and Lucia DePaula who is expected to arrive in March; brothers William, Daniel, Thomas, John, Scott and sister, Patricia "Sissy" Allgood, as well numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, brother, Edward "Eddie" Dufreche and his faithful companion, "Ole Podnuh" Baylor Boy.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend the visitation at Harry McKneely and Son Funeral Home, Ponchatoula, on Thursday, January 12 from 6-9 p.m. and Friday, January 13 at St. Joseph's Church from 8-11 a.m. with a mass at 11 a.m. Father Paul McDuffie will officiate and interment will follow at Wetmore Cemetery in Ponchatoula.
An on-line guest book is available at www.harrymckneely.com.