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Laurice Dean "Buddy" Napper
Louisiana State Representative
for Lincoln Parish (later District 12)

In office
1952–1964
Preceded by Carroll G. Jones
Succeeded by George B. Holstead
Personal details
Born (1925-01-19)January 19, 1925
Simsboro, Lincoln Parish, Louisiana, USA
Died March 6, 2013(2013-03-06) (aged 88)
Ruston, Louisiana
Resting place Simsboro Cemetery
Political party Democrat

later Republican donor

Spouse(s) Sara Ann Baskin Napper (married c. 1946-2013, his death)
Children Suzan N. Martin

Katherine N. Freeman
Laura N. Champion

Residence Ruston, Louisiana
Alma mater Louisiana Tech University

Louisiana State University Law Center

Occupation Attorney
Religion United Methodist Church
Military service
Service/branch United States Navy

Laurice Dean Napper, known as L. D. "Buddy" Napper (January 19, 1925 – March 6, 2013),[1] was an attorney and civic figure in Ruston, Louisiana,[2] who served as a Democratic member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1952 to 1964.[3]

Background[]

A native of Simsboro in western Lincoln Parish, Napper was one of two sons born to Lue Mark Napper and the former Maude Rogers. He had a brother, James Harold Napper, who predeceased him. He graduated from Simsboro High School and then attended Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, where he played basketball and baseball.[1] He played semi-professional baseball for the Winnsboro Red Sox in Winnsboro, the seat of Franklin Parish south of Monroe.[1] One of his teammates was future legislative colleague Lantz Womack, a banker and businessman from Winnsboro.[4] Still other semi-pro baseball players who later became known in Louisiana politics during the era of what was once called the "Big Eight", referring to the eight smaller cities with semi-pro teams, were former Lieutenant Governor Bill Dodd, who served from 1948 to 1952,[5] and W.W. Dumas, the mayor-president of East Baton Rouge Parish from 1965 to 1981.[6] The Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell also played semi-pro a generation after Napper.

Legal and political career[]

Napper obtained a law degree from Louisiana State University Law Center in Baton Rouge.[1] He entered the legislature with the election of Robert F. Kennon as governor of Louisiana. He succeeded Carroll G. Jones, who served from 1950 to 1952, following the resignation of Ragan Madden, upon his election as district attorney for Lincoln and Union parishes. Napper considered himself a "good government" lawmaker who watched closely after the interest of Lincoln Parish.[1] He was succeeded in 1964 by George B. Holstead,[3] a Ruston attorney who had been a track and field runner at Louisiana Tech.[7] He joined his friend Otho Lloyd Waltman (1923–2010) to form a law firm that lasted more than a half century. Until Napper's death it was known as Napper, Madden and Rogers; Ragan Madden was another partner in the firm.[1] Waltman was a city attorney in both Ruston and historically black Grambling who also served as a state district court judge from 1979 to 1982.[8] In 2003, Napper and Waltman jointly received the prestigious Robert E. Russ Award, named for Robert Russ, the founder of Ruston, and presented annually by the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce.[9] Napper was a Louisiana delegate to the 1960 Democratic National Convention, which met in Los Angeles, California, to nominate the Kennedy/Johnson ticket.[10] However, Richard M. Nixon, the Republican nominee, polled 54.1 percent of the ballots in Napper's Lincoln Parish.[11] Napper later donated to various GOP candidates, including former U.S. Representative John Cooksey, whose former Louisiana's 5th congressional district includes Lincoln Parish, and who ran unsuccessfully in 2002 for the U.S. Senate. He also gave that year to the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee.[12]

Death and legacy[]

Napper was a director of the Lincoln Bank and Trust Company. For a half century, he was a member of the Louisiana Bar Association and the Louisiana Law Institute. A tennis player and golfer, he was a personal friend of the legendary Ben Hogan.[1]

Napper died at his Ruston home at the age of eighty-eight. He is survived by his wife of sixty-six years, the former Sara Ann Baskin (born c. 1927), and by their three daughters and sons-in-law, Suzan and Wallace Martin of Ruston; Katherine and James Freeman of Franklin, Tennessee, and Laura and Greg Champion of Birmingham, Alabama.[1] Napper was a member of the board of the Louisiana Methodist Children's Home in Ruston.[13] His services were held at his home church, the Trinity United Methodist Church in Ruston. He is interred at Simsboro City Cemetery.[1]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 "L. D. Napper". tributes.com. http://www.tributes.com/show/L.-D.-Napper-95369972. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  2. "Napper LD Atty". yelp.com. http://www.yelp.com/biz/napper-l-d-atty-ruston. Retrieved May 2, 2010. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2008". house.louisiana.gov. Archived from the original on March 31, 2010. https://web.archive.org/web/20100331104823/http://house.louisiana.gov/H_PDFdocs/HouseMembers1812_2008.pdf. Retrieved May 2, 2010. 
  4. Lantz Womack obituary, Monroe News Star, May 28, 1998
  5. *William J. "Bill" Dodd, Peapatch Politics: The Earl Long Era in Louisiana Politics, Baton Rouge: Claitors Publishing, 1991
  6. "About Woody Dumas". ebr.lib.la.libguides.com. http://ebr.lib.la.libguides.com/content.php?pid=24346&sid=237145. Retrieved November 27, 2009. 
  7. "Descendants of Lemuel Holstead". freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:eVIj7R5RyuMJ:freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~halstead/lemuel/d1.html+George+B.+Holstead,+Jr.&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us. Retrieved April 25, 2010. 
  8. "T. Scott Boatright, "Parish mourning Waltman's loss: Former Grambling, Ruston city attorney dies at age 86"". Ruston Daily Leader, April 4, 2010. http://www.rustonleader.com/news.php?id=6517. Retrieved May 2, 2010. 
  9. "Mary Margaret van Diest, "Russ Award nominations sought". Ruston Daily Leader, November 29, 2006. http://www.rustonleader.com/news.php?id=2025. Retrieved May 2, 2010. 
  10. "Index of Politicians, Naaman to Nase". politicalgraveyard.com. http://politicalgraveyard.com/bio/naar-nary.html. Retrieved May 2, 2010. 
  11. State of Louisiana, Secretary of State, 1960 general election returns
  12. "Ruston, Louisiana Political Contributions by Individuals". city-data.com. http://www.city-data.com/elec2/02/elec-RUSTON-LA-02.html. Retrieved May 2, 2010. 
  13. "Members of the Board of the Louisiana Methodist Children's Home". lmch.org. http://www.lmch.org/board-of-directors.php. Retrieved May 2, 2010. 
Preceded by
Carroll G. Jones
Louisiana State Representative for Lincoln Parish
(later District 12)

1952–1964
Succeeded by
George B. Holstead

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