James E. Delaune, Sr.
James “Jim” Euel DeLaune Sr. of Denham Springs, LA died July 23, 2020 at the age of 88. Jim was born on February 4, 1932. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Jimmie Lee Wilkinson DeLaune, and four children: James DeLaune Jr. (Lynette), Lee Ellen DeLaune Howard (Tracy), Dr. Rex DeLaune (Kathy), and Mary Elizabeth “Libby” Shackelford (Richard), and one brother Howard DeLaune. He was preceded in death by his parents Johnston Scott and Nettie Yarborough DeLaune and siblings Harvey DeLaune, Cannie DeLaune Strickland, Jess DeLaune, Herbert DeLaune, Joyce DeLaune Harris and a special first cousin Inez DeLaune Markwick.
Jim graduated from Denham Springs High School in 1950. After graduation, he enlisted in the US Marine Corps and was on active duty in Korea. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Southeastern Louisiana University and a Masters plus 30 in Instruction and Administration from Louisiana State University. He taught history and coached basketball at Live Oak High School. He then taught at Denham Springs Elementary School and succeeded his father-in-law, Rex Wilkinson, as principal until retirement.
In 1990 he was elected mayor of Denham Springs. During his 12 years as mayor, the train station depot was built, Range Avenue traffic flow was rerouted to alleviate traffic congestion, the downtown antique district was revitalized, the formation of the Amite River Diversion Canal was created, and Pete’s Highway Interchange was funded. Economic growth was cultivated including attracting major retailers such as Bass Pro and Home Depot to the city.
Jim joined the Denham Springs First United Church at the age of 13. He liked to say he held every job in the church except secretary. He even filled in as janitor. He lived and exemplary life as a loving Christian man.
Jim is also survived by ten grandchildren: Michael DeLaune (Jaclynn), Rachel DeLaune del Pino (José), Stephanie Howard Harris (Aron), Melanie Howard Hernandez (Omar), Greg Howard (Kim), Rev. Ryan DeLaune (Rachel), Dr. Jess DeLaune (Charlotte), Emily DeLaune McGlothlin (Michael), Elizabeth Shackelford and Grant Shackelford. Twenty-one great grandchildren: Gabriel DeLaune, Daniel DeLaune, Hannah DeLaune, Caroline del Pino, Isabella del Pino, Julian del Pino, Abigail Harris, Paige Harris, Eve Harris, Slayton Hernandez, Camilla Hernandez, Mateo Hernandez, Isla Hernandez, Lucy Howard, Emmaline DeLaune, Charlie DeLaune, Eli DeLaune, Collin DeLaune, Claire DeLaune, Sybil McGlothlin, and Maisie McGlothlin.
Visitation will begin at 1:00pm followed by the service at 3:00pm at First United Methodist Church of Denham Springs. Interment follows in Evergreen Memorial Park. Pallbearers are Michael DeLaune, Grant Shackelford, Rev. Ryan DeLaune, Norman Strickland, Richard Shackelford, and Tommy Glover. Masks and social distancing required. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to First United Methodist Church of Denham Springs.