Charles Edward Bourgeois, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, died peacefully at home in Ruston, Louisiana, on March 31, 2023. His life was filled with the love of God, his family, and “he never met a stranger.” Charlie was the youngest of four children, born on September 10, 1941, in Shreveport, Louisiana, to Clydie Mae Smith and Jean (Dutch) Germaine Bourgeois. He is preceded in death by his siblings, Jean Marie Fortenberry and Bobby; James Elmo Bourgeois and Phyllis; and Thomas Wayne Bourgeois; and his parents. Those left to cherish his memory are his loving wife of 60 years, Patricia (Patsy) McLin Bourgeois, his five daughters, Deborah Lynne Bourgeois; Cynthia Bourgeois Geroux and Kelly; Terry Bourgeois Sagrera and Kimble; Lori Bourgeois French and Bob; and Betsy Bourgeois Dehart and Michael; grandchildren Courtney Geroux Wicklund and Lucas; Kaley Geroux Kemp and Carter; Lindsey Elizabeth Sagrera; Christopher Charles Sagrera and fiance’ Jolie Duarte; Harris Edward French, Charlie Elizabeth French, Anna Elizabeth Dehart, Andrew Michael Dehart, and Allie Renae Dehart; great-grandchildren, Catherine Leigh Wicklund and Elizabeth Marie Wicklund; and Charlotte Anne Kemp (August 2023); sisters-in law Marlene Duhon Bourgeois and Mary Elizabeth Bailey; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Charlie grew up in Sulphur, Louisiana. He graduated from Sulphur High School as an all-around athlete, with a three-year football and two-year basketball letterman, and was voted Most Handsome. He attended Louisiana Tech University on a football scholarship from 1959 -1963. He was a four-year letterman on the LA Tech Football Team and served as captain his senior year. This is where his love of the piney hills of North Louisiana began. Upon graduation from Louisiana Tech University, he was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings and received a signing bonus of $400, but unfortunately his professional football career was cut short due to a health issue. His business career began with Amoco Oil Company for twenty-seven years where he was the Territory Sales Manager over nine states. His love for his alma mater made it an easy transition back to Louisiana Tech University as the Alumni Director. Charlie was instrumental in bringing alumni together. A great joy of his was traveling to a variety of alumni events that were centered around good food, fellowship, and that signature Charlie Bourgeois cadence “Let me tell you a story”! He finished his career with the Louisiana Tech Athletic Department with a focus on professional fundraising and foundation development. He was a proud member of the alumni LA Tech T-Club while fostering relationships with current student athletes. While serving as the President of the Rotary Club of Ruston, he was the recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow Award. As a devoted and lifelong servant, for fifty years at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, he served in multiple ministries including spearheading the capital campaign for the Luffey Catholic Life Center.
Along with instilling the “gift of gab” to his girls, one of his passions was researching family genealogy. This included his discovery of our family name that dates back to the arrival of the first Bourgeois in North America in 1642. Charlie wanted his grandchildren to call Patsy and him, Mamere’ and Papere’, after his grandparents. This was part of his desire to instill a legacy that would continue into future generations. Throughout their marriage, they had a passion of traveling with their lifelong friends throughout the United States and Europe. Charlie also enjoyed duck hunting, fishing, loved to garden, and was an avid photographer.
To say that Charlie was the best “Girl Dad” would be an understatement. He spent many hours coaching and watching basketball, attending dance recitals and debate tournaments, watching his girls cheer, swim, play softball, and of course, the yearly distribution of the thousands of boxes of Girl Scout cookies throughout Lincoln Parish. Along with family vacations, attending Louisiana Tech football or basketball games were a highlight of family time. The traditions continued with his beloved grandchildren. Summer vacations, visiting the zoo, going to sports activities, swimming, and hosting the annual Camp Bourgeois which included Papere’s famous chocolate malts. His love of cooking was from his mother, and he enjoyed sharing his creations through family meals and preparing breakfast for the many slumber parties held at the Bourgeois home.
Charlie was a genius at connecting people and cultivating lifelong relationships – you knew you were loved!
Visitation will be Wednesday, April 5, at the Luffey Catholic Life Center of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 813 Carey Avenue in Ruston 9:00am – 11:00am. The Mass of Christian Burial begins at 11:00am officiated by Reverend Kevin Mues and Reverend Mr. John Serio with burial following at Kilpatrick’s Memorial Gardens. Pallbearers will be sons-in-law Kelly Geroux, Kimble Sagrera, Bob French, Michael Dehart and grandsons Christopher Sagrera, Harris French, and Andrew Dehart. Honorary pallbearers will be Hudson Akin, Jerry Callender, Bruce Cowan, Bill Cox, James Davison, Randy Ewing, Dr. Robert Flournoy, Charles Fuller, Jerry Gallagher, Dr. Hoye Grafton, Dr. James Green, Dr. Marvin Green, Jerry Griffin, Dr. Darryl Johnson, Dr. J. V. Jones, Jedd Lewis, Luke Lewis, Rodney Manning, Johnny Maxwell, Ron McNabb, Wayne Parker, Keith Prince, Dr. Dan Reneau, Dr. Phil Rice, Pete Thiels, Don Tippit, Leo Sanford, Mickey Slaughter, and A. L. Williams.
In lieu of flowers, the family request memorials to be made to St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church or the Louisiana Tech University Alumni Foundation.
Online condolences may be extended to the family at
Kilpatrick Funeral Home – Ruston
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