Albert Joseph (“AJ”) Cessac of Portland, Texas, passed away on January 7, 2012. He was born April 10, 1931 to Albert and Eunice (Luquette) in Perry, Louisiana. His ancestors had first settled that area in the 1830’s along what became known as La Petit Bayou de Cessac.
After graduating from Nederland High, Cessac served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict. He then began a long career with Sun Oil (later Koch Industries). Starting as a young clerk in the mailroom, he retired more than forty years later as a Senior Electrician.
Early on, work brought Cessac to New Orleans, where he lived in the same boarding house as a young college student Joyce LaBorde. Their landlord was a poor cook and the two slipped out often for dinner. She quickly became the love of his life.
A.J. and Joyce were wed on June 25, 1955. Their wonderful 56-year marriage began with a grand adventure: driving to Mexico City and back for their honeymoon. After settling into Sour Lake, Texas, he personally built a classroom behind their house where Joyce then ran a kindergarten. As their young family grew, he moonlighted with his own air conditioning business and performing electric work.
The family relocated to Portland, Texas in 1966 and soon grew to seven children. Over the years, Cessac became increasingly involved in his parish, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, and, in particular, the Knight of Columbus. For years, he served the area as a KC District Deputy. He helped found the Third Degree KC Council in Portland and led it as its initial Grand Knight. He also helped found Portland’s Fourth Degree KC Assembly and led it as its first Faithful Navigator. For decades, he volunteered his considerable electrician and carpentry talents on a broad variety of church projects and repairs.
A lifelong lover of cooking and hosting, Cessac greatly enjoyed entertaining family and friends. For example, each October, he and the Portland KC’s would host what is now called the A.J. Cessac Shrimp Boil.
In retirement, Cessac focused on learning the art of making furniture and became a master, leaving behind numerous heirlooms. Friends gathered at 3:00 each weekday afternoon in his backyard for more than a decade to visit, have a cold drink, and, as he said, “solve the world’s problems.” On Thursdays, he would also join his friends as one of The Romeos (Retired Old Men Eating Out).
Cessac is survived by his wife Joyce; children Cheri (Mark) McBurnett, Stephen (Darsha) Cessac, Kenneth (Laura) Cessac, Denise (Mike) Long, Kevin (Mary) Cessac, Nannette (Danny) Baucom, and Chris (Jeanne Sinclair) Cessac; grandchildren Laura, Dalyn, Danica, Melissa, Catherine, Kristin, Michael, Amy, Travis, Alex, Crystal, Tiffany, Aaron, Marie, Adras and Etta; great-grandchildren Autumn, Kyle, Kailyn, Braydon, Darious, Ashlynn, and Braelyn; his sister Hazel Chambers; and his brother-in-law Michael (Frankie) LaBorde.
Visitation will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 pm Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in Portland with a rosary to be recited at 7:00 pm that same evening.
Funeral mass will be celebrated at 2:00 pm, Thursday, January 12, 2012 at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church. Interment to follow in Palms Memorial Gardens in Portland.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church.
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