Curtis Joubert

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Curtis Joseph Joubert
Mayor of Eunice, Louisiana
In office
1981 – December 31, 1994
Succeeded by Hubert "Kutch" Rougeau
Member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from St. Landry Parish
In office
May 1968 – May 1972
Preceded by Two-member district:

Steven J. Dupuis
Sidney S. Sylvester

Succeeded by Multi-member district:

Armand J. Brinkhaus
Joseph E. Coriel
Louis Dischler, Jr.
Steven J. Dupuis

Personal details
Born May 1931
Lawtell, St. Landry Parish
Louisiana, USA
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Kristine Kimball Joubert
Children Candace Joubert Khalifa[1] Jonathan James Joubert
Residence Eunice, Louisiana
Alma mater The former Lawtell High School

University of Louisiana at Lafayette Louisiana State University

Occupation Educator
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Battles/wars Korean War

Curtis Joseph Joubert, also known as J. Curtis Joubert (born May 1931),[2] is a retired educator and Democratic politician of French ancestry from the U.S. state of Louisiana. He served as both a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives and as the mayor of Eunice in St. Landry Parish.


Background[edit]

Joubert was born in rural Lawtell in St. Landry Parish in South Louisiana to Edmond Joubert and the former Julia Prejean. Edmond died when Curtis was only six years old, and the child entered public schools speaking only French. In 1948, he graduated from Lawtell High School, an entity of the St. Landry Parish School Board, since reconfigured to Lawtell Elementary School. In 1951, Joubert served in the Korean War. Thereafter, he graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, formerly known as the University of Southwestern Louisiana or USL from which he obtained a Bachelor of Science and a master's degree, both in the field of Education. He undertook further graduate studies at USL and Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. In 1988, USL honored Joubert as its "Outstanding Graduate in the College of Education". In 1999, as part of its centennial celebration, USL designated Joubert one of its top sixty graduates during the preceding century.[3]

Educational and political career[edit]

In his educational career, Joubert worked as a classroom teacher, basketball coach, counselor, and assistant principal at Eunice High School. He is the former director of the Eunice Vocational Educational Center.[3] In 1961-1962, Joubert was named the "Southwest Louisiana Coach of the Year".[4]In 1967, he was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives and served a term during the second administration of Governor John McKeithen from 1968 until 1972, alongside fellow Democrats Armand Brinkhaus, a lawyer from Sunset in St. Landry Parish and a strong advocate of the French language and culture,[5] and H. B. DeJean.[6]Thereafter in 1980, under Superintendent J. Kelly Nix, he was appointed to the State Department of Education in charge of statewide ESEA Title I programs.[3]He also served on the Board of Trustees for Colleges and Universities.[7]

In 1981, Joubert was elected mayor of Eunice; he unseated the incumbent and defeated two other challengers as well. In his last election in 1990, Joubert defeated in the nonpartisan blanket primary his fellow Democrat Hubert "Kutch" Rougeau, 48 to 39 percent. Rougeau withdrew from a runoff election which he could have contested with Joubert.[8]In 1994, Rougeau was elected mayor to succeed Joubert, who did not seek another term. Rougeau took office on January 1, 1995.[9]

Mayor Joubert helped to establish the Eunice Mardi Gras celebration, considered the largest small-town gathering of its kind in Louisiana. He coined the nickname for Eunice, "Prairie Cajun Capital." Numerous journalists covering the 1988 Republican National Convention in New Orleans, which nominated the Bush-Quayle ticket, took side trips to Eunice to sample the authentic Cajun culture. In the process of doing so, many interviewed Joubert; such coverage brought national attention to Acadiana.[3]

Joubert founded the World’s Championship Crawfish Cook-off Contest. He has his own popular recipe for crawfish étouffée. He was instrumental in the development of the Prairie Acadian Culture Center, one of three sections of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve within the National Park Service. In 1986, he successfully spearheaded the renovation of the Liberty Theatre in downtown Eunice, which features the weekly "Rendez-vous des Cajuns" radio music show in which all the selections are in French.[10] He worked for the establishment of the Eunice Depot Museum. He joined with the faculty at Louisiana State University at Eunice, a junior college, to establish the Cajuin Prairie Wildflower Habitat. He is a member of the board of Council for the Development of French in Louisiana, widely known as CODOFIL.[3]

After his tenure as mayor, Joubert was executive assistant to the Louisiana Public Service Commission, the regulatory body for transportation, utilities, and communications, of which several future, including Huey Pierce Long, Jr., and John McKeithen, were once members.[3]

In 2008, Governor Bobby Jindal appointed Joubert, along with the New Orleans restauranteur Paul Prudhomme, to the Louisiana Tourism Development Commission, an entity created to foster employment opportunities in the travel and hospitality industries of the state.[11]

Legacy[edit]

Joubert and his wife, the former Kristine Kimball, have resided since 1999 in a 7,000-square foot house which occupies an entire block on West Park Avenue in Eunice. The house was built in 1981 by Thomas E. Powell, a former member of the Louisiana Public Service Commission from Eunice. The vanities in the bathrooms are onyx; the floors, marble, and the kitchen cabinets, walnut. A large oak tree shades the brick courtyard between the main house and guest cottage. An office contains the many awards that Joubert has received over the years.[10]As of 2013, Mrs. Joubert is the principal of the Eunice Career & Technical Education Center.[12]

In 1995, Joubert was featured in an article in Southern Living magazine.[3] In 2003, he worked in the planning of the bicentennial celebration of the Louisiana Purchase.[7] On November 29, 2003, Joubert was inducted as a "Living Legend" by the Acadian Museum in Erath in Vermilion Parish.[3] He is also an inductee of the Louisiana State University at Eunice Hall of Fame for his longstanding work in promoting Bengal team athletics.[13]

In 2005, Joubert was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield. Other Louisiana mayors inducted into the Hall of Fame include DeLesseps Story Morrison, Victor Schiro, Moon Landrieu, and Ernest Nathan Morial, all mayors of New Orleans, Kip Holden of Baton Rouge, Ned Randolph of Alexandria, George Dement of Bossier City, Joe Sampite of Natchitoches, and Hyram Copeland of Vidalia. [14]

In 2013, Joubert obtained an historical marker to commemorate the German prisoner of war camp at Eunice during World War II. A number of the former POWs visited Eunice decades after their confinement, some during the time that Joubert was mayor. Each reported kind treatment by the people there.[15]


References[edit]

  1. ^ "Maddie Garrett, Eunice Family Trapped in Egypt, January 31, 2011". KATC-TV. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Click By Voter, Curtis Joubert, May 1931". voterportal.sos.la.gov. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Living Legends: Curtis Joubert". acadianmuseum.com. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  4. ^ "From the Files of The Eunice News, November 1962". eunicetoday.com. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Living Legends: Armand Brinkhaus". acadiamuseum.com. Retrieved May 23, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2016". house.louisiana.gov. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Tom Kelly, "Winnfield opens Civic Center with Hall of Fame event: Renovated forestry building is modern, ready to serve for years into the future"". The Piney Woods Journal January 2005. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Results for Election Date: 10/6/1990: St. Landry Parish". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Results for Election Date: 11/8/1994: St. Landry Parish". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Bonnie Warren, Eunice's former first couple's trophy house". myneworleans.com. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Governor Bobby Jindal Appoints Members to the Louisiana Tourism Development Commission, April 17, 2008". gov.louisiana.gov. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Turner Industries donates equipment to ECTEC, November 13, 2013". Eunice Today. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Joubert inducted in Bengal Hall of Fame". lsue.edu. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame". louisianapoliticalmuseum.com. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Todd C. Elliott, Eunice WWII POW camp grounds slated for historical marker, July 14, 2013". eunicetoday.com. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
Preceded by
Steven J. Dupuis

Sidney S. Sylvester

Louisiana State Representative from St. Landry Parish

Curtis Joseph Joubert
1968–1972

Succeeded by
Armand J. Brinkhaus

Joseph E. Coriel
Louis Dischler, Jr.
Steven J. Dupuis

Preceded by
Missing
Mayor of Eunice, Louisiana

Curtis Joseph Joubert
1981–1995

Succeeded by
Hubert "Kutch" Rougeau