Lloyd E. Lenard

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Lloyd Edgar Lenard
Lloyd E. Lenard
Caddo Parish Commissioner
In office
December 10, 1984 – January 11, 1996
Preceded by New position
Succeeded by John P. Escude
President, Caddo Parish Commission
In office
1989–1991
Preceded by Tommy Gene Armstrong
Succeeded by Donald Aytch, Sr.
Personal details
Born (1922-07-29)July 29, 1922
West Monroe, Ouachita Parish, Louisiana, United States
Died June 11, 2008(2008-06-11) (aged 85)
Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Betty-Jo Sawyer "Skye" Lenard (1947-his death)
Children Carla Dawn Lenard Frye of Longview, Texas

Brian Drury Lenard of Hammond, Louisiana
Lloyd "Chip" Lenard of Shreveport
Two grandchildren

Occupation Businessman; Author
Religion Baptist
(1) Lenard was in 1984 a rare Republican member of the revised Caddo Parish Police Jury, renamed the Caddo Parish Commission.

(2) Lenard was particularly active in various Louisiana Republican campaigns going back to the groundbreaking 1963-1964 gubernatorial race of Charlton Lyons.

(3) Lenard's autobiography Papa Left Us But Mama Pulled Us Through recounts how Lenard's womanizing father deserted the family and left Lenard's mother to rear seven children alone during the Great Depression.

(4) Lenard's last book was coincidentally prophetically titled The Last Goodbye", based on his wartime experience in France.

Lloyd Edgar Lenard (July 29, 1922 – June 11, 2008) was an American businessman from Shreveport, and a former Caddo Parish commissioner, author, United States Navy officer, civic leader, and a pioneer in the establishment of the two-party system in his native Louisiana.

Family, education, military[edit]

Lenard was born to James Lenard (1890–1966) and Doshie Lenard (1888–1971)[1] in West Monroe in Ouachita Parish. The second youngest of seven children, he outlived all of his siblings. James Lenard deserted the family during the Great Depression. Lloyd Lenard’s difficult upbringing is highlighted in his 2005 book Papa Left Us But Mama Pulled Us Through. Of his mother, Lenard said: "This tiny woman had only Christian love and pioneer courage with which to hold her family together after her handsome, womanizing husband left her on a tenant farm with seven children and no resources." Lenard further recalled how his mother taught him and his brothers and sisters to "take care of ourselves and stand on our own two feet. [We] did just that, and in her declining years, the children took care of her and, strangely enough, of their handsome father who had no others to whom to turn as he became ill and started his long slide into death."[2]

Lenard graduated from Ouachita Parish High School in Monroe and attended the University of Louisiana at Monroe, then "Northeast Junior College". He completed his bachelor’s degree in journalism on a scholarship at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He obtained his master’s degree in advertising and merchandising at the University of Missouri in Columbia, a premier school in the field.[3]

In Missouri, he met his future wife, the former Betty-Jo Sawyer (born September 24, 1928) of Framingham, Massachusetts, whom he nicknamed “Sky”. She was attending Stephens College, a women’s liberal arts institution also in Columbia. The couple met at the First Baptist Church of Columbia. They married in Massachusetts on December 23, 1947, at the time of what was determined to have been the worst blizzard in the state in a half-century.

During World War II, Lenard was chosen for the Navy's officer training school at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana. He was a lieutenant with the amphibious forces in the Mediterranean Theatre.[2]

Career and political choices[edit]

Lenard’s graduate thesis was on the impact of the Dallas-based Neiman Marcus Company on the southwestern United States. He was offered a position with the Nieman Marcus training program but soon left to return to Monroe, where he became advertising manager of former Governor James A. Noe’s KNOE radio, since sold by the Noe heirs. Lenard became active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Junior Chamber International (or Jaycees), and the fledgling Louisiana Republican Party.[3]

In the 1963-1964 gubernatorial campaign, he flew around the state with Republican Party nominee Charlton Lyons, a Shreveport oilman whom he called "Papa" Lyons, to interview the candidate for radio stations and newspapers. Lyons was defeated by Democrat John McKeithen but nevertheless waged the first determined Republican bid for governor since Reconstruction.[3]

Lenard left KNOE and relocated to Shreveport to joined Atena Life Insurance Company as its assistant general agent. He later became general agent for Pan American Life Insurance, having been responsible for the hiring and training of sales associates. He also worked as a recruiter and trainer for Lincoln National Life Insurance.[3]

As a past president of the Americanism Forum, Lenard engaged in public speaking, mostly before civic clubs and schools. One of his lectures was entitled "Fires of Tyranny." He also was the moderator of the Shreveport KWKH radio program, Party Line.[4]

Political activities[edit]

On November 5, 1974, Lenard lost a race for the 4th congressional district seat on the Louisiana State Board of Education, a position vacated by Robert H. "Bob" Curry. The Democratic nominee, F.A. "Red" Davis, handily prevailed in a heavily Democratic year.[5]

Lenard’s Republican activities steadily increased, and he served on the 144-member Republican State Central Committee, which meets in Baton Rouge. He was the state party treasurer for seven years.[6]

On December 11, 1984, he began the first of his three four-year terms on the newly formed Caddo Parish Commission, formerly known as the Police Jury. His first term was actually three years. Other Republicans serving on the new 12-member panel were W.D. “Rusty” George and Tommy Gene Armstrong. The commission chairman at the time, Roy M. “Hoppy” Hopkins, was later elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives. Tommy Armstrong served a one-year unexpired term in the Louisiana House as well from 1991-1992.[7]

Lenard became commissioner more than a year after the defeat of Governor David C. Treen, Louisiana’s first Republican governor since Reconstruction, who was handily unseated in the fall of 1983 by Democratic former Governor Edwin Washington Edwards. Though Ronald W. Reagan twice won Louisiana’s electoral votes for president, the Louisiana GOP grew slowly during the 1980s, hurt badly by its failure to win the election for U.S. senator in 1986.

Jerry C. Spears of Keithville, the clerk of the Caddo Parish Commission, recalls Lenard, who held the District 8 seat, as “kind of a watchdog over spending. A budget hawk.” During his tenure, Lenard worked with fellow commissioners to revamp the animal control ordinance and was involved in the efforts to obtain a new juvenile services building and jail.[8]

Lenard was succeeded on the commission by fellow Republican John P. Escude. In the jungle primary held on October 21, 1995, Escude defeated Republican Jeffrey D. Sadow, a political science professor at LSU in Shreveport, 4,697 votes 56.4 percent to 3,628 (43.6 percent).[9]

Literary works[edit]

Lenard’s sentimental autobiography Papa Left Us But Mama Held Us Together received high reviews. Retired Judge Dan Sawyer of Shreveport evaluates Lenard’s work, accordingly, “a book for all ages. For the generation beginning its search in life, it serves as an example that anyone who keeps his/her eyes fixed on a goal can accomplish anything. To the mature generation it gives insights on life only maturity can understand and appreciate, but it will pry open the minds of all generations. The book is masterfully written. It has all the details of a biography written in the style of a fine novel. Mr. Lenard has the gift of choosing just enough descriptive language to paint a picture without losing the story in syrupy picturesque details.”[2]

Lenard also wrote the novel The Last Confederate Flag, which explores the philosophical controversy over the display of the Confederate flag in the American South. Lenard was a member of the heritage association, Sons of Confederate Veterans. In the story, a fictitious Stonewall Bedford of Georgia arises at a city council meeting to oppose militants calling for the removal of the Confederate battle flag. Bedford finds that the dispute before the city council is merely the "first skirmish in an all-out assault against his beloved flag and the South's cultural heritage."[10]

Other Lenard books are Miracle on the Thirteenth Hole (2003), a Christian novel about a golf-playing Baptist minister aptly named Dwight Church, who attempts to maintain his faith while he struggles with the pressures of society. The novel demonstrates that, like other human beings, pastors must seek renewal of their own faith from a greater power than themselves.[11]

Lenard wrote a collection of short stories entitled The Moon’s Cold Light. His final work is the otherwise prophetically named "The Last Goodbye". Ritz Publications of Shreveport, Louisiana, published this poignant love story based on his wartime experience in Marseille, France.[8]

Other interests[edit]

Lenard instructed evening courses in finance and insurance at Louisiana State University in Shreveport. He often lectured at high schools on the importance of good citizenship and the necessary vigilance to protect liberty, and, during the Cold War, on the threat of international communism.[6]

For some fifty years, Lenard was a member of the Broadmoor Baptist Church in Shreveport. He was also affiliated with the Shreveport Kiwanis Club. He was a board member of the Shreveport Symphony.[3]

Death[edit]

Lenard died in Shreveport. In addition to his wife, he was survived by a daughter, Carla Dawn Lenard Frye and husband, Hollis A. Frye (born 1946) of Longview, the seat of Gregg County in East Texas; two sons, Brian Drury Lenard (born November 11, 1954) of Hammond, and Lloyd "Chip" Lenard of Shreveport; a grandson, Ian Frye of Denver, and a granddaughter, Holly Frye of Dallas.[3]

Services were held on June 13, 2008, at the Rose-Neath Marshall Street Chapel in Shreveport, with Dr. Larry Williams officiating and Dr. Scott Tatum assisting. Interment was in Section 5, lot 221, Forest Park Cemetery on St. Vincent Avenue in Shreveport.[3]

References[edit]