E. W. Gravolet

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Ezekiel Winnfield "Kelly" Gravolet, Jr.
Louisiana State Representative from Plaquemines Parish
In office
Preceded by Chester A. Wooton
Succeeded by Herman B. "Barney" Schoenberger
Louisiana State Senator from Plaquemines, St. Bernard, and Jefferson parishes
In office
1960 – October 24, 1968
Preceded by Louis H. Folse
Succeeded by Samuel B. Nunez, Jr.
Personal details
Born (1919-03-11)March 11, 1919
Pointe à la Hache
Plaquemines Parish
Louisiana, USA
Died October 24, 1968(1968-10-24) (aged 49)
Pointe a la Hache, Louisiana
Resting place St. Thomas Catholic Church Cemetery in Pointe a la Hache
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Grace Corrine Miller Gravolet

Grace Kay Gravolet Priestly
Gayle Marceline Gravolet Loupe Darden
Patricia Grace Gravolet (deceased)

Stepson, King Austin Yawn, III (deceased)
Alma mater

Holy Cross High School
Loyola University New Orleans

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law


Military service
Service/branch United States Army Air Corps
Battles/wars World War II

Ezekiel Winnfield Gravolet, Jr., usually known as Kelly Gravolet (March 11, 1919–October 24, 1968), was an attorney, businessman, and politician from Pointe à la Hache, Louisiana. He served in both houses of the Louisiana State Legislature for a total of two decades, from 1948 until his death in 1968 at the age of forty-nine.

Early life and education[edit]

Gravolet was the son of E. W. Gravolet, Sr., and the former Marcelline Hingle. He was born in Pointe à la Hache[1] and educated at Holy Cross High School in New Orleans. He received an undergraduate degree from Loyola University New Orleans and a law degree from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law.

Marriage and family[edit]

Gravolet married the former Grace Corrine Miller (1919–2000), a daughter of Lloyd and Ruby Miller and a native of Gainesville, Florida. Grace's first husband was King Austin Yawn, Jr. Grace's son and E. W.'s stepson was King Austin Yawn, III (1941–2000). He died two months before his mother.[2]

The couple had three daughters together. Surviving daughters are Grace Kay Gravolet Priestly and Gayle Marceline Gravolet Loupe, later Gayle Darden. A third daughter, Patricia Grace Gravolet, died at the age of ten days on December 8, 1951.[3]

Military service and career[edit]

During World War II, Gravolet served in the United States Army Air Corps, forerunner of the United States Air Force. After the war, he moved into his father's seafood canning business, taking over its management in 1950 at the age of 29.[4]

Gravolet joined the Democratic Party and became active in politics. He was elected while in his 20s to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 1948, when Earl Kemp Long returned to the state's governorship. Gravolet served in the House until 1960,[5] when he was elected to the Louisiana State Senate. Gravolet's Senate District 26 included Plaquemines, St. Bernard, and Jefferson parishes.[6] He was the Senate President Pro Tem during the administration of Governor John J. McKeithen, from 1964 until his death in 1968.

Gravolet was allied with Leander Perez, political boss of Plaquemines Parish, in unsuccessfully opposing the desegregation of public schools.[4] He also helped write and sponsored numerous grants-in-aid bills, particularly to segregation academies, private schools being set up for white students to avoid integration.[4]

A Roman Catholic, Gravolet is interred alongside his wife at the St. Thomas Catholic Church Cemetery in Pointe à la Hache.[4][7]

Gravolet died less than a year into his third Senate term. In a special election in 1969, his fellow Democrat, Sammy Nunez of Chalmette, won the seat and held it until 1996.


  1. ^ A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography lists Gravolet's place of birth as New Orleans, rather than Pointe à la Hache.
  2. ^ "Social Security Death Index". ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved December 26, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Descendants of Auguste Gravolet" (PDF). freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved December 26, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Gravolet, E. W.". Louisiana Historical Association, A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography (lahistory.org). Retrieved December 26, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2012" (PDF). legis.state.la.us. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 29, 2009. Retrieved December 26, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Membership in the Louisiana Senate, 1880-1920" (PDF). legis.la.state. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 24, 2012. Retrieved December 26, 2010. 
  7. ^ "E.W. Gravloet, A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography; this article is based on the Gravolet obituaries in the Baton Rouge Morning Advocate and the New Orleans Times-Picayune, October 25, 1968.
Political offices
Preceded by
Chester A. Wooton
Louisiana State Representative from Plaquemines Parish

Ezequiel Winnfield "Kelly" Gravolet, Jr.

Succeeded by
Herman B. "Barney" Schoenberger
Preceded by
Louis H. Folse
Louisiana State Senator from Plaquemines, St. Bernard, and Jefferson parishes (now District 26)

Ezequiel Winnfield "Kelly" Gravolet, Jr.

Succeeded by
Samuel B. Nunez, Jr.