Terrel Alphonse Delphin, Jr.
A celebration of the life and legacy of Terrel Alphonse Delphin, Jr. will be held on Wednesday, October 31, 2012, with a mass of Christian burial to be held at 11:00 am at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Melrose, Louisiana. The service will be officiated by Father Adam Travis. Interment will follow in the St. Augustine mausoleum. The family will receive friends Wednesday, October 31 from 8:00 am-10:30 am in the chapel of Blanchard-St. Denis funeral home. The recitation of the rosary will be at 9:45 am by the St. Augustine Holy Name Society. Terrel, 74, traded life for eternity surrounded by his family on Friday, October 26, 2012, after a long and courageous battle with stroke-related illness.
Terrel was the second child born to Mary Bernardine Conant Delphin and Terrel Alphonse Delphin, Sr., on March 17, 1938, in Melrose, Louisiana. He was preceded in death by his parents. Terrel was a devout Catholic and a member of the St. Augustine Catholic Church where he was very active in his church community during his well years. He was a member of both the Knights of Peter Claver, Council 100, and the St. Augustine Holy Name Society.
The desire to protect and promote the beautiful Cane River area led to his involvement with the St. Augustine Historical Society for which he served as president. His impassioned plea to the Louisiana Board of Regents led to the establishment of the Louisiana Creole Heritage Center at Northwestern State University for which he served as Chairman of the Advisory Council.
He assisted in developing an ethnographic study of the Cane River Creole community for the National Park Service, served on the state committee for the National Register of Historic Places, the Heritage Area Commission for the Cane River Creole National Park, for which he served as co-chair, and was a board member of the Natchitoches Parish Tourist Commission. He earned his place in history as the "Father of the Creole Renaissance-Resurrection" as seen in the LPB documentary, "The Spirit of a Culture - Cane River Creoles". As special tribute to his abilities to cross cultural lines and encourage multicultural interaction was paid by the city of Natchitoches who declared March 29, 1997 as "Terrel Delphin Day".
He received the Creole Center's "Historic Preservation Award" in 1999 and 2003. The Natchitoches Police Jury presented him with the "People's Involvement Award" for his work in Creole heritage preservation. "Cane River Mayor" was Terrel's most recent honor bestowed. In his last quest, he worked to establish the "Civil Rights Hall of Fame" in Natchitoches.
He truly believed that the African-American community in Natchitoches has a significant history of leadership and achievements that should be recognized. On May 6, 2011, Terrel was presented with an "Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters" degree by Northwestern State University, for his work in bridging cultural and racial gaps through multi cultural education, harmony, and cooperation. He also received the award, "Natchitoches Treasure 2007", in February, 2008. Terrel, or "Brother", as we called him, was in law enforcement in Natchitoches parish for 18 years.
A career change was made in 1980 when he became a part of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, in which he held many positions, and rose to the esteemed position of Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Animal Health Services. He retired from state service in 2005 and became employed as coordinator for the Office of Homeland Security and the Office of Emergency Preparedness in Natchitoches.
Mourning his departure, but cherishing his memory are his loving wife of 44 years, Lillie Louviere Delphin; one daughter, Daphne Denise Delphin, of Natchitoches , Louisiana; his siblings: Mary Antoinette Delphin Bordenave,(Curtis), of Bridge City, Louisiana; Marie Theresa Delphin Morgan, (Dennis), of Natchitoches, Louisiana; Walter Martin Delphin, (Edna), of Shreveport, Louisiana; Thomas August Delphin, (Shirley), of Natchitoches, Louisiana; and Phillip Delphin, (Rose), of Houston, Texas, as well as a host of nieces and nephews. Those honored to serve as pallbearers include Thomas Delphin, Phillip Delphin , Walter Delphin, Derrick Delphin, Phillip J. Delphin, Mark Delphin , James Delphin, and Lynwood Delphin . Honorary pallbearers will be Dennis Morgan, Curtis Bordenave, Joey Moran, Joseph F. Moran, Clement J. Jeanminette, Paul F. Louviere, William J. Clay, Sr., Glen Dove, Bobby Breda, Dr. Hiram F. Gregory, John O. Colson, and James C. Billeaudeau. The family wishes to express its sincere appreciation to Dr. Otis Barnum, the staff of the Courtyard of Natchitoches, and the staff of the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center, and Hospice of Natchitoches for the care given to Terrel. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Creole Heritage Center at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, LA.