Bobby DeBlieux memorialized in bronze

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Unveiling the bust are, from left, daughter Cammie DeBlieux Davis, Payne Williams, Larry Crowder, in back, and daughter Dene’ DeBlieux Mathies.

Part 3 of 3 in a series

By Hannah Richardson, lifestyleeditor@natchitochestimes.com

It was a clear and sunny day in Natchitoches Saturday, Nov. 10 for the unveiling of the Robert Buford “Bobby” DeBlieux bust, located at Natchitoches City Park. The crowd shared some laughter and smiles reminiscing over the life of DeBlieux and his impact on the people and the City of Natchitoches.

The bronze bust, donated by the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission, the Cane River National Heritage Area Commission and the Natchitoches Historic Foundation, was sculpted by Larry D. Crowder, who has created two other bronze busts for Natchitoches: Louis Juchereau de St. Denis (unveiled in 1986) and Dr. John Sibley (unveiled in 2015). Crowder shared that once during a conversation with DeBlieux, the subject came up of DeBlieux becoming a sculpture.

DeBlieux said if that happened, he wanted a rose in his mouth. While that didn’t end up happening, Crowder said he gave DeBlieux a big smile on his face and he hopes it will give others smiles on their faces as well.

The placard on the pedestal reads: Robert “Bobby” DeBlieux, 1933-2010,
Larry D. Crowder, Sculptor, Hurst, Texas, 2017. This bronze bust was donated by the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission, the Cane River National Heritage Area Commission and the Natchitoches Historic Foundation, Inc.
Above are the plaque and bust that now stand in City Park on Second Street. The first paragraph of the plaque reads: Born and raised in Natchitoches, Robert Buford “Bobby” DeBlieux exhibited an interest in historical preservation throughout his life. During the 1960s, he restored his beloved house, Tante Huppé, located at 424 Rue Jefferson. One of the first restoration projects in the Historic District, it served as a catalyst for the rejuvenation and protection of historic properties in an area that would become a National Historic Landmark District.
Photos by Hannah Richardson