Charles Maurice Gravois, Sr., age 95, of Vacherie, Louisiana passed away on October 25, 2023. He was born in Vacherie on June 23, 1928, to Ozane J., Sr. and Louise Brazan Gravois and was the youngest son in a family of 13 children. He was raised on Blackberry Farms, and in turn raised his family on the same farm. Sugarcane farming was his life’s work. His work on the family farm was interrupted in 1950 by military service. He fought in the Korean War during 1952. Upon his return, he gave his medals and unit citations to his mother, and the next day he returned to working on the farm. He settled into life that revolved around his family, the farm, and his Catholic faith.
(Photo: Charles Gravois Family 2016 at Blackberry Farm- Charles Gravois Sr., third from right)
Charles and Mary Jane Schexnayder of St. James, LA were married on June 25, 1955. They raised their six children in Vacherie down Blackberry Road and later at their beloved home on Highway 20. Together they enjoyed traveling across the U.S. and Canada. Charles had a deep desire to provide for his family and to teach life lessons through hard work, stepping into problems with solutions, and taking responsibility. Toward the end of his life, his work was to care for the love of his life – his wife of 68 years, Jane, a job done with distinction.
Charles believed in serving the larger agricultural community such as the Louisiana Farm Bureau where he served on the local board and later the Farm Bureau State Board and a director of the Louisiana Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company. Like his father and his sons on the farm, he was a member of the American Sugar Cane League. Throughout his long career in farming, he saw the evolution of the Louisiana sugar industry: from the mule to air-conditioned tractors steered by satellite, and sugarcane varieties from the POJs to the current high-yielding line up. Blackberry Farms is a secondary seed cane station for the area and is a variety test site for the sugarcane variety development program. In his lifetime, sugar yield per acre has doubled twice. His life’s work culminated in his selection in 2011 as Louisiana Farmer of the Year.
Charles was preceded in death by his parents Ozane and Louise Gravois and siblings Rene Gravois, Guy Gravois, Marie “Della” Gravois, Stella G. Anderson, Denise Gravois, Rita G. Roberts, Lester Gravois, Earl Gravois, Ozane Gravois, Jr., and Marie G. Davidson.
Charles is survived by his wife, Jane, his children, Charles M. Gravois, Jr. (Crystal), Dickie Gravois, Kevin Gravois (Cathy), Kenneth Gravois (Marguerite), Gregory Gravois, and Mary G. Gayral (Todd), and his grandchildren Erin G. Mudge (Chris), Renee G. Rossi (Adam), Allison G. Morrison (Brett), Charles Gravois, III (Meryl), Phillip Gravois (Alexis), Sam Gravois (Emily), Lee Gravois, Jamie Gravois, Taylor G. Prevost (Will), Paul Gravois (Kelsey), Kelly Gravois, Mark Gravois (fiancé Michelle), Rebecca Gravois, Rachel Gravois, Stephen Gravois, Victoria Gravois, Megan Gravois, Michael Gayral, Caroline G. Lynch (Edward) and Lauren G. Hymel (Alex). Pa was blessed with 14 great grandchildren. He is also survived by sisters Rosa G. Songy, and Jackie G. Waguespack as well as many nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend the Visitation and Funeral Mass at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, 13281 LA-644, Vacherie, LA on Tuesday, October 31, 2023. Visitation will be held at the church from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass at 11:30 a.m. Interment in Our Lady of Peace Catholic Cemetery, Vacherie, LA.
In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the Alzheimer’s Research Foundation.
Arrangements by Rose Lynn Funeral Home. To view or sign the online guest book, please visit www.roselynnfuneralhome.com