As I write this letter, my dear friend Willard Cointment’s birthday is today, October 24. We were friends and business partners for nearly 50 years. We never had a cross word. Willard passed away May 22 of this year.
I was trying to think of some way to honor Cointment’s memory and to pay tribute to his having been the “Last Living Sandbagger”
About 40 years ago Marvin Braud, Elmon Babin, Lavern Brown and Willard Cointment gathered at Dr. Bryant’s home to discuss flooding and what could be done to improve drainage here in Ascension Parish. Out of that meeting grew the current Ascension Parish Drainage Program with the dredging of bayous and canals, the building of levees and the Pumping Stations.
In my view, the name “Cointment” is synonymous with Honesty, Integrity, Intelligence, Hard Work and Fairness. Those of you who knew Willard knew him to be a Renaissance Man; a man of strength and unbending character. He understood the engineering of the canals and pumps, the Corps’ oversight, and the political dynamics. In this regard, Willard’s main goal was improved drainage for Ascension Parish.
What greater honor could be paid to Willard Cointment by the People of Ascension Parish than to have Clint Cointment, his son, elected Ascension Parish President! Willard would say to Clint: “I hope you know what you are getting yourself into!”
I will always think of you and miss you, Willard Cointment.