Lafayette has lost one of its civic leaders. Retired hospital administrator John J. Burdin Jr. died Sunday, Nov. 21, at Lafayette General Medical Center. Burdin, who was recently diagnosed with cancer, was 68.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. Visitation is Tuesday at Delhomme Funeral Home, 1011 Bertrand Drive, from 4-8 p.m.
Burdin worked at LGMC for 26 years, retiring as chief executive officer in 2001. Five years later, in 2006, he received Lafayette’s highest honor for community involvement, the Civic Cup. Burdin, who remained president emeritus of the Louisiana Health System, LGMC’s parent company, was as well known for his professional career as his humanitarian and civic efforts.
Burdin guided LGMC through important renovations and expansions, including the addition of the Burdin/Riehl Ambulatory Care Center, and of connected medical offices and laboratories throughout the Oil Center. He also taught in the MBA program at UL Lafayette’s B.I. Moody College of Business.
Burdin is fondly remembered by the scores of medical professions who worked alongside him at LGMC. “J. was a great mentor in health care — business wise and innovative — but also highly personable and very well respected,” says Donna Landry, who worked with Burdin at LGMC for 15 years of the almost two decades she spent there. “The words that most come to mind are integrity and personal touch. He never missed an opportunity to walk the halls of the hospital at various times of day and night to mingle with employees, ask if they had the resources they needed, inquire of their work, interests, spouses and children, and tell a few jokes or stories, of which he had plenty.”
Landry says her former boss possessed an inordinate amount of compassion that extended far beyond LGMC and into Lafayette’s broader civic community and numerous nearby cities and towns. “Many will never know the personal time and financial resources he gave to help others, and he wanted it that way,” she says. “He especially had a big place in his heart for rural hospitals and the administrators who run those; more than a few will tell you that the professional support and friendships he extended to them weighed more heavily than anything else in keeping their doors open,” Landry continues. “The only thing that we talked about as much or more than health care, photography and travel was his family, of which he was so proud.”
Burdin is survived by his wife of 31 years, Monique Faulk Burdin; his son J. J. Burdin III of Houston, Texas, and his wife Candice and two daughters, Ava and Colette; his daughter Claire Alvarado of Lafayette, her husband Danny and daughter Elena; three sisters, Vaughan Simpson and her husband Amos; Barbara Renaudin and her husband William; Kathryn Leonard and her husband Jimmy; and his maternal aunt, Margaret Baudoin, and her husband, Edmund; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, J.J. and Helen Burdin, and his son, Paul Winston Burdin.
Burdin graduated from Cathedral High School in 1960 and attended LSU. He completed a B.S. degree in biology and chemistry at UL Lafayette in 1965, before serving in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps from 1965 to 1969, with a year of service on the DMZ in Korea. After completing a master’s degree in health care administration at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, he concluded his administrative residency in 1971 at Montgomery Baptist Hospital. He served from 1971 to 1976 as assistant administrator at St. Bernard’s Regional Medical Center in Jonesboro, Ark., and returned to Lafayette in 1976.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to the J.J. Burdin Memorial Fund at the UL Foundation, 705 E. St. Mary, Lafayette, La., 70503, or to Hospice of Acadiana Foundation, 2600 Johnston St., Suite 236, Lafayette, La, 70503.
JUNE 19 Former Saint Steve Gleason, who is paralyzed by ALS, released a statement Tuesday in response to the Atlanta radio station's skit making fun of him and the disease, this Picayune post reports. What did he say? He said he'd accepted the apology of the DJs who did it, notes that at least the incident has got people talking about ALS, and asks anyone who is burning to take action about it to do so -- by helping him fight ALS.
JUNE 19 Blogger Ian McGibboney takes a look at the Gleason incident in this post. He makes a good argument about the difference between having free speech and being free from consequences for your speech (which none of us is). He also admits that many of us got upset before we listened to the skit -- but lets us know that the reality is far worse than we can imagine. It was the incredibly bad judgment, even more than the actual speech, that probably got those DJs fired, he opines.
JUNE 19 Washington Post blogger Aaron Blake writes about Sen. Guillory's switch to the GOP in this post. He writes what most political watchers in Louisiana know: Guillory was a Republican before he decided to run for the senate seat in a mostly-D St. Landry district, and has switched back now that he plans to run for Lt. Gov. in a mostly-R state. But how come Blake missed Guillory's appearance on a TLC pageant show? Now that is a video we'd like to see. (Again).
JUNE 19 Here's another Washington Post blog post about a Louisiana politician, and it's just plain scathing. Ezra Klein says Jindal's Politico post was "insulting" to the intelligence of voters, and adds that Jindal is personifying the "stupid" he's railed against, by being an "elite" who convinces GOP activists of "things that aren't true." Me-ow.
JUNE 19 Here's Gov. Jindal's post in Politico, in which he asks the GOP to get over losing to Obama (again) and stop "the bedwetting." (Uh, what?) He gives his Republican buddies what is probably a nerd's idea of a coach's motivational talk, which starts with a list of accomplishments that they can't seem to exploit and ending with an absurd description of liberals that sounds like a character treatment for a Fox "News" movie scripted by Gordon Liddy. Sure, he's preaching to the choir, but even the choir's not this gullible.
JUNE 19 Lamar Parmentel read Gov. Jindal's post on Politico, but thinks it was so dumb it probably was published in the wrong paper. This post by Lamar on the Daily Kingfish opines that possibly Jindal's post was destined for the Onion -- because the governor couldn't possibly be serious here. If you listen closely, you can hear the staff of the Kingfish giggling.
JUNE 19 Blogger Robert Mann posts from Turkey, a country he has visited several times in the past few years. Mann gives an interesting overview of the current political and societal climate of the country, which -- if you're living under a rock and don't know -- is experiencing protests and turmoil these days. Mann promises to post as much as he can during his trip, which should be fascinating reading.
JUNE 19 Blogger CB Forgotston says the legislature is keeping the vicious cycle going with its funding of new buildings for the community college/technical college system. Universities across the state need maintenance and improvement on existing buildings, and the solution is to build new buildings at other schools? By the time the bonds are paid off, those buildings will be falling down, too, CB says.
Frank’s Casing Crew, now doing business as Frank’s International, will make its final appearance on ABiz’s list of the Top 50 Privately Held Companies in Acadiana this year, and once again it will likely be at the top with more than $1 billion in annual revenues. The 75-year-old company specializing in tubular fabrication and installation services to the oil and gas industry plans to offer shares of its stock to the public for the first time.
The defeat, or rather highjacking of House Bill 420 in the final days of this year's Legislative Session, say Reps. Vincent Pierre and Terry Landry, is the result of the propaganda spread by one unidentified local media outlet and an unnamed former state Representative, but nothing to do with the original legislation's lack of checks, balances or details.
He’s a singer. A songwriter. A piano man. A family man. He’s even got his own Wikipedia entry. He’s David Egan. And he knows ancient secrets about the monolithic stones of Stonehenge that he’s not willing to share.