Thoughts About Donald Ray Kennard

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By Representative Bodi White

I have known Donald Ray for most of my life and have had the distinct pleasure of working with him in the Legislature for the final four years in which he served. During the time we served together, I was amazed at how many people in state government and in the State of Louisiana Donald Ray knew personally.

As a new legislator, I sought out Donald Ray’s knowledge. He was my human encyclopedia when I needed to speak to someone to find an answer for a constituent with a problem. Our desks were across the aisle from each other. There was always a steady stream of fellow legislators stopping by Donald Ray’s to seek help in contacting someone in the DOTD or the Department of Education.

Donald Ray stood ever ready to assist a student attending L.S.U. He always seemed to know whom to contact to make the student’s transition move smoothly. He stood ready to reach out and help anyone that sought his expertise and vast knowledge in so many areas.

Donald Ray was vigilant in his quest to obtain funding for infrastructure in Central. He filed the first bill to study the extension of Hooper Road with a new bridge to Highway 16 in Watson in 1997. He was instrumental in obtaining funds to widen Joor Road and start the widening of Hooper and Sullivan Roads. These projects should finally come to fruition within the next few years. He also sponsored public safety legislation to enhance law enforcement, ever mindful of safety for our families.

Much to his credit, after working with citizens in the Central Community, he filed the first bill in 2001 in our first attempt to create the Central Community School District. We were able to come back a few years later after hard work in the community and the birth of our new city and reintroduce legislation to successfully create the Central Community School System.

Donald Ray had the heart of a true public servant. His day to day outreach touched many people in and out of his district. He never hesitated to assist where there was a need. I dare say that each one of us has been touched by his life so well lived. He was a blessing to not only the Central Community, but the State of Louisiana.

1 Comment

  1. Because I Care

    August 11, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Representative Bodi White, thanks for sharing this tribute in honor and memory of Representative Donald Ray Kennard! God Bless! May we continue to build on the foundation for Central that Mr. Kennard helped to build through his Christian character, commitment to Central and the larger populace that he represented, and true concern for others!

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