George B. Mowad

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George B. Mowad​

Mayor of Oakdale, Allen Parish, Louisiana, USA​
In office
1972​ – 1992​
Preceded by
Succeeded by Bobby Abrusley​

Born February 5, 1932​
Oakdale, Louisiana​
Died September 18, 2000 (aged 68)​
U.S. Route 165
near Forest Hill
Rapides Parish​
Resting place Sacred Heart Catholic Church Cemetery in Oakdale​
Nationality Lebanese-American
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Dolores Jean Massad Mowad
Children Mark Joseph Mowad​

Thomas Anthony Mowad
​ Ann Mowad Montanio
​ Judy Mowad Mahtook
​ Mary Denise Mowad Guiteau
​ Karen Mowad Steven
​ Nine grandchildren​

Alma mater Oakdale High School

Louisiana State University
​ Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans

Occupation Physician

Real estate developer​

Religion Roman Catholic

George B. Mowad (February 5, 1932 – September 18, 2000)[1] was an American physician and real estate developer who served from 1972 to 1992 as the mayor of Oakdale in Allen Parish, Louisiana.​ He was a Democrat.

Background

Of Lebanese descent,[2] Mowad was born in Oakdale to Joe S. Mowad (1899–1984) and Mary Mowad (1902–1993).[1] He graduated from Oakdale High School and attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He obtained his medical degree in 1955 from the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans.[3]

From 1957 to 1958, he was a member of the Medical Corps of the United States Air Force. Upon his discharge from the military at the rank of major, he began his residency in family practice at Charity Hospital in Lafayette, Louisiana, which he completed in 1959. In January 1960, Mowad launched his practice in Oakdale.[3]

Mayoral service

From 1962 to 1972, Mowad developed three subdivisions and three business centers in Oakdale. After he became mayor, he developed six more subdivisions and business centers. He worked to secure the location in Oakdale of the federal correctional center of the United States Department of Justice,[4] which required the need for more housing in the community. At the time the facility was completed in 1985, it was the largest federal institution of its kind in the United States.[3] Among its well-known inmates were former Governor Edwin Edwards and former Louisiana Secretary of State James Harvey "Jim" Brown.[5]

In April 1981, Mowad ordered a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. in Oakdale after a white police officer and two African-American men were wounded by shotgun pellets. Riot-equipped officers from the Louisiana State Police provided assistance to quell potential further disorder. The junior high school and Oakdale High School were closed for a day.[6]

During his long tenure as mayor, Dr. Mowad was instrumental in procuring more than $30 million in federal and state grants to construct sixteen new public facilities, including a new City Hall, city court, four parks, two community centers, four industrial buildings, a library, a wellness center, and two fire stations.[4]

Associations and awards

Mowad was a president of the Louisiana Municipal Association. He also organized and served as past president of the Oakdale High School Alumni Association, and was past president of the Oakdale Lions International, Oakdale Athletic Association, and the Oakdale chapter of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic men's service organization. As chief of the medical staff at Oakdale Community Hospital, he was a member of the Allen Parish Medical Society, the Louisiana State Medical Society, the Louisiana Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Medical Association.[3]

During his career, Mowad received the Oakdale Civic Service Award and was named Louisiana's Family Doctor of the Year. He garnered the Humanity Award from the Roman Catholic]] diocese of Lake Charles, Louisiana.[3]

Death and legacy

Mowad died in an automobile accident in Rapides Parish on U.S. Route 165 between Forest Hill and Woodworth. He was headed south when his car crossed the center line and crashed head-on into a pickup truck[3] driven by Teri R. Slaughter (1979–2000) of Glenmora in south Rapides Parish, who died thereafter of her wounds in a hospital in Alexandria, Louisiana.[1]

At the time of his death, Mowad was campaigning to regain the mayor's office after an eight-year absence. He was a candidate in the October 7, 2000, nonpartisan blanket primary against two-term incumbent Mayor Bobby Abrusley and Wilburn "J. R." Coker, both also Democrats. Because of Mowad's death, the election was postponed to coincide with the regular general election on November 7, in which Abrusley defeated Coker, 77-23 percent.[7] In his last reelection in 1988, Mowad had been unopposed.[8]

Mowad was married to the former Dolores Jean Massad, and the couple had six children: sons, Mark Joseph Mowad of Baton Rouge and Thomas Anthony Mowad (1973–2011) of Wichita, Kansas; daughters, Ann Mowad Montanio of Woodworth, Judy Mowad Mahtook of Lafayette, Mary Denise Mowad Guiteau (formerly Mary Howell) of Amite in Tangipahoa Parish, and Karen Mowad Steven of Wichita, Kansas.[9] Mowad was also survived by two sisters, Moonlee M. Karam and Rosaliee M. Karam, both of Oakdale; and nine grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a brother, Anthony P. Mowad (1926–1985).[3]

A rosary was recited in the Mowad Civic Center in Oakdale, named for the former mayor. Services were held on September 21, 2000, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Mowad had donated the five-acre site where his church building stands. Interment was at the church cemetery in Oakdale.[3]

In 2005, the Louisiana legislature named a portion of state Highway 10 as the "George B. Mowad Memorial Highway."[4] Numerous businesses of all kinds are located on the Mowad Highway.​

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Social Security Death Index. ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved on June 10, 2011.
  2. Famous Politicians of Lebanese Origin. fanoos.com. Retrieved on June 11, 2011.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Dr. George B. Mowad Obit. usgwarchives.org from Lake Charles American Press, September 20, 2000. Retrieved on June 10, 2011.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 House Concurrent Resolution No. 56 by Representative Hill and Senator Hines. legis.state.la.us. Retrieved on June 10, 2011.
  5. Governor Edwards Next Step After Prison, January 9, 2011. kpelo65.com. Retrieved on June 10, 2011.
  6. Louisiana Town Sets Curfew After Three Are Wounded. The New York Times (April 15, 1981). Retrieved on June 12, 2011.
  7. Louisiana Secretary of State, General election returns: Allen Parish, November 7, 2000
  8. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns: Allen Parish, October 1, 1988
  9. Thomas Anthony Mowad Obit, May 2011. rushfh.com. Retrieved on June 10, 2011.

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