L. D. "Buddy" Napper

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Laurice Dean "Buddy" Napper​ ​

Louisiana State Representative for Lincoln Parish (later District 12)​
In office
1952​ – 1964​
Preceded by Carroll G. Jones​
Succeeded by George B. Holstead

Born January 19, 1925​
Simsboro, Lincoln Parish​
Died March 6, 2013 (aged 88)​
Ruston, Louisiana​
Resting place Simsboro Cemetery​
Political party Democrat

later Republican donor ​

Spouse(s) Sara Ann Baskin Napper (married c. 1946-2013, his death)​
Children Suzan N. Martin​

Katherine N. Freeman
​ Laura N. Champion​

Residence Ruston, Louisiana​
Alma mater Simsboro High School

Louisiana Tech University
Louisiana State University Law Center​

Occupation Attorney

United States Navy in World War II

Religion United Methodist

Laurice Dean Napper, known as L. D. "Buddy" Napper (January 19, 1925 – March 6, 2013),[1] was an attorney and civic figure in Ruston, Louisiana,[2] who served as a Democratic state representative for Lincoln Parish from 1952 to 1964.[3]

Background

​ A native of Simsboro in western Lincoln Parish, Napper was one of two sons born to Lue Mark Napper (1898-1967) and the former Agnes Maude Rogers (1899-1986). He had a brother, James Harold Napper, Sr. (1919-1979), former principal of Ruston High School.[4] Napper graduated from Simsboro High School and then attended Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, at which he played basketball and baseball.[1]

Napper played semi-professional baseball for the Winnsboro Red Sox in Winnsboro in Franklin Parish south of Monroe.[1] One of his teammates was future legislative colleague Lantz Womack, a banker and businessman from Winnsboro.[5] Still other semi-pro baseball players who later became known in Louisiana politics during the era of what was once called the "Big Eight", referring to the eight smaller cities with semi-pro teams, were former Lieutenant Governor Bill Dodd,[6] and Woodrow Wilson Dumas, the mayor-president of East Baton Rouge Parish from 1965 to 1981.[7] The former Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell also played semi-pro a generation after Napper.​

Legal and political career

​ Napper obtained a law degree from Louisiana State University Law Center in Baton Rouge.[1] He entered the legislature with the election of Robert F. Kennon as governor. He succeeded Carroll G. Jones, who served from 1950 to 1952, following the resignation of Ragan Madden, upon Madden's election as district attorney for Lincoln and Union parishes. Napper considered himself a "good government" lawmaker who watched closely after the interest of Lincoln Parish.[1] He was succeeded in 1964 by the Democrat George B. Holstead,[3] a Ruston attorney who had been a track and field runner at Louisiana Tech.

He joined his friend Otho Lloyd Waltman (1923–2010) to form a law firm that lasted more than a half century. Until Napper's death it was known as Napper, Madden and Rogers; Ragan Madden was another partner in the firm.[1] Waltman was a city attorney in both Ruston and historically black Grambling, who also served as a state district court judge from 1979 to 1982.[8] In 2003, Napper and Waltman jointly received the prestigious Robert E. Russ Award, named for Robert Edwin Russ (1830-1902), the founder of Ruston, and presented annually by the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce.[9]

Napper was a Louisiana delegate to the 1960 Democratic National Convention, which met in Los Angeles, California, to nominate the Kennedy/Johnson ticket.[10] However, Richard M. Nixon, the Republican nominee, polled 54.1 percent of the ballots in Napper's Lincoln Parish.[11] Napper later donated to various GOP candidates, including former U.S. Representative John Cooksey, whose former 5th congressional district includes Lincoln Parish, and who ran unsuccessfully in 2002 for the United States Senate seat retained by Mary Landrieu. Napper also gave that year to the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee.[12]

Death and legacy

​ Napper was a director of the Lincoln Bank and Trust Company. For a half century, he was a member of the Louisiana Bar Association and the Louisiana Law Institute. A tennis player and [ golfer]], he was a personal friend of the legendary Ben Hogan.[1]

Napper died at his Ruston home at the age of eighty-eight. He is survived by his wife of sixty-six years, the former Sara Ann Baskin (born 1927), and by their three daughters and sons-in-law, Suzan and Wallace Martin of Ruston; Katherine and James Freeman of Franklin, Tennessee, and Laura and Greg Champion of Birmingham, Alabama.[1] Napper was a member of the board of the Louisiana Methodist Children's Home in Ruston.[13]His services were held at his home congregation, the Trinity United Methodist Church in Ruston. He is interred at Simsboro City Cemetery.[1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 L. D. Napper. tributes.com. Retrieved on November 25, 2019.
  2. Napper LD Atty. yelp.com. Retrieved on May 2, 2010; material no longer on-line.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2020. Louisiana House of Representatives. Retrieved on November 25, 2019.
  4. James Harold Napper, Sr.. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on November 25, 2019.
  5. Lantz Womack obituary, The Monroe News Star, May 28, 1998.
  6. William J. "Bill" Dodd, Peapatch Politics: The Earl Long Era in Louisiana Politics, Baton Rouge: Claitors Publishing, 1991.
  7. About Woody Dumas. ebr.lib.la.libguides.com. Retrieved on November 27, 2009; no longer on-line.
  8. T. Scott Boatright (April 4, 2010). Parish mourning Waltman's loss: Former Grambling, Ruston city attorney dies at age 86. The Ruston Daily Leader. Retrieved on May 2, 2010; no longer on-line.
  9. Mary Margaret van Diest (November 29, 2006). Russ Award nominations sought. 'The 'Ruston Daily Leader,. Retrieved on May 2, 2010; no longer on-line.
  10. Index of Politicians, Naaman to Nase. politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved on November 25, 2019.
  11. State of Louisiana, Secretary of State, 1960 general election returns
  12. Ruston, Louisiana Political Contributions by Individuals. city-data.com. Retrieved on November 25, 2019.
  13. Members of the Board of the Louisiana Methodist Children's Home. lmch.org. Retrieved on May 2, 2010; material no longer on-line.

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