Ama veteran who will reach century mark honored for service, faith

Ama resident Irving Pierre Sr. was honored on Monday, Dec. 18 by the St. Charles Parish Council for a long life well lived, as the St. Charles Parish native approaches his 100th-year birthday in mid-January.

Pierre Sr. was born on January 14 in 1924, the same month the first ever Winter Olympics Games opened in France. He would be followed in birth two weeks later in the same year by world-renowned New Orleans jazz musician and singer Louis Armstrong, a famous figure he has now outlived by 52 years.

As the third of nine children, his earliest memories as a young man were when he played local sports.

“I used to play baseball,” Pierre Jr. said of time in his youth. “We had a team, our community, that I used to play on, and I played outfield – centerfield.”

He later served in World War II in the United States Army as an engineer, where he was stationed in France, Spain and England.

After returning home from the war, he married Evelyn Griffin in 1946 and went on to have six children. Pierre Sr. is now a proud great grandfather to 14 great-grandchildren.

The Ama native worked for building materials manufacturer Celotex Corporation for decades, putting in a 42-year career before retiring. He and his wife operated an Ama grocery store for 50 years, and later Pierre’s Beauty and Barber Shop on River Road in Ama, which his grandson now runs.

An ardent Baptist and churchgoer, Pierre Sr. was baptized at Ama’s Mt. Zion Baptist Church in 1950, and became a deacon there five years later. He was elevated to the position of Head Deacon of his church in 1957, a position he held for 63 years.

As an active member of the community, Pierre Sr. served as president of the Mt. Pilgrim’s Society for 13 years where he and the group’s members provided services for the elderly, poor and needy. He would later become active in the American Legion Post 509 in Ama, where he served in a variety of leadership roles including Commander. He is also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization, where he served as Treasurer.

Pierre Sr. will celebrate his 100th year of life on Jan. 14 with his family, which is when he said he plans to “wake up and see the day.”

The centenarian did not subscribe to a special diet to reach 100, but mentioned he had given up eating fatty meats like pork years ago, avoided alcohol and had given up his smoking habit sometime around 40 years ago.

Pierre Sr.’s best advice for younger generations today in living their best life was to respect others, find a local church to belong to – then attend regularly.

“That’s the best thing – church,” Pierre Sr. said. “Serve and go [to church].”

As a man of the world on the cusp of hitting triple digits, Pierre Sr. said he reads every day, particularly his Bible. In closing his interview with the Herald Guide, he cited from memory one of his favorite passages, Psalms 37:25, as follows: “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”


1 Comment

  1. Happy Birthday, Deacon Irving Pierre Sr!
    Thank you for your service unto God, your family, community and to the United States of America! May your celebration be that of a king, as that is who and what you are! May God continue to shower His blessings over your life, sir!

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