“I will miss his thoughtfulness, friendship and passion. I will miss how he could make me laugh at any time and looking into his eyes and being held in his arms. I’ll miss his playfulness and watching him love and care for our son. I’ll miss absolutely everything about him.”
Caitlin O’Neil’s husband Patrick, a Luling native, died unexpectedly July 16. He leaves behind a 2-year-old son and a daughter who is due to be born in November. Many local community members are rallying behind the family and plan to hold an O’Neil Family Benefit – to include a poker run and auction – on Aug. 21.
“He was an amazing husband and father. We were married for three years and together for nine,” Caitlin said. “For people … many that I don’t even know … to come together and share their love and kindness with me and my family … it means that we’re not alone, which right now means everything to us.”
Patrick’s mother Kathy Rust said she and other family members still live in St. Charles Parish, where she raised Patrick.
“He went to Hahnville High School and grammar school out here,” Rust said. “He was an avid outdoorsman. He was a gentle guy with a loving heart. He loved kids and laughter … he was an avid music fan and he was self-taught on the guitar and keyboard.”
Rust said her son played in the school band during his elementary years in St. Charles Parish Public Schools, and that he was an awesome father who was anxiously awaiting the arrival of his second child.
“We had just found out it was a girl,” she said.
The benefit poker run and auction will take place Aug. 21 from 3 p.m. until close at Amberjacks Bar, located at 13552 US 90 in Boutte.
Bikes and cars are welcome, and meals – an $8 plate of fried fish, white beans and dessert – will be available for purchase.
Fees for the poker run are $20 per driver and $10 a passenger. The fees include a meal. The sign-in will be at 8 a.m. at Amberjacks, with the first bike out at 9 a.m. The run will feature five stops, including Pit Stop in Luling, Airline Pub in LaPlace, Gators Den in Maurepas and Boomerangs in Destrehan. The run will end at Amberjacks, with the last bike in at 5 p.m. The best hand will win $150.
Organizers said there will be a live band from 3-7 p.m., and that a DJ and raffle will follow.
For more information or to donate to the auction, contact Leslie at 985-209-3109 or Valerie at 985-226-0920.