Rosedale Mayor Lawrence “Football” Badeaux leaves behind legacy near end of final term
A man who has dedicated nearly his entire life to the betterment of the Village of Rosedale is facing the end of his seventh and final term as Mayor. He was born in 1931 on Clover Ridge Plantation, and his name is Lawrence J. Badeaux, Sr., but everyone knows him as “Football”, a name that stuck not because of his love of the sport, but as a first-grader was tossed around by high schoolers as if he were a football. He is a staple to Iberville Parish, a key part of the history of Rosedale and will leave behind a lasting legacy and quite the shoes to fill.
To say Football is a key part of the history of Rosedale is no overstatement. He has served as either town clerk or mayor of the rural village since its incorporation in 1955.
After wrapping up his ninth grade year in school, Football dropped out to find a job to support his family. He later joined the Navy during the Korean War and served four years and two months. He completed his high school education while serving aboard a hospital ship, the USS Repose. He took his GED test while serving, and missed becoming an officer by one point.
“I broke my glasses the night before my test,” Badeaux laughed, “I couldn’t see what I was doing.” After his discharge in 1955, Football enrolled in business school at New Roads Memorial Area Vocational School. He was recommended to serve as Town Clerk after he graduated, a job he dutifully worked while raising a family.
Football is married to the love of his life, Thelma Becnel Badeaux, and they have eight children, eighteen grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.
He worked several jobs while simultaneously serving as Rosedale Town Clerk. Football worked in the Louisiana Senate during legislative sessions, sold insurance and automobiles, served as a member of the board of supervisors of elections, commissioner on Greater Baton Rouge Port Commission, a member of municipal and parish democratic executive committee, deputy district governor-at-large for the West Side Lions Club, president of both the Maringouin and Grosse Tete/Rosedale Lions Clubs, Vice President at large of the Louisiana Municipal Association Board of Directors, member of the Knights of Columbus, and owned and operated two convenience stores, among many other accomplishments and duties.
It is safe to assume that Football hardly had a day off.
While serving as Mayor of Rosedale, Football spent a lot of time traveling around the state assisting other town clerks and mayors.
“He has gotten to know a lot of people,” his wife Thelma said. “He has gotten close to a lot of people around the state, they’re like his second family.”
He was recently presented an award from the Louisiana Asset Management Pool for his 15 years of service on the Board of Directors.
Another recent accomplishment for Mr. Badeaux is the completion of his book titled “Just Call Him Football”, a collection of stories from a small town public servant, and a detailed history of the Village of Rosedale. I suppose you can also add “Village of Rosedale Historian” to his extensive resume.
“For many years, I have been referred to by some as the historian of Rosedale,” Badeaux wrote in the introduction to his book. “I don’t think that is an accurate description of me, but because I have been so closely associated with Rosedale since its incorporation in 1955 and have been living here all of my life, I have decided, with the encouragement from many, to write the history of Rosedale for future generations.”
The book is an appropriate mixture of the history of Rosedale and the personal life of Football, a necessary combination since the two topics have been so intertwined since 1956.
He worked on his literary project off-and-on for the better part of ten years, writing mostly at night. The book was published in 2014, and Football delivered some copies to their permanent home in the Iberville Parish Library system and sold many others.
During his time as mayor, Football was instrumental in bringing key improvements to his beloved town.
“My first budget for the Village was $4,500 and now it is a million,” Badeaux said. Since his service began, all of the major roads in Rosedale have been black-topped. He also personally oversaw the addition of a library, a modern fire station, maintenance building, a water system, three mini-parks, a 14-acre recreational playground, a Council on Aging in Iberville Parish, and several other additions.
As Football wraps up his final term as Rosedale Mayor, he believes he will never truly stop serving the Village he loves.
“I love Rosedale,” he said. “I hope to see the prosperity continue. Even though I won’t be mayor anymore, I’ll still be here. I’ve been a part of Rosedale for 60 years, I’m not going to quit now.
“I’ve enjoyed serving as mayor of the Village of Rosedale and I thank everyone for their support.”
It is undeniable the prosperity Football brought to the betterment of Rosedale, which is home to a few key historical jewels: Trinity Plantation, Live Oak Plantation and The Church of the Nativity, and it is this editor’s opinion that Lawrence J. “Football” Badeaux, Sr. should be added to this list of gems.