Longtime businessman V.J. Vicknair passes away

Staff Report

Funeral services were held Saturday for longtime Plaquemine businessman Vives J. “V.J.” Vicknair, who died last week after a long battle with cancer. He was 89.

Vives J. “V.J.” Vicknair displays some of his model train cars. Vicknair, 89, died last week after a long battle with cancer.

He was the founder and owner of Vicknair Printing, which he began in 1978 in the building that housed the Iberville South, which later merged with Post/South. He started his career with Franklin Press in Baton Rouge in 1950 and continued his career for 70 years.  

His daughter, Vickey Lynn Vicknair, said she will always remember her father’s love for business, which extended beyond the work itself.

She said her father often provided moral support for up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

“He encouraged people not to give up,” she said. “He always told them to keep going, even if they felt defeated.”

Vicknair eased away from the business during the pandemic, but it did not mean he had retired.

He stayed busy with hobbies in his workshop, including the hundreds of yard signs he made over the years, most notably for Christmas, Easter and Mardi Gras.

Vicknair also built more than 100 scale-model size cypress houses. He donated several to St. John, Ascension Catholic, Holy Family and Catholic High-Baton Rouge for raffles to raise extra money for those schools He also helped Cub Scouts with their soap box derby racers for much of the last 70 years.

But his train collection was one of his greatest passions. In an October interview, he told Post/South that the town on the railroad was symbolic of Plaquemine when he came of age around 1950.

“You could take a train from any town in those days,” he recalled. “Those were fun times.”

VJ is survived by his wife of 69 years, Carolyn Bourgeois Vicknair; two children, Vickey Lynn Vicknair (Ronald Lively) and Stephen P. Vicknair and wife Gina Grigsby Vicknair, all of Plaquemine; grandchildren, Trish Lynn Gueho, Blakeley, Alex and Mikayla Vicknair; great-grandchildren, Noelle Lynn and Taylor Lane Gueho; sister-in-law, Betty B. LaBauve.