Louis Felix deLaunay was born on March 1, 1956 in San Diego, California and was the fourth of six brothers born to Anne (Paulos) DeLaunay. His family eventually moved to Neosho, Missouri before Lou was signed on to play football for the Louisiana State University Tigers in 1974. After graduating from LSU as a Letterman (#51), Lou began a decades-long career in the Aerospace industry in Dallas, Texas that would introduce him to his wife Kathy (Varner) and his two daughters, Jennifer (Nava) and Kallie (Kirkland). Lou will also be celebrated and missed by his sons-in-laws Arthur Nava and Mike Kirkland, as well as his grandchildren Sydney and Skylar Nava and Hawk Kirkland.
Lou also leaves behind a large extended family which he cherished; his brothers Garry Swanson, Rich Swanson, and Mark DeLaunay, and their families were most important to him and the deLaunay/Swanson reunions were uproarious and uplifting occasions unlike any other. Lou also kept close the friendships that he formed in early college years and professional life, he was an ultimate people person who valued relationships and experiences above all else.
Although his size and strength were great, Lou is most remembered for his gentle spirit and great heart. Lou’s hugs were often ‘literally’ breathtaking for the recipient, yet he was unapologetically goofy and his infectious laughter and generous smile put everyone at ease. He was happiest in the kitchen, singing to himself as he concocted amazing meals. Food and family were so central to him that he published “A Family Cooking Journal: Lou deLaunay Recipes,” in order to further connect his family through food and stories. Lou also remained devoted to beautifying his surroundings by gardening, playing music, or planning and improving upon his home alongside his wife Kathy.
Lou is preceded in death by his mother Anne, his father Louis R. DeLaunay, his older brother Skip Swanson, and his younger brother Jim DeLaunay. Lou served as the ‘rock’ for many of those who knew him, and may all those who knew and loved him continue to honor him by celebrating and emulating his gifts of joyfulness, curiosity, and devotion to family.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Lou’s memory by visiting Louis Felix deLaunay’s Memorial Website.
A virtual celebration of life was held for Lou on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at 2:00 PM CDT via Virtual Memorial Gatherings.
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