August 29, 1943-October 2, 2021
James “Jim or Jimmy” Erny, 78, passed away peacefully on Saturday, October 2, 2021, at 6:04 a.m. Jim was born in New Roads, Louisiana but grew up in Lafayette, Louisiana and was a resident in Houma, Louisiana since 1966.
Family and friends are invited to a visitation and mass celebration at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral in Houma on Saturday, October 9, 2021, at 10 a.m. until service time. The memorial mass will begin at 1:00 p.m. A private burial will be at a later date.
Jim is survived by his wonderful wife of over 54 years, Mildred “Millie” Erny; son, James Christopher Erny and wife Gabrielle Gros Erny; daughter, Deborah Erny Kelly and her husband John Patrick Kelly, Jr.; six grandchildren, James “Jackson” Erny, John Patrick Kelly, III (Patrick) and his wife Amy Zukoski Kelly, Clinton Erny, Evan Kelly, Colin Erny and Sarah Kelly. Jim is also survived by his siblings; brother, Lawrence “Larry” Erny, Jr. and his wife Glory Erny; sister, Beverly “Sue” Erny Marcello and her husband Michael “Micky” Marcello; sister Rita Erny Pendergraft, and brother John Erny and his wife Marti Erny. Jim also has numerous nieces, nephews and cousins who were all cherished and loved. Family meant everything to Jim.
Jim is preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence “Prof” Erny and Evelyn Sibille Erny; brother-in-law, Julius Manuel; and brother-in-law, Marion “Penny” Pendergraft.
Jim started his career as a music store owner in downtown Houma at Prof Erny’s Music Co. Jim later became the first Executive Director of the South Terrebonne Levee and Conservation District and led the way to hurricane protection for Terrebonne Parish which later became known as the “Morganza to the Gulf” project. Jim also became a residential and commercial contractor and developer.
Jim was active in many organizations over many years in Terrebonne Parish, including Kiwanis, Krewe of Terreanians (past president), and Southeastern Louisiana Home Builders Association.
Jim also served on various boards and commissions including the Atchafalaya Levee Board, Houma-Terrebonne Planning and Zoning Commission, and an advisory board for the Terrebonne Parish School District. Jim was always willing to serve and lend a helping hand. It is felt by many that Jim’s greatest civic accomplishment was his tireless efforts in the building of hurricane levees and floodgates to protect the citizens of Terrebonne Parish.
Jim was a graduate of Lafayette High School and was recently inducted in the Lafayette High School Athletic Hall of Fame for his participation in the state championship 4 X 400 relay team. Then he graduated from USL with a bachelor’s degree in Economics. Jim was a proud member of Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity (PKT) where he made lifelong friends and confidants.
Jim loved sports, particularly USL, LSU and Saints football. He was often found cheering for his grandchildren during their sporting events.
Because of his deep affection for the citizens of Terrebonne Parish, and in lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Hache Grant Foundation for Hurricane Ida recovery victims: Venmo: @Hache-Grant or (985) 791-3351, or for scholarships to the Houma-Terrebonne Soccer Association by dropping off a check at any Synergy Bank made out to HTSA with a memo “In Honor of Jim Erny.”