Johnnie Broussard Obituary

Obituary of Johnnie Joseph Broussard

Johnnie Joseph Broussard, retired Professional Engineer, of Baton Rouge passed away on July 25, 2023 after a brief illness. At 103 years of age, he was likely the oldest living male graduate of Louisiana State University. Johnnie had a long career with the General Electric Company as an industrial sales engineer in Beaumont, Texas, in Lake Charles and in Baton Rouge. Born in Plaquemine, Louisiana on February 11, 1920 to Euclide and Pearl Broussard, his family soon moved to Port Arthur, Texas as part of the oil boom. At Thomas Jefferson High School, he was a standout athlete in basketball and track and field graduating in 1938. He attended LSU instead of Rice University because it was more affordable. At LSU, he tried out for the track and field team in the long jump but had stiff competition from the great Billy Brown, a former Olympic team member. Coach Bernie Moore told him sorry, but “Broussard, the dean says you are going to make a fine engineer” — and he did. In December 1941, he was on a field trip with other engineering students on Higgins PT-boats in Lake Pontchartrain when news came of Pearl Harbor. Johnnie graduated in May 1942 in mechanical engineering as a member of Tau Beta Pi honorary society. Upon graduation, he was hired by GE and soon assigned to various war-related projects. At Hurlburt Field in Florida he heard a lecture from Frank Whittle, the British pioneer of the jet engine a top-secret project that GE took on. He later worked on production of basic electric motors in Ft. Wayne, Indiana used on planes, ships, and tanks. In 1944, he was moved to various air fields in Florida to work on the central fire control system of the B-29 bomber, a top secret computer-controlled gunsight used for its defense. In June 1945 he was told to go buy some officer uniforms and then sent to the Pacific for technical support of those gun systems. He was on Okinawa when the atomic bomb dropped on Japan and was soon flown home — through a typhoon. After the war he worked at GE plants in Lynn, MA and Schenectady NY. But he chose to come back to the Gulf Coast in 1949 and was assigned to Beaumont where he met and soon married the love of his life, Norma Jean Eubanks, a secretary for an insurance agency. Johnnie and Jean eventually had three sons. He was assigned to Lake Charles as the sales engineer for GE for the next 22 years selling major power equipment and systems to area industries. Transferred to Baton Rouge in 1976, he became senior engineer in GE’s office responsible for all of south Louisiana outside of New Orleans. One of his duties was to recruit young engineering grads from area universities: LSU, ULL and Southern. In 1985 he retired with 42 years of service. Johnnie was a member of Rotary International in Lake Charles beginning in 1954 where he served a term as president. He was admitted into the Baton Rouge Rotary Club in 1976. He was active in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for over 25 years and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). As a member of the Louisiana Society of Professional Engineers, he helped establish the first licensing requirements for professional engineers in Louisiana in the 1960’s. After retirement, Johnnie and Jean were able to travel to Europe, Canada, Alaska, Hawaii and the Caribbean. Both became active members of the LSU Track and Field Officials Association timing races and working high jump and pole vault events at Bernie Moore Stadium. Johnnie was a national certified official with USA Track & Field through 2004. He was inducted into the LSU track officials’ hall of fame in 2003. Johnnie and Jean enjoyed many friendships with these officials and coaches and traveled often to see the LSU track & field team compete at NCAA championship meets and they traveled to Olympic trials in New Orleans and Atlanta. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus chapter at St. Thomas Moore Church. He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Jean and their three sons: Don (Betsy) Broussard of Atlanta, GA; Larry (Susan) Broussard of Baton Rouge; Bob (Kristan) Broussard of Grapevine, TX; and, six grandchildren: Hunter Broussard (Anna), Bryan Broussard, Aimee Broussard, Courtney Broussard Walker (David), Nic Broussard (Priscila) and Madyson Broussard; and four great grandchildren: Toby Broussard, Davi and Gabriel Broussard, and Leigh Walker. The family would like to express their gratitude to the staff at St. Joseph’s Hospice; to Carrie Haynes, his caregiver; and also, to Dr. Jared Braud who’s surgical skill gave Johnnie several more years of good life after he twice broke his hip. Visitation will be held at Greenoaks Funeral Home on Thursday, July 27, 2023 from 6 pm until 8 pm and will resume on Friday, July 28, 2023 at St. Thomas More Catholic Church from 10 am until Mass of Christian Burial at 11 am. Burial will follow in Greenoaks Memorial Park. Donations may be made in Johnnie’s memory to the LSU Track & Field Excellence Fund at Please visit to leave condolences to the family.

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