Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Ralph Menetre Remembered

Longtime area resident Ralph Menetre was born in Covington, went to school in Covington, and taught school in Covington for many years. He died on August 31, 2022. 

Here is his story, from an interview with Marian Arrowsmith a few years ago on the School System's Channel 13 television program "Reflections." Click on the play triangle in the middle of the image below to start the video.

Coach Jack Salter, CHS Principal Roslyn Hanson, and Ralph Menetre

Celebrating Covington's Bicentennial

The dedication of the C. J. Schoen Administrative Complex in 2007 also brought together some former principals who served as administrators during the history of the building. Principals who came to see the results of the renovation of the building included, front row, left to right, Ralph Menetre, Roxanne Lagarde, Ronnie Pogue, and back row, left to right, Lawton McKee, Jack Loup, and Henri Ferrer. 

Three longtime local public school educators were honored at the 2015 Northshore Heroes program held by the West St. Tammany YMCA:  at left, Jack Salter, former CHS football coach who led the Lions to their first state title; center,  Ralph Menetre, former CHS educator. coach, administrator and “Voice of the Lions”; and at right Les Heidelberg, recently retired teacher from Pitcher Jr. High as well as former site coordinator for 21st Century Community Learning Center at Pine View.
Ralph Menetre receives YMCA award
Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Menetre (YMCA Photo)

Above is a group photograph of the Lyon High 1945 Boys Varsity Basketball Team in Covington. On the bottom row, left to right: Jimmy Riley, Hezzie Fauntleroy, Ralph Menetre, Ronnie Pogue, Buck Monlezun, and Cyp Schoen. On the top row, left to right: Coach Hubie Gallagher, Fred Terry, Troy Jackson, Huey Thompson, Henri Ferrer, Manuel Dugas, and Ball Boy Hubie Gallagher, Jr., at bottom.

A photo of Herbie Clairain's baseball team. Members included L.A. Bubba Davenport, Troy Jackson, Bussy Mire, Henri Ferrer, James McLachlan Jr., Ralph Menetre Jr., Leo Stroble, Robert LaBorde, Sam Blossman, Emile Judge Seely, Ronnie Pogue, Robert Fuhrmann Myers, Jack Tannehill, with Hubie Gallagher kneeling at the right.

Jack Salter and Ralph Menetre

Ralph Menetre speaking at the Hubie Gallagher Gym dedication program

He died on August 31, 2022. Here is a link to his obituary. 

"A native and lifelong resident of Covington, he was born May 28, 1928 to the late Ralph Norman and Lucy Welsh Texada Menetre. Ralph graduated from Lyon High in 1944. He was a star athlete, playing both football and basketball.

"From there he received a football scholarship and played and lettered for the LSU Tigers. After graduating from LSU, he provided service to the community for a span of over 40 years to the St. Tammany Parish Public School system as a Coach, teacher, principal, supervisor, and Assistant Superintendent. 

"Throughout the years, he volunteered countless hours in support of athletics at Covington High. In 1957, he became known as “the Voice of the Lions” for 40 years. He was instrumental with the successful construction of the Centennial Bell Tower that proudly stands at the entrance of Covington High School.

Speaking in 2013 at the CHS Bell Tower groundbreaking

He was a life-long member of Christ Episcopal Church where he served on the Vestry, taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, and was a licensed Eucharistic Minister. He was instrumental in the formation of the Chapel Garden. He made it his mission to take care of the gardens around the Chapel, spending countless hours in the Memorial Garden adding beauty and providing a peaceful final resting place.

He also was an original board member of Christwood Retirement Center. He served as chairman of the board for Hospice of St. Tammany, was a direct care volunteer, and received the “Angels Among Us Award”. He also served with the Covington Heritage Foundation.  He earned the YMCA “Hero Award”, “Service Before Self Award", and the City of Covington “Exceptional Community Service Award" for his selflessness to the community. He was a past member of the Lion's Club. He was recently honored to be named the Grand Marshall for the Covington Lion's Club Mardi Gras Parade.

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