Eligha “Jay” Guillory, Sr.
The Celebration of the Life of Mr. Eligha “Jay” Guillory, Sr., 68, will be Saturday, Jan., 5, at 1:00 PM at Mt. Sinai Baptist Church in Orange. The Rev. Calvin C. Jones is Pastor, and the Rev. Van Barnett will officiate. The services are under the direction of Colonial Memorial Chapel.
Jay passed away Sunday, Dec. 30, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston. He was born on Sept. 7, 1944 to Sydney J. Guillory and Dorlica Harrison Guillory Frank in Mamou, La., and was raised by his step-father, Joseph Frank. He was the oldest of 16 children and had 10 brothers and five sisters. He attended Joseph Celestine High School and furthered his education by receiving a certificate in Electrical and Refrigeration Technology.
Jay worked in the cotton fields of Evangeline Parish until he was drafted to the United States Army in 1965. He was trained as an aircraft mechanic at Fort Polk and served in Norfolk, Va., and Goppingen, Germany. He was honorably discharged in 1967 with the rank of Staff Sergeant E5, and received medals for National Defense Services, Good Conduct, and Expert Rifleman. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal also presented him with the United States Armed Forces Appreciation Medal in 2010.
Jay moved to Orange, in the sixties and was employed by Bayer Corporation (now LanXess) for 28 years as a Control Room Operator. He received a medical retirement in 1991. He was a member of Mt. Sinai Baptist Church for 41 years serving as a Trustee and he participated in the Brotherhood and Sunday School departments. He was a faithful usher, working on the Adult Usher Board and as the former president of the Junior Usher Board. He co-founded the Mt. Sinai Media Ministry and served as its chairperson for several years until his illness made it impossible to continue.
Jay was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1983; however he never let this stop him. He was the inspiration behind the Eljay Foundation for Parkinson Awareness, now known as the National Parkinson Foundation of SWLA & SETX, which provides support and encouragement to those persons and families affected with Parkinson’s disease. He enjoyed attending the monthly support groups and fundraisers for the Parkinson Foundation. He was honored with the “Wind Beneath My Wings” Award in 2001 from the Eljay Foundation Board of Directors. Because of his desire to help others, his request was to donate his brain to science for Parkinson’s disease research and he was registered as an organ donor.
His memories and legacy will live on through his survivors, which include his wife of 45 years, Ella Morrow Guillory; mother Dorlica Frank of Mamou, and mother-in-law Cora Morrow of Vinton. He is also survived by one daughter Daphne (Dennis) Haskin of Pearland; and son Eligha Jr. (Nomica) Guillory of Iowa, La.
Also surviving are his grandchildren, Matthew Golden, Sydni Haskin, Dennis Haskin, Jr., Isabella Guillory, and Kennedy Haskin; brothers Benny Guillory, Wilbert Guillory, and Allen (Agnes) Guillory all of Lake Charles, Albert (Pam) Frank and Clyde (Barbara) Frank of DeRidder, La., Mitchell Frank, Conray Frank, and Nathan Frank all of Mamou; sisters Jeanella Goodly of Church Point, La., Linda Griffith, Lori Frank, and Tina Frank all of Mamou, and Velma (Clarence) Guillory of New Caney; An uncle, who was raised as a brother, Lee West (Beulah) Harrison of Mamou.
He was preceded in death by his father and step-father, step-mother Mary L. Guillory, and two brothers Darrel Guillory and Ronald Tennis Frank.
Memorial contributions can be made in his honor to the National Parkinson Foundation of SWLA/SETX for Parkinson’s Disease research or to the Eligha “Jay” Guillory Memorial Scholarship Fund at PO Box 16558 Lake Charles, LA 70616.