James D. Tomplait, Sr., 86, of Port Arthur, Texas passed away on Friday, January 13, 2023, at his residence in Port Arthur.
James was born on November 3, 1936, in Port Arthur, Texas. He was the son of Vencia and Eunice Vice Tomplait. James was a lifelong member of the Port Acres community and graduated from Stephen F. Austin High School, Class of 1955. He then met the “love of his life”, Esther Elizondo. James and his wife were lifelong members of St. Therese, the Little Flower of Jesus Catholic Church, were C.Y.O. advisors from 1972 to 1980, and were honored with the “For GOD and Youth” award. James was also an Honorary Life Member of the Knights of Columbus Council 3195, a Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree member of Assembly 1100, and a member of the ARCO Retirees Club. James, like his father, was an avid gardener. He enjoyed planting his garden, watching it grow and harvesting, and sharing with his children, grandchildren, family and friends. He particularly enjoyed watching his grandchildren pick the first vegetables of the season. James enjoyed cooking his favorite Cajun gumbos, ettouffees, and bar-b-que for his family and friends.
James in his early years was employed by Weingartens as a produce manager. He later worked at Koppers and through several company name changes. He retired from Quantam Chemical in Port Arthur. James served in the Army National Guard assigned to Headquarter Co. 111th Engineering Battalion and was Honorably Discharged in 1963.
His pride and joy were his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren as they adored him. James loved attending their school and athletic functions and was also “Paw Paw” to many in his community.
James was preceded in death by his parents, Vencia and Eunice Tomplait and his wife of fifty years, Esther Tomplait who passed away on January 9, 2011, brothers Lee Roy Tomplait, and Curtis Tomplait.
James leaves behind his sons, James “Jimmy” Tomplait, Jr., and his wife Toni of Port Acres, John A. Tomplait and his wife, Cindi of Port Acres; daughter, Andrea Hart and her wife, Sara Beth of Nederland; grandchildren, Tiffany Tompkins and her husband Daniel, Erin Peltier and her husband Rhett, Allison Lankford and her husband Nick, April Tatum and her husband Garrett, Trey Hart and his wife Brooke, and Dalton Hart; brother, Larry Tomplait and his wife Mary of Port Acres; ten great grandchildren; nieces and nephews (who knew him as "Uncle Brother"), special friend Dorothy Hanley of Port Arthur, and many other family members and friends who loved him dearly.
A gathering of friends and family will take place at Melancon Funeral Home from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Thursday, January 19, 2023, with a Rosary to be recited at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home in Nederland. A Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted at 10:00 a.m. Friday, January 20, 2023, at St. Therese, the Little Flower of Jesus Catholic Church in Port Acres with burial to follow at Oak Bluff Memorial Park in Port Neches, Texas.
Serving as Pallbearers will be Trey Hart, Adam Rhoades, Vince Tomplait, Larry Richard, Larry Tomplait, and Dale Comeaux.