LULING, La. (WGNO) — In St. Charles Parish, a fallen deputy is getting recognition after losing his life in the line of duty nearly seventy years ago.
The family of St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s deputy Louis Harris Estay is finally hearing his name during the sheriff’s office’s annual peace officer memorial service that was held Tuesday.
Estay was killed in the line of duty when he was hit by a drunk driver on Highway 90 in 1953.
Estay’s great-granddaughter, Jo Ann Estay Walker, uncovered the information about his death after digging into her ancestry and then confirming it with her mother, Jo Ann Estay Walker.
“[My mother] said, ‘That’s correct; I remember that.’ So, we started talking, and then I called Greg Champagne, the sheriff, and he told me [to] find whatever I could, so I started researching, and that’s when we found all the paperwork,” said Lewing.
Sheriff Champagne says, unfortunately, there was no record of Estay because the sheriff’s office’s records do not date back that far.
Champagne says the news is bittersweet because although Estay is finally being honored for his service, he lost his life.
Estay’s granddaughter and great-granddaughter called the recognition an honor.
“Well, I mean you lost a family member…,” said Lewing as she fought back tears. “He served well, and we lost him because of being a deputy,” said Walker, Estay’s granddaughter.
Despite the decades that have passed since Estay’s death, his family says it is still just as important his name is added to the list of fallen officers showcased on the parish’s memorial.
“I want people to know that he was a deputy because this is what he loved doing,” said Walker. “Just like all these deputies, they love it.”
A year from now, Estay’s recognition will go beyond St. Charles Parish. His name will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington D.C.