Wilmer Baudoin, Jr.*
Inducted on August 01, 2009
Wilmer J. “Shorty” Baudoin, Sr. was born on April 1, 1923. He has been an icon of Louisiana political life for over half a century. A native of Delcambre, Louisiana, he graduated from high school in 1941. Baudoin enlisted in the US Army on February 18, 1943, and was assigned to the 11th Airborne Division as a gliderman. Baudoin served his country in the Pacific Theatre of WWII and received an honorable discharge on March 4, 1946. Thereafter, Baudoin became an entrepreneur in south Louisiana and established the Belvedere Club,the name reflecting his appreciation for the natural beauty of the place where he was born and raised.
The public sphere of Baudoin’s life was initiated by his close association with his first cousin, the Cajun political juggernaut, Dudley J. “Couzin Dud” LeBlanc. As documented by the media (notably by A.J. Liebling’s book, Earl of Louisiana, and granddaughter Michelle LeBlanc’s award-winning documentary film, Dudley J. LeBlanc: Cajun Renaissance Man), LeBlanc became a dominant political figure in south Louisiana during the 1950s,60s and 70s. Baudoin served LeBlanc as his trusted political advisor and became entrenched in the politics of Louisiana. Baudoin’s tenure at the Louisiana State Capital began informally, but his role soon changed as he became a trusted aide to the entire Louisiana State Senate. Together they worked to bring numerous public works projects to the small towns of south Louisiana. While serving in his capacity as assistant Sergeant-at-Arms (1965-1974) and Sergeant at Arms (1974-2002) of the Louisiana State Senate, Baudoin’s name may have never appeared on any particular piece of legislation yet, his contribution and steadfast stewardship during these years is evidenced by the outpouring of sentiment from the leadership of that house upon his retirement to Emeritus status. Senate Resolution Number 39 of the 2002 First Extraordinary Session provides a telling glimpse into the reverence Baudoin enjoyed from the senators he had loyally served for so many years. Baudion’s gregarious political acumen afforded him the friendship of numerous political figures throughout his career. His efforts to promote the unique qualities of Louisiana and its Cajun population all over the U. S and the world led to the honor that was bestowed upon him by the Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana, James Fitzmorris: Honorary Ambassador of Goodwill for the State of Louisiana. Baudoin also received an honorary citizenship to the City of New Orleans and was sworn in as an Honorary Assistant Attorney General.
Baudoin married the former Mary Helen Faulk in 1958, a marriage which has exceeded its fiftieth year. Together Helen and Wilmer raised two children, Wilmer, Jr and Jamie, who have in turn provided the family with four grandchildren.