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Aurelian Joseph “AJ” Luquette, Jr. – December 5, 2013

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AJ was born in Beaumont on April 29, 1926 to Dora Price Luquette and A.J. Luquette, Sr. He grew up in the Beaumont area andgraduated from St. Anthony High School in 1943. He was the second oldest of 6 brothers and sisters.

That fall, AJ headed to OSU for a semester to play football, but in the spring HE volunteered for United States Army asa paratrooper in World War II in ‘44 and 45.  He was stationed in Okinawa. after the war, he supported an orphanage for more than 50 years that was started by a Japanese priest on the island while AJ was stationed there.  He was humbled to participate in the in the 2010 Texas Panhandle Honor Flight to Washington, DC.

After being honorably discharged from the army in 1945, he attended Lamar Jr College on a football schlorship.  At the same time and over the next few years, he also pursued a professional baseball career with the New York Giants. Then he played extensively in various leagues as a pitcher, including the Gulf Coast League in Lake Charles and the Big State League out of Greenville, TX.   Later he became a  baseball scout for the California Angels. 

AJ graduated from Stephen F. Austin University in 1950, and after 4 yrs of pitching, he decided to begin coaching. Interestingly, AJ played with ‘Bum’ Phillips at Lamar Jr College, and later  his Brenham Cubs played against the upcoming pitcher Nolan Ryan.  He also had Farah Faucett in class at WB Ray high school.  In 1954, he married his first wife Marguarette Beasley, and they had 5 children.

He received a master’s degree from the University of Texas and a PHD from Texas A&M in 1969 and forever remained a faithful and loyal Aggie.

In 1952, ‘Coach’ Luquette transitioned from pitching into a high school football and baseball coach at WB Ray High School in Corpus Christi. There he won the state football championship in 1959.  He coached at Ray with both of his brothers-in-laws,  Dale Taylor and Chuck Haynes.  In 1963,  AJ and his family moved to Brenham, Texas where he was the head baseball coach and athletic director for the Brenham Clawing Cubs.  While in Brenham, he began a legacy and winning tradition in baseball that continues today with state championships.

In 1967,  he and his family moved to College Station where his claim to fame was his doctoral thesis which documented the effects of second hand cigarette smoke on children living in a smoking environment.  He was ahead of his time.  

In 1969, Dr. Luquette moved  to West Texas State University in Canyon where he was a professor in the Health, Phy Ed, and Recreation Department for 20 plus years before retiring in 1994.  He was responsible for Physical Education student teachers in the Panhandle area and made many many lifelong friends with his students and area coaches. 

In 1975, he married Lois Jean Reed who had 3 children. They made Canyon their home for over 20 years.  AJ and Jean were married 34 years before her death in 2011.

Golf was one of AJ’s  life-long favorite sports. He was part of a group of men that played golf for over 35 years at Palo Duro Creek as well as other various golf facilities in the Amarillo area.  They were called “The Lunch Bunch”, playing 3 times a week for many years.  Doc Luquette had a special “gift” for remembering and telling jokes which was one of his favorite things to do, next to golf and his family. He was rarely seen not wearing a cap or beret that supported one of his favorite teams,  especially the Texas A&M Aggies, or West Texas A&M.  He was the original “Mr. Clean” having been bald most of his life and proud of it.  He loved answering to “Coach”!

AJ loved sports, especially football and baseball and was a referee in the Amarillo and Panhandle area for many years.   He was a member of the WB Ray Texan Hall of Fame, The Stephen F. Austin Alumni Association, and the Texas Retired Teachers association.  He was long time member of Kawanis Club, The Lions Club of Canyon, and Texas Retired Teachers Association.  He and his wife Jean enjoyed Senior Citizens and being involved in various bridge groups. He enjoyed volunteering with Meals on Wheels and spending time with his family.

Dr. Luquette was preceded in death by his first wife Marguarette Luquette, his second wife Lois Jean Luquette, and his son William Joseph ‘Bill’ Luquette.

Dr. Luquette is survived by daughters Pebbie and husband Mickey Comer of Amarillo; Gina Luquette and husband Dan Iesu of New Town, Connecticut; Patty and husband Scott Nall of Canyon, Texas; son AJ “Joe” Luquette, III of Amarillo; step-daughter Linda Gromowsky-Parrish and her husband Richard of Fort Worth; step-son Randy Reed of Brenham; step-son Joe and wife Carol Reed of Pampa; 15 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.  His family  loved ‘Papa AJ’ as well as extended family and many friends throughout the state of Texas.

His family wishes to thank his long time doctors: Dr. Kibbey, Dr. Desai, and Dr. Hromas for their faithful years of care and Odyssey Hospice Care and a special person, Susan Rozen, for their loving care.  We thank his church family at St. Thomas the Apostle church for their many prayers.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Dr. A.J. Luquette memorial scholarship   c/o WTAMU Foundation, Box 60766, Canyon, Texas 79016.  Or the Downtown Women’s Center c/o Diann Gilmore, 409 South Monroe, Amarillo, 79101. A memorial will be set at a later date. 

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