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November 9, 1997
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(NEW ORLEANS LA) November 9, 1997--LMC Commissioner and longtime member of numerous bands including Beausoleil, the recently reunited Coteau, the bluegrass band the Clickin' Chickens, the Basin Brothers and others, Dr. Tommy Comeaux, was killed Saturday November 8 in a bicycling accident. Comeaux was struck by a sport utility vehicle while riding in the small community of Broussard. The driver of the vehicle apparently suffered a medical emergency and lost control, crossing the center of the road and striking Comeaux head-on, killing him instantly.
Dr. Tommy Comeaux was appointed to the Louisiana Music Commission in 1992 and was a strong supporter who rarely missed a meeting. He was a versatile guitarist who also played bolero, pedal steel, bass and mandolin. In 1995 he was voted "Best Cajun Guitarist" in a local music poll.
Tommy graduated Valedictorian of his senior class and Summa Cum Laude from LSU. He attended LSU Medical School and became a pathologist. He was head of Lourdes Pathology Group in Lafayette, a division of Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center and a member of numerous medical societies.
As a musician he shared in four Grammy nominations and was a member of the Board of Selections for Grammy awards. He was an award winning marathon runner and had fairly recently taken up bicycling which he took as seriously as his other pursuits.
"I met Tommy long before he was a member of this commission and I was a fan long before that," said LMC executive director Bernie Cyrus. "Louisiana music lost more than just a talented player, it lost a good friend, and so did I."
"I learned to play guitar in the early 1970s in part by listening to Tommy when he was a member of Big Pecan, a band that included my older brother," said LMC assistant director Steve Picou. "He was a dear friend and I know I'm not alone in missing him."
"Tommy Comeaux was a doctor, musician, producer, songwriter and more," said Cyrus. "He was a true universal man."
Comeaux's work also encompassed scoring soundtracks in his home studio for local video productions, including a job that reunited him with Mike Doucet after Comeaux had left Beausoliel. That work reinforced their relationship, leading to Comeaux again joining Doucet and becoming a member of the legendary Cajun/jazz/rock/fusion band Coteau which recorded and released an album recently and is scheduled to tour. Coteau's new record, which comes 20 years after the band had broken up in 1977, has received rave reviews, including a recent article in the Washington Post.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Delhomme Funeral Home at 1011 Bertrand Drive in Lafayette. Visitation is Sunday from 5 pm until 8:30 pm with a rosary at 7 pm. Visitation will continue on Monday until 12:30 pm with funeral services to be held at St. Pius Catholic Church on Kaliste Saloom Road in Lafayette and internment will be at Calvary Cemetery on Cartel Avenue (the old Breaux Bridge highway) in Lafayette. Tommy Comeaux was 45 years old (Feb. 15, 1952) and is survived by his parents, two brothers and two nieces.
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