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Wednesday, June 7, 2023
10:30am - 7:00pm (Central time)
Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Starts at 2:00pm (Central time)
New Iberia - Bruce John Maillet, most affectionately known as “Big Boo”, was a beloved Father, Grandfather, Son, and Brother. He passed away on June 3, 2023, at the age of 65. As a devote Catholic, he more than earned his place in Heaven.
A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 pm, on Wednesday, June 7, 2023, at Pellerin Funeral Home. Interment will be at a later date. Rev. Keith Landry will officiate.
Visitation will be Wednesday, from 10:30 am until 7:00 pm at Pellerin Funeral Home.
Bruce was born on February 10, 1958, in the small and quaint town of Bunkie, Louisiana. He often recalled fond memories from his childhood, such as walking to school with his sibling and classmates, playing football, and being a Boy Scout. It was here as a teenager, he acquired his first job as a stocker for Piggly Wiggly, “The Pig,” as he would call it. He took pride in hard work ethic even at a young age. On Sundays, you could find him serving as the altar boy at St. Anthony of Padua. Even as an adult he never missed mass on Sundays. He graduated from Bunkie High in 1976.
From here Bruce would attend Northeast Louisiana University in Monroe, Louisiana. He graduated with a BS in Building construction in 1979. In his true zealous nature, he was able to achieve this in accomplishment in only 3 years by taking additional courses at Louisiana State University of Alexandria in the summers. While attending NLU he was inducted as a member of the Sigma Lambda Chi, an Honorary College Engineering Fraternity. In the years to follow he would build on to his resume by taking continuing education courses at both the University of Southwestern Louisiana and Louisiana State University. Additionally acquiring a Building Constructor Contractor License.
Bruce spent a large majority of professional career in the sugar industry at M.A. Patout & Son LTD as a Project Manager/Operations Engineer. Here he devoted over 23 years to sugar mill design, construction, and modernization to the industry. One of his most prestigious achievements in his time there was managing the purchase, design, instillation, and operations of the first and only in-line Sugar Cane Diffuser in North America. This contribution alone increased raw sugar production by over 80% and is still used in production as of today. He was inducted into the American Society of Sugar Cane Technologist and had several of his designs and presentations published in the SUGAR JOURNAL.
He would later switch from sugar to salt as a Facility Maintenance Superintendent at Morton Salt for nearly 10 years. Here he was responsible for preventative maintenance, repairs, and replacement of buildings and equipment both on the surface and in the mine itself. During his time here he received several notary performance awards. One of which he was particularly proud of, over 3,000,000 man hours of operations without a loss. He would go on to be a Production manager and eventually retire at Marine Turbine Technologies. Here he assisted in supervising the production of some of the most up to date technology, including the Y2K motorcycle.
Bruce was a past Officer and Youth Director in the Knights of Columbus. As well as an Assistant Scout Master in Boy Scouts. He was a true “jack of all trades,” a real-life MacGyver. There was not a thing that he could not fix. You could often find him tinkering, building, constructing something in his shop. He loved modifying things to make them function better, particularly his boat. He loved fishing and spending time on the water. Often wrapping up every fishing trip with a tubbing ride for all his kids. In addition to fishing, he enjoyed hunting, carpentry, motorcycle riding, bird watching, computers and traveling. He often traveled to foreign places for work including, Brazil, Puerto Rico, several countries in both Africa and Europe. If you would ask him, his best traveling adventures were with his children and grandchildren.
While Bruce was proud of all his accomplishments the thing, he prided himself most on was being “Big Boo.” He loved being a grandfather more than anything in the world. He was notorious for bringing “surprises” for no reason. He loved spending time cooking and baking in the kitchen for the holidays. You could find him cheering in the bleachers on the volleyball court or in the stands waving his personally made flags at a softball game. He took his role as a grandfather very seriously and each year on their birthdays there was always a personal birthday text waiting. He was the first to say “Yes” to ice cream for lunch on family Christmas vacations. He never turned down a chance to play a board game with his grandchildren, but his most favorite thing of all was a good game of Dominoes.
Bruce truly never knew a stranger. You could always catch him in deep conversation with someone everywhere he would go. He was wise beyond belief, as compassionate as strong, and a gentle old soul to his core. If you ever went to him for advice, it would always be “Do you want me for support or for solutions?’ and “When in doubt, take the high road.” His infamous “Big Boo” hugs will be missed beyond comparison. If you ever needed the shirt off his back, he would have given it to you, and probably his shoes too. He will be remembered most for his kind eyes, captivating smile, his contagious laughter, but most of all his larger-than-life heart. He was a one in a million person and the void that he leaves behind with loves who were lucky enough to be loved by him will be impossible to fill.
Survivors include his children, Christina Maillet Smith (James), Bradley Joseph Maillet, Jennifer Maillet, Scott Maillet (Ashley), and Brittany Landry (Casey); mother, Virginia Tomino Maillet; brother, Gregory Maillet; sister, Gina Maillet Johnson; and grandchildren, Bailey, Lily, McKenna, Kevilynn, Evie, Layla, Annabel, Meredith, Hunter, Ava, Kinsley, and Theodore.
He was preceded in death by his father, Buford Maillet; and a brother, Michael Maillet.
Pellerin Funeral Home, 502 Jefferson Terrace, New Iberia, LA 70560 (337.365.3331)