Cover photo for Wayne Anthony "Tony" Latiolais's Obituary
Wayne Anthony "Tony" Latiolais Profile Photo
1951 Tony 2024

Wayne Anthony "Tony" Latiolais

September 19, 1951 — March 21, 2024

We cannot even imagine the stories we would hear 

if the walls of that old green house could talk. 

And now, unfortunately, all we have are the stories. 

They are all gone. It feels like a hole. 

A giant piece of history that 

has just quietly faded away. 

The last of the boat builders, 

the last of the musicians, 

the last of the talented 

Latiolais Brothers. 

But there is a sense of peace knowing they are all together again 

playing music and building the most beautiful wooden pieces for Heaven. 

So, if you were lucky enough to have a swing, 

table, boat, or home, hold on to it. 

They don’t make ‘em like that anymore.

Tonya Latiolais Reed  ~


Cecilia- Wayne Anthony “Tony” Latiolais, age 72 of Henderson, passed away on March 21, 2024, after a long illness. He was in the comfort of his home with the love of his family surrounding him.

A visitation will take place at Pellerin Funeral Home in Cecilia on Sunday, March 24, 2024 from 1:00 pm until the time of service at 4:30 pm. Burial will follow immediately at St. Joseph Cemetery.

Born September 19, 1951, Tony was the youngest of twelve children born to Lionel Joseph Latiolais Sr. and Loula Marie Devillier Latiolais. Raised in a family of home builders, Tony was a master carpenter and craftsman, working alongside his brothers to construct many area homes and camps. As an avid hunter for most of his life, Tony was an expert marksman and exceptional cook. He enjoyed cooking big suppers for all his friends and family. As a talented musician growing up, Tony often had guitar in hand, playing folk music at all the “clubhouse”, sandbar and park parties, for hundreds of people to enjoy. He also played rhythm guitar professionally for many years with Cajun bands “The Basin Brothers” and “The Traiteurs.”

Most notably, Tony was highly recognized as a renowned wooden boat- builder. Following in the footsteps of his father Lionel and brother “Gouyou”, Tony hand-crafted authentic cypress plank pirogues, flat-bottom race boats and traditional “putt-putt” bateaus. His boats have been featured at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, Bayou Vermillion District in Lafayette, LA (Vermillionville), Southern Living magazine (July & Nov. 1990), Garden & Gun magazine (April/May 2013), Acadiana Profile (Aug./Sept. 2014) and many other magazines, books and newspaper articles. His boats have also been featured in multiple movies and documentaries, including the Hallmark Hall of Fame Feature movie presentation of William Faulkner’s “Old Man” (1997) in which the main characters survive the “1927 Flood” in Tony’s custom built boat. Tony was also an actor in that movie, driving his putt-putt bateau and threatening to shoot lead actor Arliss Howard. Other films include “Swamp Shark” (TV movie 2011) and “From the Wake of the Bow” (documentary: Keepsake Productions, 1991).

Primarily self-employed as a carpenter, boat builder and musician, Tony was also employed by Latiolais Brothers Construction, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and by Bayou Vermillion District (BVD and Vermillionville).

Tony is survived by his loving wife of 24 years, Jerilyn Walker (originally of Marathon, NY), his two daughters, Tonya Latiolais Reed (Donnie) and Danielle Latiolais (Trent Thibodeaux), along with grandchildren Rylan Calais, Blake Calais, Taegan Thibodeaux, Taetum Thibodeaux, and Tate Thibodeaux (Also affectionately known as Tic’ Tac’ and Toe’) all of Henderson. He is also survived by step-grandchildren Savannah Reed Quebedeaux, Garrett Reed and Taylor Reed, and three step great- grandchildren.

Tony was preceded in death by his parents Lionel Joseph Latiolais Sr. and Loula Marie Devillier Latiolais and ten siblings, Lee Roy “Mose” Latiolais, Albert John “Gouyou” Latiolais, Lionel Joseph “Mike” Latiolais, Jr., Laura Jeanne Latiolais Bossenberry, Warren Jack "Bob" Latiolais, Achilles Joseph "Dahling" Latiolais, Darrell John “Daro” Latiolais, Evelyn Frances Latiolais Kidder, Georgia Anne “Jo” Latiolais Thibodeaux, and Danny Joseph Latiolais (Mary). Tony was also preceded in death by one Son-in-Law, Aaron Blake Calais.

Pallbearers are Donnie Reed, Rylan Calais, Blake Calais, Garret Reed, Trent Thibodeaux, and Stevie Allemond.

Honorary Pallbearers are Errol Verret and Kelly Latiolais.

The family would like to express their gratitude for the care and compassion given to their loved one by Hospice of Acadiana. Especially Tonya Suire, RN and Tony’s favorite red head, Alyson Champagne, RN.

In lieu of flowers, Tony wanted memorial donations in his name to be made to The Al Berard fund for traditional music.

Pellerin Funeral Home (337) 332-2111 is in charge of arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Wayne Anthony "Tony" Latiolais, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, March 24, 2024

1:00 - 4:30 pm (Central time)

Pellerin Funeral Home - Cecilia

2238 Bushville Hwy, Arnaudville, LA 70512

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Starts at 4:30 pm (Central time)

Pellerin Funeral Home - Cecilia

2238 Bushville Hwy, Arnaudville, LA 70512

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Sunday, March 24, 2024

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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