Dr. Thomas Comeaux
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Sun, 23 Nov 97 16:58:01 -0800
Subject: Dr. Thomas Comeaux
Forwarded-by: "John G. Stewart" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Cordelia Cale <Calends@worldnet.att.net>
_The_Sunday_Advertiser_ 11/9/97 (used with permission):
"Area doctor, musician is killed in bike wreck"
Thomas Comeaux had played with BeauSoleil, Coteau.
John St. Ores
LAFAYETTE - Acadiana is mourning the loss of a man who moved effortlessly
between the worlds of medecine and music, and, in doing so, touched both
body and soul.
Dr. Thomas G. Comeaux, 45, local physician and former member of the award
winning band, BeauSoleil, died Saturday when the bicycle he was riding was
struck by an automobile.
According to Lt. Ken Franques, of the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office, at
approximately 9:30 a.m. (Saturday, 11/8), a vehicle driven by Hebert Hermis,
37, of Lafayette, was traveling west in the 300 block of Shenandoah Drive,
near Broussard. Hermis apparently lost control of his vehicle and crossed
the center line into the opposing lane, striking Comeaux. Acadian Air Med
Ambulance transported Comeaux to Lafayette General Medical Center, where he
was pronounced dead by emergency room physicians. "We're trying to determine
why (Hermis) lost control," Franques said. "Eyewitnesses indicate that the
reason may be a medical seizure of some kind." The Lafayette Sheriff's
Accident Investigation Team is continuing their probe.
Comeaux, a staff pathologist at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center,
was perhaps better known as one of the world's premier Cajun musicians. A
longtime member of BeauSoleil, Basin Brothers, Clickin' Chickens, Coteau
and other bands, Comeaux was a prodigal performer who was accomplished on
guitar, dobro, mandolin and bass. In 1995, Comeaux was voted "Best Cajun
Guitarist" in a local music poll.
"He was the best of the best," said Sonny Landreth, who performed with
Comeaux in a number of bands. "He always helped people. It's amazing how
many circles of people he was connected with. Friends say a lifetime of
generosity is the foundation upon which Comeaux's legacy will rest. "He was
always there for you," said Gary Newman, a friend of Comeaux's and a local
musician, shortly after learning of the tragedy. "Beyond that, it's
difficult to reduce Tommy Comeaux's full and active life to mere words."
Landreth agreed that Comeaux lived life to the fullest. "You hear that
phrase a lot, but Tommy really defined it," he said. "That kind of
friendship is a very rare thing. I've lost a lot of friends, but this cuts
Camille Roach, co-owner of Grant Street Dancehall, said Comeaux put his
heart and soul into both his medical and his musical vocations. "He was just
an all-around good guy," Roach said. "He played different types of music,
but it was always honest, always from the heart. That was the common musical
thread that wove it all together."
Landreth said that Comeaux, Cajun born and Cajun bred, personified the "joi
de vivre" of the native culture. "Tommy had a remarkable capacity for living
and loving life," Landreth said. "He was constantly involved with helping
people and doing things he loved." Both Landreth and Newman said Comeaux's
friends could never figure out where he found the time or energy to impact
so many people's lives. "The guy would sleep maybe six hours a night,"
Landreth said. "But a big part of his life was taking care of himself." A
confessed "fitness junkie," Comeaux was an award-winning marathon runner
who had just taken up a new sport - bicycling. "He loved riding his bike,"
said Landreth. --
© 1997 Peter Langston