Edward Larvadain Jr. hated living in New Orleans in 1966. A new attorney recently graduated from Southern University. City politics was not his style, although close to his Assumption Parish family.
When he heard that Legal Aid was looking for black lawyers to work in other parts of the state, he went looking for a new home to help others.
Neither Tallulah nor Shreveport clicked on him, said son Edward Larvadain III, but Alexandria was different.
Since moving here in 1967, Larvadain has embarked on a path that broke barriers, angered the establishment, and worked to advance civil rights for the black community. He died on January 8th in Christ St. Frances Cabrini Hospital.
He was 79 years old. Larvadain had signed COVID-19 in December 2020, according to his family.
A drive-by viewing will take place on Sunday from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the Progressive Funeral Home, 2308 Broadway Ave. held in Alexandria. A small private church service will be held on Monday that complies with COVID-19 guidelines.
Larvadain met his wife, Patricia Ann Dorsett, while visiting Southern. They had two sons, Edward “Ed” Larvadain III and Malcolm X. Larvadain, who both became lawyers and held public office.
“He was larger than life when he grew up with a father like that,” said Larvadain III, who now represents District 26 in Louisiana law.
He called him a good father and provider who showed his sons “how to be men, how to be responsible, how to be respectful.
“He taught us good work ethics. He taught us to be leaders. He taught us to be only a man of your word. If you say you will do something, do it.”
“I can tell you he did his job,” said son Malcolm X. Larvadain, a lawyer and former member of Alexandria City Council. “My father did his job. I can tell you everything I am, am not and will be, I owe it to Ed Larvadain Jr.”
Another important lesson their father taught them was how to help those around you and make a difference in the community. According to his obituary, Larvadain Jr. practiced what he taught his sons.
He spent a Christmas break in jail while in college after a sit-in to incorporate a Baton Rouge lunch counter. He staked businesses in downtown Alexandria for not hiring blacks, even though the same companies were eagerly accepting their money. He helped open the Alexandria Bar Association to black lawyers and fought for courts to appeal to blacks like whites of mr, mrs or mrs.
And in the late 1960s, he moved to the all-white Acadian Village subdivision on threats of legal action when a real estate agent refused to sell to him. That caused the whites to move to the newer Charles Park neighborhood, but Larvadain Jr. wasn’t far behind them.
When he met resistance again, according to his obituary, he had a white friend buy a lot for him.
Larvadain Jr. continued working until he fell ill. He was in Marksville in October 2020 working with New York attorney Justin Bonus to relieve Angolan prisoner Vincent Simmons.
He was a member of the Alexandria Chapter of NAACP, the Louis A. Martinet Society, and President of Help Planners, Inc. He was inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame of the Southern University Law Center.
“He taught us a lot. He’s the reason we are the way we are now. Many children just don’t have strong fathers, but we have been blessed to have a great father,” said Larvadain III.
In addition to his wife and sons, Larvadain Jr. survives a daughter-in-law, Cynthia (Ed); one granddaughter, Paige Larvadain; Sisters, Sally Mustiful (Curtis), Antoinette Burns, JoAnn McKay (James), Janice Larvadain, Emma Hill (Kenneth), and Karnelia Larvadain; a brother, Russell Larvadain Sr. (Beverly); an aunt, Mary Larvadain; a brother-in-law, Allen Dorsett; a dedicated secretary of 47, Priscilla Hayward; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Southern University Law Center in memory of Edward Larvadain Jr. and mailed to: Southern University Law Center, Attn: Robbin Thomas, PO Box 9294; Baton Rouge, La. 70813.