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James Buchanan Blitch, Jr.

October 26, 1947 ~ March 15, 2024 (age 76) 76 Years Old

James Blitch, Jr. Obituary


James Buchanan Blitch Jr. died at his home in Abita Springs, Louisiana on March 15, 2024, at the age of 76 after a three and a half year battle with cancer. Jim was born in New Orleans to Hilda Goodspeed Mouledoux and James Buchanan Blitch Sr. on October 26, 1947.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 27 years, Lovelle Johnston-Keen Blitch and his two sons, James Buchanan Blitch III and his wife Melissa, and Jason Mackenzie Blitch. He is also survived by his adored  grandchildren, Madison, Abigail and Gavin Blitch. Jim is also survived by his stepson, Russell Clark Pottharst Jr. and step grandson, Cohen Blake Pottharst. Jim was the eldest son of a large and tightly knit family and will be deeply missed by his siblings, John "Jack" Crandell Blitch, Ronald Buchanan Blitch, Courtney Ann Blitch (George Long), David Alan Blitch (Margaret), Leslie Blitch Wells (Russell) and Lisl Blitch Moyer Huckins (Paul). He is preceded in death by his parents, his infant sister, Judith Ann Blitch, and Jim’s wife by first marriage, Mary Pat Becnel Holt, the mother of his sons, Jimmy and Jason.

Jim was a graduate of De La Salle High School and Louisiana State University where he received a bachelor’s degree in construction management. He enjoyed a long and distinguished career supervising large projects for leading construction companies in Louisiana and across the country. Before retirement, he ran his own construction consulting and outsourcing firm. Jim served four years in the United States Air Force as a Morse Systems Operator and Radio Dispatcher, serving at Keesler Air Force Base and Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Staff Sergeant and earned the Air Force Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. While attending what was then LSUNO, Jim was an active member of the Alpha Phi chapter of Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity. He was also a member of the American Philatelic Society. After retirement, Jim enjoyed volunteering at St. Tammany and Lakeview Regional Hospitals. He especially enjoyed his volunteer work at New Heights Therapeutic Riding Center in Folsom, where he assisted children and adults with physical, cognitive and emotional difficulties to explore the benefits of equine therapy. Jim loved helping wheelchair-bound individuals experience the freedom that horseback riding could bring them. He became an expert at using the ramps and lifts at the facility to help clients mount a horse, many for the first time. He found joy and satisfaction in leading individuals around the ring on horseback. Jim was an avid outdoorsman and a skilled Louisiana cook in the long tradition of hunters and fishermen who enjoy preparing what they harvest from the woods and waters. His turtle soup was a masterpiece. Unlike many restaurant chefs, Jim actually knew how to turn a living, breathing turtle into a perfectly seasoned, sherry-laced delicacy. When you were enjoying his sauce piquant, it was better not to ask exactly what kind of meat it contained; best to just enjoy it.

In lieu of flowers, donations to New Heights Therapeutic Riding Center (https://www.newheightstherapy.org/donate) or the Blitch Family Foundation dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of Historic Abita Springs (https://www.gnof.org/donors/ways-to-give/donate/) are preferred.

Burial will be private, and a celebration of Jim’s life will be held at a later date.

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