Tamale Fiesta poster dedicated to memory of Staci Jones Lafitte

Article Image Alt Text

The 35th Annual Tamale Fiesta Poster is sponsored this year by Lorene and Calvin Jones, in honor of their daughter, Staci Lynne Jones Lafitte, who left this world at 33 years of age in 1997.

The poster, created by Richelle Doris of Anacoco, will be unveiled in ceremonies at the Fiesta grounds building on Thursday, September 12 beginning at 7 p.m. p.m. in the Exhibit Building on the Tamale Fiesta Grounds.  The #1 poster, Anniversary Poster and the original painting will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. 

Staci Lynne Jones Lafitte’s story actually began when her parents fell in love and married in 1963.  Lorene Brandon, daughter of Zwolle Marshall Quinton Brandon and wife, Nannie, developed a school girl crush on Calvin Jones, a handsome man, who had graduated several years before Miss Brandon.  Following her graduation from Zwolle High, the couple began dating and four years later, during her senior year of college, they were married.  The son of Dewey and Doris Jones, he was an established businessman.  He owned the Citgo Bulk Plant in Many and was involved in the timber business.

Ten months after their marriage, the couple joyously greeted their daughter, Staci Lynne.  Her March 30, 1964 birth caused great celebration since she was the first grandchild on both sides of the family.

Mrs. Jones loved becoming a mother and spent many hours with her baby.  She read to her, nurtured and loved her.  Three years later, the couple welcomed their son, Todd.  With a toddler and a newborn, Mrs. Jones was a busy mother.

The family enjoyed weekends at the lake in their boat.

 Staci took piano lessons from Mrs. James E. Davis and played for pleasure.

“Staci was the light of Calvin’s life and he was hers,” Mrs. Jones added. 

At Zwolle High, she became active in numerous clubs and organizations and took twirling lessons.

A popular student, she was named Most Beautiful one year, reigned as the first Miss Teen Tamale Fiesta and later on competed in the Tamale Fiesta Pageant and was named first runner-up to the Queen’s title and was honored by being named Miss Congeniality.

An honor student, she played flute in the band and also was a member of the band’s Rifle Corps.

She loved growing up in Zwolle, which has always been “home” to the Joneses and Brandons. 

Her father continues to make daily trips to Zwolle to pick up his mail at the Zwolle Post Office, even though he and his wife re-located on the lake some 25 years ago!

She graduated from Zwolle High in 1982 and enrolled at Louisiana Tech in Ruston, where she studied for two years.  At Tech, she competed in the Miss Tech Pageant.

Deciding to live closer to home, she enrolled at Northwestern State University for a semester and also attended LSU-S in Shreveport.  During that time, she was employed at The Travel Place in Natchitoches before going to work for Many Attorney James Lynn Davis.

Staci married Todd Lafitte on November 2, 1991.  She continued to work at the law office until her son, Tyler was born the following year. 

“Tyler was her heart,” her mother pointed out.  “She really blossomed in motherhood.”

Staci’s life revolved her little son.  She took him to swimming lessons, cheered for him at T-ball games and read to him every night.

Staci returned to work until 1996, when the couple decided to add to their family.

The young family welcomed their baby daughter in May, 1997.

“Ashley was the icing on the cake,” Mrs. Jones beamed.  “Not just for Staci and Todd, but for all of us!”

Life was good.  The Lafittes had purchased a new home on the outskirts of Many.  Staci was enjoying her yard and her six-month-old daughter.

Staci became ill on December 13, 1997 from Waterhouse-Friderichsen Syndrome. WFS is a fulminant bacterial infection characterized by a sudden onset of fever, toxemia, shock and death.  

No one knows why this merciless disease struck Staci at this exact moment in her life.  She was a wife and new mother—a vibrant 33-year-old standing on the brink of a long, happy life.  One moment she was healthy and 24-hours later, she was gone.

Staci was laid to rest in the Many Cemetery after one of Zwolle’s largest funerals at the First Baptist Church on December 17.

Staci’s parents decided to honor their daughter by sponsoring this year’s poster.

“One of the reasons we decided to sponsor the poster was because of Staci’s love for the Tamale Fiesta and the people of Zwolle and in Sabine Parish,” her mother stated.

The dedication of this year’s poster gives us all pause to remember Staci Jones Lafitte—a beautiful young wife and mother.

Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (6 votes)