Preston Steadman was born the son of W. L. and Ada Belle Anders Steadman of Powhatan, Louisiana on March 13, 1922. Preston is survived by his three children, Dwane Steadman and wife Carol, Loura Steadman Frye and Terri Steadman Cedars and husband Winston, all of Natchitoches, Louisiana as well as stepdaughter Cathy Catchpole and husband Terry of Wellesley, Massachusetts. Preston was blessed with 12 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren. Mr. Steadman was a life long resident of Natchitoches.
Preston was preceded in death by the mother of his children, Sallie Johnson Steadman and his second wife, Dorothy Lee Steadman, as well as one sister, Bessie Steadman, and one brother Jessie Steadman.
Preston served during WWII in the U. S. Navy during the Pacific campaign as a sonar-man and gunner on the USS Richard S. Bull, Destroyer Escort. In recent years, he blessed his children, grandchildren and many friends with first hand accounts of many historic WWII battles he witnessed. He was a true patriot who valued the American way of life and all it stands for.
Preston was a butcher by trade for many years. After a long career in the supermarket industry he went on to teach meat cutting in the Louisiana State Vo-Tech system until his retirement.
After retirement, Preston enjoyed traveling, gardening, spending time with his family, and playing music for area nursing homes. Those homegrown tomatoes will certainly be missed!
Preston learned to play the fiddle by ear as a child from his mother and an uncle. His love for music was fully demonstrated as he participated in numerous bands and jam sessions with a large number of bluegrass and country musicians in the Natchitoches area over the years, playing not only the fiddle but the mandolin and guitar as well. Preston performed at the NSU Folk Festival and served as a judge in fiddling contests. In 1981, Preston was honored by his selection to the Louisiana Hall of Master Folk Artists and was inducted at the Natchitoches- NSU Folk Festival Hall of Fame. During his Navy tour he wrote the "Pacific Waltz," and he played it at least once during all of his performances, which included festivals throughout the northern part of Louisiana as well as nursing homes, parties, and benefits.
He also enjoyed playing his fiddle for his children, grand children and great grandchildren who affectionately knew him as “Pawpaw.” One special memory is of him playing “Pop Goes the Weasel” and letting the children “pop” the fiddle string at “just the right” time! He also loved to dance and his fast “toe tapping” would challenge the best!
Preston was an avid outdoorsman and hunter. For many years, he was a respected owner and trainer of award winning coonhounds and squirrel dogs. He considered his dogs to be members of his family and his beloved Chipper, his last squirrel dog, will miss him immensely. There is no doubt that many beloved pets will be greeting him at Rainbow Bridge!
Preston was chosen to represent Natchitoches Parish in the “Triumph Over Tragedy” documentary commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Great Depression/New Deal Era in North Louisiana. He personally told stories that were featured in a television production documentary in which Preston spoke for almost an hour of his life experiences during this period of our history.
Preston was truly one of a dying breed. He was a hard working, family man who loved God, his family, and country. He made many sacrifices throughout his life for those dear to him.
Services will be held Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. Visitation will be Wednesday, September 18, 2013 from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home. Pallbearers for the service will be Andy Cedars, Dudley Cedars, Scott Clark, Ryan Steadman, Van Wiggins and Brad Stewart.
Honorary Pallbearers will be good friends John Ammons, Anthony Trichell, Billy Wayne Weaver, Charles LaCaze, and Michael Mondello.