Saturday, December 11, 2010

Obituary for Calvin LaMartiniere

Cal was one of my DINFOS teachers and truly a character.

Calvin Mitchel LaMartiniere, 71, passed away Thursday, December 9, 2010 at his residence.

He was a journalist and broadcaster for U.S.A.F. Arm Forces Radio, served three tours in Vietnam, awarded the bronze star and was a Special Ed teacher for the Rapides School system.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Mitchel & Lucille LaMartiniere; and sister, Clemelee who died at infancy.

He is survived by his three sisters, Betty LaMartiniere Nixon of Baton Rouge, LA, Lois LaMartiniere Carbo of Knoxville, TN and Mary LaMartiniere Barbera of Boyce, LA; two nephews; and four nieces; Cal, as he was fondly called was a lover of family, friends and life.

Family is having a private memorial service at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please donate to charity of choice.

Sign Cal's memorial

Here's Cal's bigraphy from macoi

Cal Lamartiniere began his radio career in 1956 at the age of 15 as a guest disc jockey on KALB in Alexandria, Louisiana. After high school he was hired part-time at KCLP, a 500-watt station in Rayville, Louisiana. One of his assignments was to broadcast Rayville's high school football games, and during the half-time of the Rayville-Delhi game, he had the unique opportunity to interview Delhi resident Jerry Lee Lewis and his cousin, a little-known minister named Jimmy Swaggert.

He left the station to attend the University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette (now known as the University of Louisiana-Lafayette). His application for internship was accepted at WWL, a prestigious 50,000-watt station with studios in downtown New Orleans at the Roosevelt Hotel. Cal broadcast on two high profile radio programs. He served as announcer for the Leon Kelner Orchestra which broadcast each evening from the Roosevelt Hotel's Blue Room, and he also hosted "Nightflight from New Orleans," sponsored by American Airlines.

Joining the Air Force, Cal was assigned to AFRTS, and on Christmas Day 1966 he arrived at AFVN. He spent two years in Vietnam, the first year in news and the second as program director. After serving several months of his first tour in Saigon, Cal moved in May 1967 to Detachment 6 at Tuy Hoa. With studios literally on the beach of the South China Sea, Tuy Hoa was a coveted assignment. Facilities included a beachfront barbecue pit and bar. After re-enlisting and extending his tour, however, Cal returned to Saigon to serve as program director at the headquarters station. While at AFVN, he was promoted twice, and he left Vietnam on Christmas Eve 1968 as a Technical Sergeant (E-6).

His next assignment was to Washington, DC at AFRTS Headquarters. While there he moonlighted as an instructor at a local broadcasting school. For the remainder of his Air Force career, Cal served in all parts of the globe. He was, at various times, an electronics instructor at Lowry AFB, Colorado and Keesler AFB, Mississippi, and he was an instructor at DINFOS. He served in Europe and in Iceland, and at Wheelus Air Base in Tripoli, Libya. His final assignment was back at AFRTS in Washington, where he was promoted to Master Sergeant (E-7), and served as newscaster/writer and Executive Assistant Director of AFRTS Headquarters.

After 20 years with the Air Force, Master Sergeant Lamartiniere opted for retirement in 1983. But as a parting gift, and in a classic example of bad timing, Cal was told on the very day of his retirement that he had been selected for promotion to E-8. He politely declined, and returned to civilian status at the age of 43.

Cal then returned to the college campus, completed his degree, and became a high school teacher for the next 20 years. He retired from his second career in January 2003, and began spending his time building high speed computers. He lives in Alexandria, Louisiana.

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