John Wayne Rabalais

September 07, 1944 - March 20, 2020

John Rabalais

John Wayne Rabalais, 75, of Beaumont, died Friday, March 20, 2020, at Brookdale-Dowlen Oaks, Beaumont. He was born on September 7, 1944, in Bunkie, Louisiana, to Lurline Saucier and Stafford Rabalais.

John received his doctorate from Louisiana State University in 1970. He spent the next year in Sweden as a NATO postdoctoral fellow studying photoelectron and Auger spectroscopy with the Nobel Prize winning professor. As a result of his important research, he has received numerous honors throughout his career. John is a member of the Louisiana State Hall of Distinction, as well as the Phi Lambda Upsilon Honorary Chemical Society. He has won two technical writing awards of which he is deservedly proud. In addition, in 1985, he won the University of Houston’s Research Excellence Award. Professor Rabalais became a Cullen Distinguished Professor in 1988; in 1995, he was awarded a joint appointment in both the chemistry and the physics departments. Professor Rabalais received the Esther Farfel Award in 1993 and has served on the Farlfel selection committee. He transferred from University of Houston as a Professor of Chemistry in 2002 to Lamar University where he completed his career.

He is survived by his wife, Rebeca Rabalais; and daughter, Eva Marie Rabalais, both of Beaumont; grandchildren, Lillian Atwood, of Austin, Juliet Schaeffer, Benjamin Squires, Charlotte Squires, and Magnus Townsend, all of Beaumont, and Caroline Rabalais, of Houston; four nieces and nephews; and sisters-in-law, Jo Ann Crossno and her husband, Champ, of Bossier City, Louisiana and Karen Mayeux and her husband, Johnny, of Beaumont.

John is preceded in death by his son, Dennis Rabalais; parents, Lurline and Stafford Rabalais; and sister, Linda Dean.

A family graveside service for Mr. Rabalais will be at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, 4955 Pine Street, Beaumont, under the direction of Broussard’s, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont.

Memorial contributions may be made to Alzheimer’s Association, 700 North Street, Suite M, Beaumont, Texas 77701; The Siegel Rare Neuroimmune Association (SRNA), P.O. Box 826962, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19182-6962; or to American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 42040, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73123.

Broussard's Mortuary - Major Drive
1605 N. Major Drive Beaumont, TX 77713
Family Graveside Service
Forest Lawn Memorial Park
4955 Pine St Beaumont, TX 77703

Comments (9)

  • Kathleen Richings

    25 March 2020 at 14:22 | #

    Deepest condolences to you Ms Becki and your entire family at this most difficult time. May our Heavenly Father hold you all in the palm of his hand and give you peace and comfort.. Much love and prayers.


  • Eileen Slater

    24 March 2020 at 18:48 | #

    Rebecca, we were saddened to learn of Wayne’s passing. Wayne was so sweet when I meet him. I wish I could have known him as a professor at Lamar University. His obituary shows him to have an impressive resume! We lost a great man but his great wife still lives . We pray for you at this time as you mourn his passing. Love , Eileen and Randy Slater


  • Kenneth Dorris

    24 March 2020 at 15:11 | #

    I was fortunate to know Dr, Rabalais as a colleague and friend. He will be missed.


  • Soukhodolets family

    24 March 2020 at 14:42 | #

    We were were fortunate to know Wayne Rabalais since 2004. Wayne was a truly amazing person: he was a multi-faceted individual who made significant accomplishments in science (and authored hundreds of research papers and scientific textbooks) and also wrote conventional books, which broadened the influence/appreciation of cajun culture. Wayne's passing breaks our hearts...


  • Christopher B Martin

    24 March 2020 at 11:59 | #

    Wayne and I started at the same time at Lamar - me at the very start of my career and Wayne closer to the end. He was always very kind to me and offered help whenever I asked. Wayne will be remembered by his low-pitched laugh and warm smile. Thank you Dr. Rabalais.


  • Paul Bernazzani

    24 March 2020 at 07:14 | #

    Sincere Condolences.
    Wayne was a great individual. As a friend and colleague for many years at Lamar, I have many fond memories of the professor, the writer, and the man. We will miss him.


  • Carol and Dan Strouf

    23 March 2020 at 16:17 | #

    The Wayne we got to know was a sweet, sweet man who was my Dad’s meal partner in Memory care at Brookdale Dowlen Oaks. For us, we appreciated a kind nod and smile as we were going down the hallway to see my dad. Even though they may not fully fully comprehend Wayne’s passing Charles, Archie and others will miss their good buddy. Peace and prayers to our sweet Becki and family.


  • Betty Richey

    23 March 2020 at 06:31 | #

    Becki and Eva I am very sorry for your loss. I didn’t know Wayne but he sounds like a great guy. You are in my prayers. Sorry this had to happen during a pandemic with basically the country shut down.


  • Corina Sandu

    22 March 2020 at 16:16 | #

    Condoleances to all family members!

    I had the honor to meet and work with Prof. Rabalais for 5 years during my PhD years. He was an Inspiration from the first moment I heard him speaking in the seminar. He was a great teacher, mentor and an amazing person to be around and work with. I will really miss him dearly. May Lord open the Heaven to receive his wonderful soul!!!


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