Melvin Joseph Boneau, attorney and lifetime area resident, passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday, November 17, 2013, after a valiant and long fought battle with cancer.
Melvin was born on February 15, 1939, at St. Mary Hospital in Port Arthur, Texas, to Gladys Portier Boneau and Amick Boneau. He attended Catholic school, beginning at St. James Elementary and graduating at Bishop Byrne High School in 1957.
During and after high school Melvin worked at installing television antennas at Boneau's Radio and Television Shop, owned by his father and uncle, and then began selling cars at Lynn Motor Company, eventually becoming the youngest fleet salesman in the company's then history.
In 1961, Melvin went back to college, earning a BBA from Lamar University in 1964, then graduating from the University of Texas Law School in 1966. Melvin was admitted to the bar in 1966, and opened his first office on Main Avenue in Groves, Texas.
In 1970, Melvin moved his office to 3800 Park Lane, Port Arthur, Texas, renting space in the building of the Fuller & Fuller Law Firm.
In 1985, Melvin was joined by Richard G. Lewis, to form Boneau & Lewis, LLP. They subsequently bought the building, renaming it to Plaza Professional Building. Melvin and Rick enjoyed a close friendship and mutual respect, and remained partners until Melvin's retirement in September of this year. During his career, Melvin held many local offices within the legal community, including president of both the Port Arthur and Jefferson County Bar Associations. He also won numerous awards for his excellence in practicing law, including the Blackstone Award in 2011.
Besides the practice of law, Melvin loved traveling with his wife and cooking for a crowd, the larger the better. He also hosted an open house every Sunday morning, sharing coffee, snacks and stories with old friends and anyone who happened to drop by.
Melvin is survived by his wife, Karon, step-daughter, Katherine Waterbury of Groves, Texas, and his beloved grandson, Isaac "Critter" Baldwin, as well as a host of extended loved ones.
A gathering of family and friends will be held at Grammier-Oberle Funeral Home, located at 4841 39th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, on Wednesday, November 20, 2013, from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. Services for Mr. Boneau will be held on Thursday, November 21, 2013, at 10:00 a.m., at Grammier-Oberle Funeral Home, with entombment to follow at Oak Bluff Cemetery in Port Neches, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center of Houston, Texas, or the Jefferson County Bar Association Foundation, 1001 Pearl St., Ste #202, Beaumont, Texas 77701.