Eugene Raymond “Ray” DesOrmeaux, P.E., F.ASCE, former Region 5 Governor and devoted Lafayette, LA, civil engineer, died recently, one day shy of his 77th birthday.
A native of New Orleans, DesOrmeaux saw his life’s work as service to his home state of Louisiana, particularly the people of Lafayette.
The ASCE Life Member served terms as president, secretary, and treasurer of the Louisiana Section, and was a Region 5 Governor representing the state. Recently, he worked as a member of the ASCE National Committee on Professional Conduct. He was a contributing writer to the ASCE Post Disaster Assessment Manual.
DesOrmeaux’s many Society honors include the 2010 Louisiana Section Outstanding Civil Engineer Award. In 2012, he was inducted into the Louisiana ASCE Wall of Fame.
DesOrmeaux began his career at Domingue, Szabo and Associates in Lafayette. He founded his own firm, E. R. DesOrmeaux Inc., General Contractor, in 1972, and had a hand in many local projects, including residential subdivisions, office parks, townhome developments, a residential and golf course community, shopping center, and other commercial projects. He also served as special consultant to the city of Lafayette mayor and council from 1985 through 1992 and assisted with the opening of the Cajundome, a 13,500-seat multipurpose arena, in 1985.
He earned his B.S. in civil engineering in 1961 from the University of Southwestern Louisiana, where he received the Outstanding Catholic Student Award. USL remained an important part of DesOrmeaux’s life, as he returned to the renamed University of Louisiana, Lafayette as a member of the school’s alumni association and its foundation’s board.
In 2005, DesOrmeaux joined his alma mater’s Engineering Department as adjunct instructor. In 2014, he became an assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and the School of Architecture and Design. He served as chairman of the Dean’s Engineering Advisory Council and the Civil Engineering Advisory Board. He also gave the commencement address to College of Engineering graduates on several occasions, and was honored with the 2016 Engineering Faculty Professionalism Award earlier this year.
DesOrmeaux also was an active member of the National Society of Professional Engineers, the Louisiana Engineering Society, the American Concrete Institute, the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, and Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honor Society.
In Lafayette, he worked for many community organizations – the Lafayette Economic Development Authority, Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, Boys and Girls Club of Lafayette, Lafayette Toastmasters Club, Acadiana Arts Council, Ducks Unlimited, St. Pius X Church Council, and Krewe of Troubadours.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Odelon and Nettie Guillory DesOrmeaux, and son, David Collin DesOrmeaux. Surviors include his wife of 55 years, Dianne Bourgeois DesOrmeaux, daughter Caprice DesOrmeaux Hewitt, son-in-law Al Hewitt, and three grandchildren, Tanner, Mackenzie and Kendall.