Rogers M. Prestridge
1973 – End of term not listed in obituary
|Born|| July 31, 1934|
Crowville, Franklin Parish, Louisiana
|Died|| February 5, 2018 (aged 83)|
Place of death not specified in obituary
|Resting place||St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral garden in Shreveport|
|Spouse(s)|| Kathryn Sinclair Prestridge (married 1968-2018)|
|Alma mater|| Crowville High School|
University of Louisiana at Monroe
|Occupation|| Attorney and Judge|
United States Air Force pilot and captain
Rogers Merideth Prestridge, known as Mickey Prestridge (July 31, 1934 – February 5, 2018), was a local politician in Bossier City in northwestern Louisiana. He is best known for his service as the Bossier City municipal judge. He later resided in Shreveport.
Prestridge was born in humble circumstances in Crowville in Franklin Parish in eastern Louisiana, one of three children of James Ivy Prestridge (1890-1967) and the former Vergie Rogers (1895-1971), who are interred at Gansville Cemetery in Winn Parish in north central Louisiana. As the first member of his family to attend college, he graduated in 1958 from what is now the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He served for five and a half years until his discharge in 1963 as a pilot in the United States Air Force and attained the rank of captain. In 1966, he received his legal degree from Louisiana State University Law School.
In 1969, Prestridge was appointed as the first assistant district attorney for Bossier and Webster parishes in the 26th Judicial District Court. He was elected municipal judge of Bossier in 1973, when James L. Cathey, Jr. (1919-1996), became the new mayor. His tenure as judge focused on education and community development as well as justice. The obituary does not indicate when he left the judgeship. In 1975, Judge Prestridge was appointed by then Governor Edwin Edwards for a six-year term on the Louisiana Board of Regents for Higher Education. From 1977 to 1997, he was a member of the Caddo/Bossier Port Commission from 1977 to 1997. Another later Governor Kathleen Blanco named Prestridge in 2005 to the Red River Waterway Commission, and Republican Bobby Jindal, Blanco's former opponent and successor as governor, renewed the appointment in 2009. On Prestridge's death, Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards refused to appoint Carolyn Craig Prator, the wife of Sheriff Steve Prator and the consensus choice to succeed Prestridge on the waterway commission. Edwards has been involved in a public dispute with Sheriff Prator over the scope and effectiveness of criminal justice reforms.
From 1988 to 2010, Prestridge was coordinator of legal and government affairs for the LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport.
In 1978, Prestridge was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Louisiana's 4th congressional district seat vacated after seventeen years by Joe Waggonner; victory went to Anthony Claude Leach, Jr., then of Leesville in Vernon Parish, who was himself unseated in 1980 by later Governor Buddy Roemer.
Prestridge was elected president of the Bossier Jaycees in 1968, Holiday in Dixie in 1981, and the Bossier Chamber of Commerce in 1986. He was a founding board member of The Rutherford House in Shreveport, a board member of the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum, also in Shreveport, the Red River Revel, and the Louisiana Association for the Blind.
Prestridge died of a brief illness at the age of eighty-three. A memorial service was held on February 10, 2018, at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral in Shreveport, of which he had been a long-term member. His ashes were spread in the cathedral garden prior to the service. His survivors include his wife of forty-nine years, the former Kathryn Sinclair (born May 6, 1937), and their son, Bennett Wallace Prestridge. His three step-children from Mrs. Prestridge's previous marriage to William Howard Bronson, Jr. (born 1936), the former publisher of The Shreveport Times, are Howard Zachary Bronson and wife, Sharon, of Mobile, Alabama, Dana Bronson, formerly married to Harlan Wood, and Kathryn Bronson. There are also four grandchildren.