|Homere Charles "Charley" Gaudinl|
Judge of the
Louisiana 24th Judicial District Court
Judge of the Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal
|Born|| July 14, 1930|
New Orleans, Louisiana
|Died|| June 29, 2019|
Metairie, Jefferson Parish
|Spouse(s)||Myra Elizabeth Altman Gaudin (married c. 1956-2019, his death)|
|Children|| Melanee G. Usdin|
Monique G. Gardner
|Alma mater|| University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
Loyola College of Law in New Orleans
Homere Charles Gaudin, known as Charley Gaudin (July 14, 1930 – June 29, 2019), was a Louisiana district and appellate court judge from 1966 to 1999. He was also as former chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.
A native of New Orleans, Gaudin (pronounced GO DAN) was reared in Covington in suburban St. Tammany Parish. Of French descent, he was named for his maternal grandfather, Homere Charles Grenier, Sr. (pronounced Grain YEY) (1862-1931). His great-great-grandfather, John H. Illsey, served during Reconstruction as a justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court. His parents were Regis Bernard Gaudin (1903-1975) and the former Inez Catherine Grenier (1904-1951), who are entombed at St. Patrick Cemetery No. 3 in New Orleans. He was a maternal first cousin of John Edward Grenier, a lawyer active in the 1964 Barry Goldwater presidential campaign and in the revitalization of the Republican Party in Alabama. He was a maternal nephew of Williamine "Wilhemina" Marie Grenier (1884-1969).
In 1947, Gaudin graduated from St. Paul's High School, a Roman Catholic all-male entity in Covington, at which he was named most valuable player in football, all-state in basketball, and also set records on four state championship track and field teams. He briefly attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, at which he was a member of the 1949 LSU Cinderella team and the 1950 Sugar Bowl team. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English and history in 1952 from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, then known as Southwestern Louisiana Institute of Liberal and Technical Learning, renamed in 1960 as the University of Southwestern Louisiana. He lettered in three college sports at Southwestern and was named to the All-Gulf States Conference football team in 1951 after leading the conference in individual scoring and receiving
In 1958, he received his Juris Doctorate from Loyola College of Law in New Orleans, at which he was a moot court finalist, an editor of the university newspaper, The Maroon, and a member of Delta Theta Phi national legal fraternity. He joined his paternal uncles, Felix and Hilary Gaudin in the practice of law.
In his obituary, his friends recalled Judge Gaudin as "gentle, gracious, and wise." People were said to have been drawn to "his inner calm, warm smile, and dry wit". While in law school and some time thereafter, Gaudin was a sports columnist for the former New Orleans States-Item. He was the legal counsel and vice president of the Louisiana Sportswriter's Association, which made him an honorary lifetime member. He was elected to Louisiana's 24th Judicial District Court in 1966, when at the age of thirty-six he became one of the youngest persons in the state to be elected to the bench. That same year, his cousin, John Grenier, was the unsuccessful Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate seat in Alabama against veteral lawmaker, John Sparkman. Gaudin sat on the district bench until 1982, during which time he served as Chief Judge, President of the 4th Circuit Judges Association, and on the executive committee of the Louisiana District Judges Association. In 1982, he was elected judge of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal for Louisiana (not the appointed federal court of the same name in New Orleans), with service until 1999. For part of his time on the appeals court, he was Chief Judge. He also sat by special appointment as an ad hoc judge of the Louisiana Supreme Court and on various circuit courts of appeal throughout the state.
Gaudin used his journalistic skills -- he was known for his storytelling -- to write succinct and concise legal opinions. In 1983, the appeals court declared that a Louisiana law requiring women to follow their husbands regarding the location of residence was unconstitutional. The Louisiana Supreme Court affirmed Gaudin's decision, and the law was revoked. In a 1994 opinion, quoted in The New York Times, Gaudin upheld the right of an investigative reporter to protect the identity of his sources under the First Amendment, stating that "freedom of the press neither begins nor ends" with certain statutes.
Fellow Fifth Circuit Judge Thomas C. Wicker, Jr., said of his friend and colleague: "Charley had a wonderful temperament for a judge. He never owned or used a gavel or raised his voice while on the bench. He not only was an outstanding jurist, but the most popular judge I knew with both lawyers and judges."
According to his obituary, Gaudin "was respected for being principled and decisive, with a caseload that always was current." After retiring from the bench, Judge Gaudin wrote opinions for the Louisiana Attorney General. He was elected in 2002 as the president of the Louisiana Retired Judges Association. He was also a president of the Louisiana Conference of Court of Appeal Judges .In 2004, he was appointed by Governor Kathleen Blanco, a Democrat as the chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, a position he held for six years and extended for two years under Blanco's gubernatorial successor, Bobby Jindal, a Republican.
In 2003, Gaudin was one of the first graduates to be inducted into the St. Paul's High School Hall of Fame. He was named also as "Outstanding Alumnu" and spoke at the elected to speak at the school's centennial celebration. Gaudin served at Thule Air Force Base in Greenland from 1952 to 1954. He was the founder of the Cystic Fibrosis Celebrity Golf Tournament and the president of the Louisiana Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Archie Manning, for whom the tournament was later named, described Gaudin as "a great man and friend who worked diligently to make the tournament highly successful." The tournament was the first charitable golf tournament in the region. Gaudin's ability to attract celebrity athletes was considered essential to the success of the tournament.
Gaudin was a member of the New Orleans Country Club and several Mardi Gras carnival organizations. He served on the advisory board of the Salvation Army and the Tulane University Summer Lyric Theatre. Judge Gaudin had a great interest in the history of World War II and for years collected and painted toy soldiers. His collection of thousands of soldiers was featured in a 2008 magazine article in which he noted that his favorite soldiers "will always be the ones I once played with. They bring back very happy memories of a long lost but fondly remembered childhood." 
Judge Gaudin and his wife of sixty-three years, had three children, Melanee G. Usdin, MoniqueG. Gardner, and Charles Gaudin, and their spouses, Steven W. Usdin, J. Warren Gardner, Jr., and Kathleen DeMilia Gaudin, respectively. He had four grandchildren. Gaudin died sixteen days before his 89th birthday. Services were held on July 9 at Lake Lawn Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans. Burial was private.
- Homere Charles Grenier, Sr. (maternal grandfather of Homere Gaudin). Findagrave.com. Retrieved on July 18, 2019.
- Homere Gaudin's Obituary. New Orleans Times-Picayune (July 4, 2019). Retrieved on July 18, 2019.
- Inez Catherine Grenier Gaudin. Findagrave.com.
- Charles Desire Grenier, Sr. (maternal uncle of. Homere Gaudin) (1893-1951). Findagrave.com. Retrieved on July 18, 2019.
- Williamine "Wilhemina" Marie Grenier (aunt of Homere Gaudin). Findagrave.com. Retrieved on July 18, 2019.