Luling firefighters, others mourn faithful servant

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 20, 2000

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / September 20, 2000

HAHNVILLE – Firefighters in St. Charles Parish gave David Joseph “Whip”Zeringue an honor funeral Monday in recognition of his 28 years of service to the department and to St. Charles Parish.Zeringue, 60, a native and resident of Luling, died Sept. 16. He was thehusband of Linda M. Zeringue.A founding father of the Luling Volunteer Fire Department, Zeringue served first with the West St. Charles Volunteer Fire Department before becoming acharter member of the Luling department in September 1974.

He and his wife, Linda, were dispatchers operating out of their home until 1994 and the establishment of the parishwide 9-1-1 system. Luling ChiefGeorge Shawver commented, “Because of Whip and Linda taking the calls for help, many lives and property were saved in our parish. Their service to theparish shows what a special person Whip was.”Parish Councilman Barry Minnich, who also serves as president of the Luling department, said the funeral service included a fire truck procession from the funeral mass at Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Hahnville to St. Charles Cemetery in Luling.At the cemetery, a “last call” radio dispatch called Zeringue’s spirit, a fire truck bell sounded the traditional 3-1-3 for a fallen firefighter, and a truck rolled past the cemetery in a final flyby, all in Zeringue’s honor.

A bagpiper performed “Amazing Grace,” bringing tears to the eyes of most mourners.

“Not only has the Luling Volunteer Fire Department and the parish of St.

Charles lost a valiant servant, but I have lost a close, personal friend who will be sadly missed,” said Minnich.

Besides his many years as a dispatcher, Zeringue also taught fire prevention to adults and children, attended numerous hours of training in hazardous materials and communications and received numerous awards for his service.

He also collected firefighting memorabilia, dating back to early America.

Zeringue was the son of the late Noah and Beulah Lacroix Zeringue, and brother of Barbara Gaubert, Earlie Hava and Irma Johnson.

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