Keller: Departing Judge Becnel will be missed

Published 12:04 am Saturday, July 9, 2016

On Nov. 8, 2016, the voters will have an opportunity to elect a new president of these United States.

With all that’s at stake for America’s future, only 50 percent of those registered will exercise their right to vote.

The people of St. John Parish will also have a chance to elect a new District Judge.

This special election has been called to replace Judge Mary Hotard Becnel, who is retiring as of Dec. 31, 2016. Her term was scheduled to end in 2021.

Judge Becnel has been serving St. John Parish as Judge for 23 years.  In 2014, she was re-elected for the fifth time and received 81 percent of the votes. Her early departure is to spend more time with her husband, Danny, and family.

I’ve known Mary since she was 19 years old, as she was working as a secretary and court reporter and attending college at night.

This eventually led her to being elected a District Judge.

Mary has been a positive influence to all who have known her in the 48 years she spent at the Edgard Courthouse.

As she is ready to move on, she says that she’s been blessed with a job she loved.

I consider her to be the most conscientious, caring and fairest public servant I have ever known. It really wasn’t a job to her.

She used her position without realizing that she has been a mentor to others in her profession. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to attend one of her court sessions, you would agree that she was always prepared and handled every case in a professional manner.

I know that everyone can be replaced, but whoever is elected in her place will be hard pressed to wear that robe with the confidence, humility, dedication and integrity she exhibited.

If you have any questions or comments, please write to Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084, call 985-652-8477 or e-mail