Nathan “Coon” Cyril Menard

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Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Sept. 19, at an 11 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Rayne for Nathan “Coon” Cyril Menard, 87, who died Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, at his daughter’s home in Maxie surrounded by his family.
Interment will be in the St. Joseph Cemetery #2 in Rayne.
Rev. Brent Smith, pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Rayne, will be the celebrant of the Funeral Mass and will conduct the funeral services.
Nathan “Coon” Menard began playing house dances with his father at a very young age. In 1962, he formed his band, The Rayne Playboys. They had many recordings and were a popular band in the local dancehalls.
An accordionist, vocalist, and songwriter, Nathan has performed with Adam Hebert, Lawrence Walker, The Balfa Brothers, Jay W. Pelsia, Bernard Thibodeaux, The Touchet Brothers and Mitt Melancon, just to mention only a few of the many accomplished musicians.
He was still entertaining in his later years with Gervis Matte and the Branch Playboys and performed many weekends at Prejean’s Restaurant. One of Nathan’s many proud moments was when his album, “The Cajun Swing,” was inducted into the Smithsonian Institute of Cajun Music.
Nathan shared his love for Cajun music and its culture with many people throughout the United States by performing at many festivals and workshops where he helped many learn how to play the Cajun accordion.
He also gave back to his early-day followers as he regularly performed in local guest homes.
During his lifetime, Nathan was honored with many awards and achievements. In 2000, he was inducted into the Rayne/Acadia Parish “Hall of Fame” and presented with a Signature Award for his outstanding contribution to our rich musical heritage. In 2016, he and his band, The Rayne Playboys, were awarded by the CFMA with the “Tribute to Cajun Musicians” award. In 2017, Nathan was honored by the Cajun Culture Association for his many years of dedication to the preservation of his Cajun culture and music.
In addition to his career in music, Nathan was also very well-known through his many years of selling life insurance. He was employed by Security Industrial and Monumental Life Insurance companies for numerous years. Nathan visited and cared for his many clients on a daily basis which earned him many prestigious company awards.
Nathan was an avid gardener and provided his family and many friends with vegetables. People would travel from near and far to visit with him and get his famous freshly cut and cooked okra.
His humbleness, generous heart, warm smile, love for his family, and his love for preserving the heritage of Cajun music and culture, are some of the many things that will be greatly missed about Nathan.
Survivors include his three sons, Patrick Menard of Breaux Bridge, Bradley Menard and spouse Tina of Lafayette, and Michael Abshire and spouse Carol of Tallahassee, Florida; three daughters, Zona Menard Terro and spouse Vic of Indian Bayou, Carolyn Menard Adkins and spouse Tim of Maxie, and Cindy Wiche and spouse Frank of Breaux Bridge; one step-daughter, Debra G. Williams of Crowley; three brothers, Leray Menard of Carencro, Clayton Menard and spouse Dorothy of Sunset, and James Menard of Cankton; seven children that look up to him as a father, JoAnn Simon, Susan and Randy Simon, Patricia Deville, Lynette Reed, Linda Robicheaux and Cynthia Johnson; 21 grandchildren, Benji Terro and spouse Kirsten, Dustin Terro and spouse Tiffany, Eric Terro and spouse Stephanie, Dylan Terro and spouse Jolie, Scott Adkins and spouse Laci, Hunter Adkins and spouse Victoria, Ty Adkins, Kenny Abshire and spouse Nikki, Marian Abshire, Jeremy Abshire and spouse Shantel, Barry Abshire, DJ Abshire and spouse Natalie, Jenny York and spouse Scott, Casey Abshire, Ann Johnson and spouse Katie, Blayne Abshire and spouse Angel, Katie Duke and spouse James, Grant Williams and spouse Leah, Cameron Williams and spouse Michaela, Kenny Abshire and spouse Megan, and Mamie Abshire; and 31 great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by the mother of his children, Anna Marie T. Menard; his second wife, Betty Menard; three sons, Kenneth Abshire, David Abshire and Glenn Menard; father, Ursin Menard; mother, Dora Venable Menard; one brother, Leroy L. Menard;four sisters, Genevieve Menard, Vergie Martin, Verlace Menard and Rosanelle Menard; and one grandson, Johathan Terro.
Pallbearers will be DJ Abshire, Barry Abshire, James Duke, Tim Adkins, Vic Terro, Bradley Menard, Ty Adkins, Hunter Adkins, Dustin Terro, Dylan Terro, Eric Terro, Kenny Abshire, Scott Adkins, Benji Terro, Jeremy Abshire, Blayne Abshire, Grant Williams and Cameron Williams.
A Rosary will be prayed Friday, Sept. 18, at 6:30 p.m. in Gossen Funeral Home in Rayne.
The family requests that visitation be observed in Gossen Funeral Home in Rayne on Friday, Sept. 18, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Saturday, Sept. 19, from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
The Menard family would like to give a special thanks to Dr. Robert Aertker, Lamb Hospice, nurse Courtney, Ashley, and Freda for their care and compassion they provide to our father during his illness.
Friends may view the obituary and guestbook online at
Arrangements have been entrusted to Gossen Funeral Home, Inc., of Rayne, (337) 334-3141.