David Lane Vitter

David Lane Vitter

Male 1964 - 2007  (42 years)

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  • Name David Lane Vitter  [1, 2, 3
    Relationshipwith Jeffrey Scott Vitter
    Born 2 Nov 1964  Hammond, Tangipahoa, Louisiana, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Gender Male 
    Residence 1979  Ponchatoula, Tangipahoa, Louisiana, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Residence 2002  Ponchatoula, Tangipahoa, Louisiana, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Occupation 2004 
    Ponchatoula, LA police chief 
    Reference Number 4837 
    Died 4 Feb 2007  Ponchatoula, Tangipahoa, Louisiana, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4
    Buried Ponchatoula Cemetery, Ponchatoula, Tangipahoa, Louisiana, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Siblings
    1. Celeste Marie Vitter
     
    2. Paul Byrant Vitter,   b. 29 Jan 1969,   d. 29 Jan 1969
     
    3. Chemae Vitter
     
    4. Philip Lance Vitter
     
    Person ID I4783  Vitter-Weaver Genealogy
    Last Modified 20 Sep 2020 

    Father Robert W. Vitter, Jr. 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Carol Pedeaux 
    Relationship natural 
    Family ID F824  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Sondra ? 
    Children 
     1. Katherine Vitter
     2. Breonna Vitter
     3. Elizabeth Vitter
     4. Melanie Vitter
     5. Brandy Vitter
    Last Modified 20 Sep 2020 
    Family ID F19133  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 2 Nov 1964 - Hammond, Tangipahoa, Louisiana, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1979 - Ponchatoula, Tangipahoa, Louisiana, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 2002 - Ponchatoula, Tangipahoa, Louisiana, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 4 Feb 2007 - Ponchatoula, Tangipahoa, Louisiana, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    David Vitter
    David Vitter
    "U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012"; School Name: Ponchatoula High School; Year: 1979

  • Notes 
    • Final Farewell
      Community mourns chief
      By Aimee Yee
      Daily Star Staff Writer

      PONCHATOULA - Hundreds of mourners filled First Baptist Church Thursday morning to pay final respects to their beloved Police Chief David Vitter.

      Ponchatoula volunteer fire trucks blocked off the street in front of the church. Mourners, some who walked for several city blocks, made their way to the church, which was filled to capacity long before the service began.

      Outside, a line of police cars from St. John, St. Tammany, East Baton Rouge and West Feliciana sheriff's offices were parked along with Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office patrol units. Vitter, 42, who was found dead Sunday, had previously been a deputy with the sheriff's office before he was elected police chief in 2004.

      Many called Vitter a gentle giant due to his nature and his above average height. He was a man who loved children, said some in the crowd waiting to get inside the church.
      Even after he was elected chief, Vitter continued to drive school bus No. 45 P. The bus, decorated with a lone wreath, was parked outside the church in honor of the chief.

      Motorcycle patrol officers from the Louisiana State Police and Hammond Police departments stood on the church steps, talking about the chief's short life and what he had accomplished since his election.

      Police officers from departments like Monroe, Gonzales, the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the 7th Ward Marshal's Office, state Department of Public Safety, Baton Rouge, Lockport, Wisner and the Walker Police Department came to honor Vitter.

      Shortly before the service began at 10 a.m., throngs of people who had stood outside were allowed to walk through the middle of the packed church to pass Vitter's casket.

      They were greeted by Ponchatoula Assistant Chief of Police Pat Farris. Sobs could be heard throughout the church. Many people used tissues to wipe the tears, but most allowed them to slide unchecked down their faces.
      A Ponchatoula police officer stood by the large arrangements of flowers at each end of the casket. Farris waited until the last visitor had passed the casket and had either taken a seat or returned outside to wait.

      He then motioned for the two Ponchatoula officers to leave their posts and walk slowly to the front of the open casket, facing his chief and saluting him one final time before turning away sharply on his heel.

      Pastor Jake Roudkovski told mourners who Vitter had been in life and assured them that because of his character, he was surely in the presence of God that very day.

      Roudkovski remember to the crowd that Vitter had taken God as his personal saviour in 2003.

      “It was August 2003,” he said. “He came up these steps and we knelt together. He trusted Christ alone for his entrance to Heaven. I've preached services before where I knew that the person didn't meet the entrance requirements to Heaven. Today is not one of those days.”
      Mayor Robert Zabbia spoke next. He struggled to keep his composure as his voice broke and he gave in to tears as he, too, comforted Vitter's five daughters and his parents, telling them how much Vitter had loved them, constantly talking about them.

      “If you asked him what was important, he would say family,” he said, regaining his composure briefly.
      Vitter was also a dedicated police officer, one who would get calls on a daily basis that would take him away from the family he loved so much, the mayor said, because he also loved the city of Ponchatoula like a family.
      Vitter wasn't just a police officer - he was elected to the position, Zabbia said. “There's a difference ... holding a public office isn't easy. He stepped up to the plate.”
      “He never passed up a chance to be with the seniors. I can see him now, towering over the ladies, giving them kisses,” Zabbia said, evoking laughter from the grief-stricken group.

      “It's not typical that a mayor and a police chief get along,” Zabbia said, voice breaking again, “but we did ... and I am so grateful for that. David became a very good friend to both Kim and I ... “

      After a moment, Zabbia again had his emotions under control and talked about Vitter's professional life, which he went about and handled with as much care as he did his personal life. No one who spoke could forget how Vitter loved his city.

      He spoke about the flood of Hurricane Katrina evacuees in the days after the hurricane, when Vitter told him that the city had to be shut down. “I told him to do what was best for the city and he made a good decision. I shudder to think what would've happened that day had he not ... “
      Next, the song, “In My Daughter's Eyes,” was played for Vitter's daughters, who sat weeping on a pew close to the casket, before the final speaker approached the podium.
      Deven Pedeaux, also a pastor, introduced himself as “David's cousin.”

      “I know Sunday we had some shocking news ... no one knew so many people would come from so far away to stand hours to come through the front doors ... and the thousands of stories I've heard being told ... about a good man. Everyone I talk to says, ‘I'm David's friend.' One man said he was here because David drove a school bus for his daughter, and she's grown now. But then, he had included her in his family. He touched this girl so much that it affected her entire family.”

      Pedeaux asked the city to not forget Vitter's children. “Because David included our children in his family ... because he cared about our family ... we won't forget you,” he said to the five girls.

      Pedeaux went on to echo the sentiments he had heard others making about Vitter, as well as his own.
      “He was larger than life, surpassing integrity with the utmost sincerity. He left a legacy. He lived life well. What you see was what you got with him. He was the real deal, with or without the badge,” Pedeaux said. “He was the officer who cared for the people of this community. He crossed racial and social lines just to do the good things, to do right.”

      Pedeaux thanked Vitter's parents for speaking such good works into their son's life, telling them he had touched so many lives during his own.

      He ended by challenging everyone in attendance to pay it forward. “His was a life well-lived. We're all better for the difference we make in this community. I believe Sunday morning David was surely rewarded and reaped eternal reward in the presence of the Lord.”

      After the service, the church emptied slowly as the first, second and third sections were asked to walk past the casket and exit the sanctuary.

      Law enforcement officers from every police department in the parish stood on either side of the hearse, lining the road for hundreds of feet.

      People gathered, openly sobbing and hugging each other. Some friends and family planned to ride in the two limousines parked behind the hearse; for those who wanted, one family member said they would be honored if close family friends rode in bus number 45 to the burial.
      Across the street, shined beautifully, was No. 45. It sat alone, bearing witness to the sad proceedings. Many who came out of the church began remembering Vitter aloud, pointing at the bus and weeping.

      As the flag-draped casket was carried outside into the bright sunlight, Ponchatoula police officers lined both sides of the path as pallbearers placed the coffin into the hearse.

      Law enforcement officers from every police department in the parish stood on either side of the hearse, lining the road for hundreds of feet. Crowded around stood still more people who wanted a final chance to pay respects to Vitter and his family.

      They too shared stories about the kind chief, the good guy, the great sense of humor, the caring man, the chief with a heart, the family man. It seemed that no one lacked a story about Vitter, and they all wanted to share how he had touched their lives, too.

      © Hammond Star

  • Sources 
    1. [S624] U.S., Phone and Address Directories, 1993-2002, Ancestry.com, (Name: Ancestry.com Operations Inc; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2005;), City: Ponchatoula; State: Louisiana; Year(s): 2002.

    2. [S649] U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-current, Ancestry.com, (Name: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.;), "U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012"; School Name: Ponchatoula High School; Year: 1979.
      U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1999 Document
      U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1999 Document
      "U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012"; School Name: Ponchatoula High School; Year: 1979


    3. [S1251] Find A Grave.

    4. [S915] Death Notice or Obituary, David Lane Vitter, Obituary published in The Advocate (Baton Rouge): 2/6/2007.
      VITTER, DAVID LANE
      Police Chief David Lane Vitter, 42, died Sunday, Feb. 4, 2007, at his home
      in Ponchatoula. He was born Monday, Nov. 2, 1964, in Hammond, son of Robert
      W. Jr. and Carol Pedeaux Vitter. Surviving are his five daughters, Brandy
      Paille-Knight, Elizabeth Vitter, Melanie Vitter, Eleni Vitter and BreOnna
      Vitter; grandson, Landon Knight; two sisters, Celeste Walch and Chemae
      Landry; and brother, Lance Vitter. Preceded in death by his brother, Paul
      Bryant Vitter; and grandparents, Phillip Paul and Mary Hammond Pedeaux,
      Robert W. Vitter Sr., Ethel Prince Vitter, Willie Fannaly Vitter and Edith
      Potter Vitter. Friends will be received at Harry McKneely & Son in
      Ponchatoula on Wednesday, Feb. 7, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friends will be
      received at the First Baptist Church in Ponchatoula on Thursday from
      8:30 a.m. until service at 10 a.m., with the Rev. Deven Pedeaux and the
      Rev. Jake Roudkovski officiating. Interment in the Ponchatoula Cemetery.
      E-mail condolences to: hmckneely@i-55.com / subject line: Vitter.
      http://files.usgwarchives.net/la/tangipahoa/obits/obitssur/vitter.txt