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Justin Wilson, Cajun kitchen humorist, 87



Thursday September 6 4:55 PM ET 

Cajun kitchen humorist Justin Wilson dead at 87

BATON ROUGE, La. (Reuters) - Internationally known Cajun cook and humorist
Justin E. Wilson has died at age 87, his daughter said Thursday.

Probably best known for his Cajun cooking series that has aired on public
television for 30 years, Wilson, who prepared typical Cajun dishes of
pungent spices and hot peppers, always said he was ``not a chef, just a
damn good cook.''

Wilson died Wednesday at a local hospital. His family did not say what the
cause of death was.

A former safety engineer who learned to cook from his Cajun mother, Wilson
turned to humor for a living after being seriously injured in a car
accident in the 1940s.

Sara Sue Easterly, his daughter, said he started telling jokes to make
critical warehouse reports less painful for the recipients.

``People just kept asking him for more and more jokes, so he did,'' she
said. ``If there was breath in the man's body, he was cooking and telling
jokes.''

Wilson recorded more than 27 albums and wrote eight Cajun cookbooks and
two books of Cajun humor. He had just finished work on a soon-to-be
published Cajun cookbook for children.

He made public speaking engagements across the United States, Europe and
Australia, and taught human relations courses at police academies in three
states.

Wilson also had a passion for politics, his daughter said.

``When we were growing up, we never knew who we would find at the kitchen
table for breakfast -- Sen. (Russell B.) Long, Gov. (John) McKeithen,
Jimmie Davis -- or anyone else in the neighborhood,'' Easterly said.

Of his fractured French-to-English sayings, some that worked their way
into the American vernacular included, ``How ya'll are?'' and ``Me, I'll
gar-on-tee!''

Wilson referred to himself as a ``half-bleed Cajun,'' his daughter
said. ``He always said he didn't think he could take a full dose of Cajun
blood.''

His motto was ``If it ain't fun, don't do it.''

He was a member of the American Society of Safety Engineers, the American
Federation of Television and Radio Artists and American Legion, a lifetime
member of Ducks Unlimited and an inaugural member of the Louisiana
Legends, along with Aaron Neville, Ron Guidry, George Rodrigue and Long.

Survivors include three daughters, Sara Sue Easterly, Pam Colleran and
Menette Catalanotto; eight grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services are to be held Saturday at St. Lukes Episcopal Church in
Baton Rouge, followed by burial in St. Williams Cemetery, Port Vincent,
Louisiana.

Reuters/Variety REUTERS 



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