Photo submitted by Linda Holt Moorehead, class of 1961
Quang Tri Province was the scene of some of the fiercest ground fighting, especially from 1966 to the war's end in 1975, and it was subjected to the heaviest bombing campaign in the history of the world, more than the amount of ordnance used in Europe during World War II. By 1975, the entire province was devastated, and most of the population had evacuated. Quang Tri Town, at that time the Province capital and Dong Ha Town were both destroyed. Not a single building remained standing or usable. Of 3,500 villages scattered throughout the province, only 11 remained at the end of the war. The intense bombing, combined with U.S. use of the Agent Orange defoliant, turned the land into a virtual moonscape with only a fraction of the original triple canopy jungle forest remaining after the war. The U.S. Department of Defense estimates that about 10 percent of ordnance does not detonate as designed, meaning that much of the dangerous and unstable munitions still lie just under the surface or buried deep in the earth throughout Quang Tri Province to this present day.
Twice wounded, he received two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star of Courage. He continued military service in the reserves ultimately attaining the rank of Major.
Upon returning to civilian life he obtained his juris doctorate from Louisiana State University School of Law in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1977. He began his law practice as Assistant District Attorney for the 11th Judicial District Court in DeSoto Parish in Mansfield. Until his death, he practiced civil law and criminal defense in the Mansfield/Shreveport area.
Devoted to his sons, he was noted for his work with teenagers helping them reach state and national championships in the DeSoto Youth Team Shooting as well as his work as Orienteering coach.
Well known for his quick wit, extreme intelligence, slowly delivered southern pentameter of speech and his fun-loving spirit, he will be sadly missed by a host of family, friends and colleagues in the Louisiana legal community.
He is preceded in death by his father, Joseph D Toups, Sr., and his mother, Louise W. Toups.
Thrice married, he is survived by his third wife and best friend, Cathy Dickinson Toups; one daughter, Suzanne Toups of Hartsville, S.C.; four sons, John William Robbins and wife Kayla of Bossier City, Stephen David Toups of Charleston, S.C., Brian Joseph Toups and Patrick James Toups both of Grand Cane; two grandsons, Kolby Copeland and Andrew Stephen Diaz; two sisters, Trudy Mabry and husband Fred of Bandera, Texas and Ellen J. Toups of Arlington, Va.
And he is survived by this writer, friend and colleague.
Hundreds of friends, family, Veterans and colleagues attended his memorial service in Mansfield, Lousiana including local law enforcement, attorneys from across north Louisiana and all the judges of the 11th Judicial District Court.