Greg Guirard, Atchafalaya Basin author, photographer dies

(Photo: Leslie Westbrook, The Advertiser, Leslie Westbrook, The Advertiser)

(The Daily Advertiser) – Friends are mourning the death of well-known photographer, author and Atchafalaya Basin advocate, Greg Guirard.

Guirard, 80, passed away on Friday of meningitis at Lafayette General hospital. Guirard lived on the western edge of the Atchafalaya Basin in St. Martin Parish where he spent time salvaging ancient cypress logs from the swamp and writing and publishing books about the people, scenery and wildlife in and around the Atchafalaya Basin.

Jody Meche was a friend of Guirard’s since childhood.

“He really gave the face to the Cajun people and the people of the Atchafalaya Basin,” Meche said. “People all over the world wouldn’t know about the basin and the families and the way of life if it would not have been for Greg Guiruard. He wrote books and really shared the beauty of the Atchafalaya Basin and the whole culture and the way of life. He really painted a good picture of it with all of the photographs in his books.”

Guirard was the author of several photo books on the Atchafalaya including “Atchafalaya Autumn” and “Inherit the Atchafalaya.”

Sarah Schoeffler met Guirard when he was a professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

“I think we’ll miss a gentle man that loved life and loved the outdoors,” Schoeffler said. “I heard him say he’d be sitting on the side of the levee at daybreak just waiting for the right shot. He did some beautiful work.”

Guirard is the father of four grown children. He taught English in college and high school, both in the U.S. and in Costa Rica, for 13 years. His friends say news of his passing will come as a shock to many who knew him.

“I take it hard that he is gone,” Meche said. “People will be sad to know that he has passed away. I’m going to miss him.

“I don’t know that there will ever be anybody like him again. He was such a good guy.

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