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Watson residents celebrate the life of longtime Live Oak educator, beloved community member

1 year 6 months 1 week ago Saturday, January 07 2023 Jan 7, 2023 January 07, 2023 6:43 PM January 07, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ, The Advocate

WATSON - Family, friends and former students gathered inside Live Oak Church on Saturday to celebrate the memory of Fred London, a longtime educator and beloved member of the Watson community.

"With the exception of my father, I'd say, if I wanted to model my life, it would be around him," former student and Live Oak football player Sonny Soileau said.

London spent his entire career as an educator in Livingston Parish, carrying titles of science teacher, football coach, assistant principal and principal at Live Oak Junior High, but he was known to many just as "Coach London."

"We would go on away games on the bus. I was telling his brother, one of the main things I remember, we would always sing most songs he made up," Soileau recalled. "'Our team's got soullll! Our team's got S-O-U-L, what does that spell?' As junior high kids, we just ate that up."

In 2007, London made history by becoming the first Black principal at the school, The Advocate reports.

"Coaching and teaching wasn't just a job. It was a life. He taught kids how to grow up and be good people... Everything he did was a life lesson," Soileau said.

"He's someone you knew was a good guy, well-rounded. You felt comfortable with him," former student Paul Reynolds said.

His former students and athletes traveled from all over to celebrate his life and legacy Saturday.

"I was out of town hunting with my sons. I had to come back," Reynolds said.

Coach London has left a profound mark on the Watson community and is someone they will never forget.

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