The Association was recently informed of the passing of one of our Emeritus Fellows, Dr. Francis Ernest “Duke” LeJeune, Jr., on April 15, 2021, at the age of 92. Born in New Orleans, he was the son of the late Dr. Francis Ernest LeJeune, Sr and Anna Lynne Dodds LeJeune. He was inducted as an Active Fellow in 1979 and was elevated to Emeritus Fellowship in 1990.
He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Tulane University. Dr. LeJeune completed his resident training in Otolaryngology and Maxillofacial Surgery training at the University of Iowa, that was followed by a two-year stint (1957-1959) in the Air Force, as Chief of the Department of Otolaryngology at Keesler Field. In 1959, he returned to New Orleans and began his career at Ochsner Clinic in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, becoming chairman of the department in 1963, a position he held for decades. In honor of his father, Dr. LeJeune established the Francis E. LeJeune Lectureship at Ochsner Clinic.
Dr. LeJeune was a member of many professional societies, including the Triological Society and was an innovator in his field as one of the first people in the US doing medialization laryngoplasties. He was a member of the Southern Yacht Club, the Boston Club, the Lakeshore Club, several carnival organizations, and was a keen supporter of the National WWII Museum. When not attending to his patients, Dr. LeJeune enjoyed sailing, duck hunting, fishing, woodworking, and inventing in his workshop. His inventions, such as the Lighted Cane, lead to numerous patents. He was extremely loyal to his family and friends, to Tulane University, and to the Ochsner medical institutions.
Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Ena Kay Hudson LeJeune, two sons, Francis Ernest (Lori) LeJeune, III and Dr. H. Baltzer (Suzanne) LeJeune; two daughters, Katherine Dodds (Howard) LeJeune Gilpin and Anne Dorman LeJeune; and nine grandchildren who called him “Papa Duke.”
A memorial service was held on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 in New Orleans.