Dayton Rotary Club hears a part of Dayton history

Rotary guests included Suzanne Chachere, Mrs. L.J. Chachere, Rotarian Dr. Luke Chachere, Rebecca Chachere Garvin and Pastor Ken Davis.

Dr. Luke Chachere gave Dayton Rotarians a glimpse of Dayton history at a recent club luncheon. He brought the story of his father, Mr. L. J. Chachere, to the club.

Luther Joseph (L.J.) Chachere was born in Orchard, Texas, in 1932, where he grew up and graduated from Orchard High School in 1950. He graduated from Sam Houston State University with his Bachelor of Science degree in 1954. L.J. moved to Dayton after getting his Masters in 1955 as a vocational agriculture teacher at Dayton High School. He married Jonnie Lea Belt in 1957 and together they raised five children (Luke, Rob, Matt, Jeff, and Nanette).

L.J. Chachere founded the Dayton Young Farmers Chapter in 1959. He was awarded the Area IX Outstanding Young Farmer and received the Honorary Lone Star Farmer Degree and the Honorary American Farmer Degree. In 1963, L.J. Chachere founded the Chachere Feed Store.

In addition to being a feed dealer, L.J. Chachere was a rancher and hay producer. Although his career took his life in another direction from being an AG teacher, his commitment to Dayton ISD and his community did not stop. Chachere served on the DISD Board of Trustees from 1976-1991. In 2004, Chachere was a recipient of the Dayton ISD’s Wall of Fame. The Dayton FFA Livestock Show dedicated the 2016 show to L.J. Chachere.

Dr. Luke Chachere stated, “During his 61 years as a Liberty County resident, my Dad has helped countless individuals, families, and organizations with his time, financial assistance and Christian guidance. Dad had the utmost respect for his family, friends, and residents of Liberty County.” 

Upon his passing in 2016, his family collectively wished to honor L. J in some way to keep his legacy alive. Partnering with the Dayton FFA, they established the L.J. Chachere Memorial Scholarship Show to raise money for scholarships. Livestock shows were a large part of his and his family’s lives. Four generations have become very involved in showing livestock with more in the wings as they get older. Since starting the L. J. Chachere Memorial Scholarship Show in 2017, the Chachere family has awarded $77,500 in scholarships to deserving students.

Luke wrapped up his program with a touching video titled “Small Town Family Dream Tribute” to his father. At the close of the program, the Dayton Rotary members had a great time asking questions and reminiscing and telling L.J. Chachere stories. President Tami Pierce ended the meeting as she led the Rotarians in the 4-Way Test. If anyone might be interested in joining the Dayton Rotary Club, then come to their weekly meeting at the Dayton Community Center on Thursday at noon.

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