Clyde Jude Chustz was born on September 2, 1940 in the unincorporated community of Lakeland, Louisiana, as the sixth child of Evelyn Amar and Lawrence Chustz. He spent his formative years in Pointe Coupee Parish, where he attended a one-room schoolhouse and picked cotton with his older siblings at the rate of $1 per da…read more
Clyde Jude Chustz was born on September 2, 1940 in the unincorporated community of Lakeland, Louisiana, as the sixth child of Evelyn Amar and Lawrence Chustz. He spent his formative years in Pointe Coupee Parish, where he attended a one-room schoolhouse and picked cotton with his older siblings at the rate of $1 per day to help support their large family. He relocated to Baton Rouge at age ten.
Clyde left home at age 17 and soon enlisted in the United States Army, which began an adventurous career that would take him around the world. Most notably, he served a one-and-a-half stint in Vietnam as an Army Motor Transport Operator, a memory he would often recall when speaking of his time in the service. Upon returning from Vietnam, he served at the White House as a chauffeur under the Nixon and Ford administrations. He met President Ford and received a commendation for his service. It was during this period that he chauffeured the likes of then-California Governor Ronald Reagan and U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. At times, White House chauffeurs were permitted to provide rides home to pool reporters; this courtesy allowed Clyde to spend memorable moments with now-legendary journalists Dan Rather and Diane Sawyer. Clyde would ascend to the rank of Sergeant First Class before concluding his 22-year career in the service, which also included assignments in Seoul, Korea and Lampertheim, Germany, two locations he deeply cherished.
Clyde’s second professional career was a natural progression from his first, as he became a CDL-licensed truck driver. For over 30 years he traveled the open roads, crossing the country and amassing over three million miles en route to receiving three separate Million Mile safety awards, a prestigious honor given to accident-free drivers. Clyde’s illustrious career as a truck driver gave him an expert knowledge of highways, interstates, and bridges. He could always advise his loved ones on the best routes to take in their travels, only needing their starting point and their ending destination to guide them on the right path.
Upon retiring from a stellar truck driving career, Clyde spent his days crafting woodwork masterpieces for himself and his family. He enjoyed painting and had a keen eye for photography and videography. Clyde loved the outdoors, listening to talk radio, new technology, social media, and meeting new people. He encountered everyone with a great sense of familiarity, and was never afraid to offer an honest opinion to someone he may have just met.
Clyde finished his earthly travels on October 5th. He transitioned peacefully while sitting outside in his cherished backyard. He is survived by his loving children, Carlos Chustz and Leslie Rose; son-in-law, Donney Rose; beloved nephew, Paul Chustz; grandchildren, Svenja Chustz and Corey Chustz, great grandchildren, Josiah Chustz and Torianna Chustz; “bonus” sons, Menzell Reyes and Hodges Reyes; honorary grandson, Menzell Reyes Jr.; siblings, Rita Jones, Elaine Green, and Theodore Chustz; and a host of nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and by siblings Lawrence Chustz, Una Ricard, Roger Chustz, Trina Ricard, Georgia Roudeze, and Barbara Chustz.hide
Date: Thursday, October 22, 2020
Time: 11:00 am -
Date: Thursday, October 22, 2020
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