Saturday, May 18, 2024
Saturday, May 18, 2024

Tribute: Lynette Fontenot

by KAREN LAGRANGE COX

Lynette Doga Fontenot was a remarkable woman in many ways. With today being International Woman’s Day, it seems fitting to write a tribute to her to honor her and her accomplishments. She unexpectedly passed away yesterday, March 7, 2023.

According to Fontenot’s obituary, she was the current chairperson of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Disability Affairs. Her accomplishments included being an artist, motivational speaker, and advocate for disability rights, and she was on several boards and advisory councils. She was at one time the chairperson for the Louisiana Development Disabilities Council.

What is unique about Fontenot’s artistic works is she had limited use of her hands. Her paintings were done using a paintbrush strapped around her head. Non-verbal communication was through an electronic pointing device on her forehead to communicate with the computer attached to her wheelchair.

Lynette was a resident of Lafayette and a native of Basile, Louisiana.

Authors note: I knew Lynette through disability advocacy. I was in total awe of her. To know her was to love her. We usually saw each other at an event or coffee shop, and she always had a big smile. The last time I saw her was several years ago at an event where some of her paintings were displayed. She insisted I buy one of the prints of one of her paintings. How could I say no to her? It hangs on the wall in my office.

Print of a painting by Lynette Doga Fontenot
Photo credit: Karen Lagrange Cox

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