Grambling mourning death of Richard J. Gallot, Sr.

Pictured is Rick Gallot Sr. cutting the hair of his son Rick Jr. in 2017. (Courtesy photo)

By T. Scott Boatright

The city of Grambling as well as Grambling State University are mourning the loss of one of the community’s leading pillars — Richard Gallot Sr. –  who passed away on Friday at the age of 87.

Gallot, the father of GSU President Rick Gallot Jr., was a longtime community entrepreneur who was also a GSU alumnus who served as mayor of Grambling from 1981-85.

Coming to Grambling in the 1950s from south Louisiana, Gallot and his wife Mildred soon established as major fixtures at the college and in the community. 

Gallot first worked while his wife attended college before she then became a history professor at GSU for more than 35 years and then served as a member of the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System from 2005-11.

But Gallot later followed in her footsteps as a nontraditional student, earning a bachelor’s degree in business/accounting himself while also serving as owner of a gas station and liquor store just off Interstate 20 as well as a barbershop he operated for more than 50 years and raising his family.

From 1981-85 Gallot served as mayor of Grambling and under his guidance the city incorporated land north of I-20 extending to Garr Road.

Gallot is also featured as part of Grambling’s Legends Square Walk of Fame. The plaque honoring him there reads as follows:

“Richard J. Gallot, Sr. is a well-known, successful entrepreneur who served as Grambling’s mayor from 1981 to 1985. His parish and government positions included serving as a Grambling City Councilman; Constable, Ward II, Lincoln Parish; member of the Lincoln Parish Democratic Executive Committee, member of the Lincoln Parish Police Jury, and as Justice of the Peace. His business ventures include Gallot’s Barber Shop which he has operated for over fifty years.”

A message posted in Gallot Sr.’s honor on the City of Grambling Facebook page reads as follows:

“Many stories of great conversations have been shared on social media by community members, former students and family to honor the memory and service of Richard Gallot, Sr. He was not only our mayor, our barber, our neighbor and our friend, he was a pillar of our community. The thoughts and prayers of the City of Grambling are with his wife, Dr. Mildred Gallot, their children, family and all those who love him.”

Gallot is survived by his wife Mildred as well as children Daphne Knighten of Little Rock, Loretta Lee of Bossier and Rick Jr. of Grambling.

Funeral services for the late Richard J. Gallot, Sr. will be held at 11 a.m. Friday  in the T.H. Harris Auditorium on the campus of Grambling State University.

Visitation will be observed from 9 – 10:30 a.m. Friday with a special tribute from Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. at 9:45 a.m. The Rosary will take place immediately following visitation. Interment will take place at Grambling Memorial Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the GSU College of Business (IN MEMORY OF: Richard J. Gallot, Sr.) at or make checks payable to Grambling University Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 587, Grambling, LA 71245.

Donations will be used to establish a scholarship fund for nontraditional students in the college of business.