Funeral arrangements have been set for a Lafayette icon. 99-year-old Judge Kaliste Joseph Saloom Jr. died over the weekend. Not only did he serve as a city court judge, he was a graduate of UL-Lafayette and visionary for Acadiana. UL-Lafayette President Joe Savoie says they not only lost someone who helped Lafayette reach it’s potential, he was a walking encyclopedia on all things Ragin' Cajuns…
"He knew details and facts. He also know most of all the people who participated in those events which historically impacted the community and the university."
Saloom was elected as Lafayette City Judge in 1953, a position he held until he retired 40 years later. During that time and beyond Savoie says Saloom remained active in UL-Lafayette activities.
"He was alumni association president, he was recognized by the alumni association as an outstanding graduate. He and his wife Yvonne their family have for three generations now been Ragin' Cajun people."
He was born of Lebanese immigrants in 1918. After serving his country in World War 2, he married and settled down in Lafayette. Savoie says once Saloom returned, he envisioned what Lafayette could be, helping it to become the largest city in Acadiana.
"He had a strong understanding that if the community does better, then the families would do better. So they invested in their communities through civic work, through their financial holdings, and their activities. They just did all kinds of things to make the community better."
Funeral services for Saloom are set for Saturday at 10am at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Lafayette.