IN LOVING MEMORY OF Franklin J.P. Augustus


Franklin J.P. Augustus

Saturday, August 31, 2019

4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

The Lakefront Airport,

6001 Stars and Stripes Blvd.,

New Orleans, LA.

Military Honors to follow.


Franklin J.P. Augustus departed this life on Friday, August 16, 2019 at the age of 69 years old. He was the father of Brandi (Walter) Ashley; Son of the late Annie Cooper Augustus and Henry Augustus; Brother of Henry A. Augustus, Eric (Ellen) Augustus, Ronald (Patrice) Simeon, Mari Feutado and Bernadine (Abe) Mackey; Nephew of Mabel Augustus; Grandfather of Amaya and Walter Ashley. Also survived by a dear friend, Lea Young, a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends who will cherish his memory.

Franklin J.P. Augustus, CFI, The DRUG FIGHTER, was a native of New Orleans, a licensed pilot since 1977 and the first African American civilian air-show aerobatic pilot. He logged in over 20,000 flight hours in his career. Franklin served in the United States Army, Military Police, CID and Narcotics Officer. He was a longtime community activist who worked with young people in an effort to introduce aviation to them. The DRUG FIGHTER, is a superhero he created to combat drug abuse and deliver a message of hope to the youth. Franklin was the president of the Lake Charles Tuskegee Airmen Chapter Inc. and a reserve deputy with the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office. He received an award for his “Unselfish Acts” during Hurricane Katrina at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY). His accomplishments, affiliations and air show notables are many, but most of all he loved flying.

Relatives, friends of the family are invited to attend The Celebration of Life for Franklin J.P. Augustus, The DRUG FIGHTER, Pilot, Aviator, Airman on Saturday, August 31, 2019 from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. at The Lakefront Airport, 6001 Stars and Stripes Blvd., New Orleans, LA. Military Honors to follow. Rev. David M. Patin Sr. and Gwiena Magee Patin, Directors.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Franklin J. P. Augustus Aviation Scholarship Fund c/o Tuskegee Airmen, Lake Charles Chapter, P.O. Box 57041, NOLA 70157. Professional Service Entrusted to: LITTLEJOHN FUNERAL HOME, 2163 Aubry Street, Cal K. Johnson, Funeral Director/Manager, Info: (504) 940-0045.

Published in The Times-Picayune on Aug. 30, 2019


Memorial Tribute Hosted by

Lakefront Management Airport Committee 


Welcome: Wilma Heaton



Marlin N. Gusman, Orleans Parish Sheriff

Henry Augustus, Family Representative

Lea Young, Secretary/Treasurer, Tuskegee Airmen Lake Charles

Eugene Green, Vice Chairman LMA

Paul Klein, Vice President, Tuskegee Airmen Lake Charles

Mary Donahue, Former FAA Agent

Joe Bartels, President, Lakefront Hangar Association

C. J. Gallo, Pilot/Friend

Attendees invited to share a few words 


Franklin J. P. Augustus, 69, died on August 16, 2019 in a plane crash near New Orleans Lakefront Airport. The accident also took the life of his passenger, Nancy Parker, 53, WVUE -TV-Fox 8 New Orleans news anchor, while filming a news story. He was the father of Brandi (Walter) Ashley; Son of the late Annie Cooper Augustus and Henry Augustus; Brother of Henry A. Augustus, Eric (Ellen) Augustus, Ronald (Patrice) Simeon, Mari Feutado and Bernadine (Abe) Mackey; Nephew of Mabel Augustus; and Grandfather of Amaya and Walter Ashley. He is also survived by a dear friend, Lea Young, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends who will cherish his memory.

Franklin was a beloved regular at Lakefront Airport where he often brought children to open their world to one of his greatest passions — aviation. He frequently visited schools to encourage students to aspire to become pilots. Franklin was President of the Lake Charles Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. Partnering with The Drug Fighter, an organization seeking to prevent substance abuse and youth violence, he dressed as a superhero and tried to persuade kids to stay away from drugs.

Franklin grew up across from the old Magnolia public housing complex, and said in an article several decades ago, “I want to let the young people know that if I can make it, anybody can.” He was a life long community activist who worked with young people in an effort to introduce them to aviation.

Franklin had been flying since he was 19 and had gotten hooked on aerobatics after taking advance flight instruction in 1978. He earned his Private Pilot License in 1977, Commercial License in 1978 and Flight Instructor Certificate in 1979. He described himself thirty years ago as the world’s only black civilian air -show acrobatic pilot.

Franklin served in the United States Army from 1969 -1973 and attended North Carolina State University from 1970 -1973.

Franklin’s varied professional career included: Drug Fighter® LLC; President, Super Air Shows International, Inc.; Atlanta Air Shows & Stunts International, Inc.; Owner, Franklin J.P. Augustus Detective Agency; WWL Radio Air Traffic Watch; Department Head, New Orleans Department of Recreation Martial Arts Division; Reserve Program Instructor, Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office Flying Posse; Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office Board Of Directors SRDU; FAA Accident Prevention Counselor (SW-FSDO-62); Movie Stuntman; and Chief Pilot and Director of Aviation, GA Institute of Technology.

Franklin participated in numerous organizations, including the International Council of Air Shows; Black Wings Pilot Association (Past President); Tuskegee Airman (Former Board Member & LA. Chapter Vice President); Negro Airmen International; International Aerobatic Club, Cajun Chapter #72 (Charter Member); Crescent City Aviators, Black Wings (Past President); Experimental Aircraft Association, New Orleans and Slidell Chapters; and The Drug Fighter Program (President/Founder).

The airshows in which he participated and his numerous aviation accomplishments will be well remembered. Franklin was listed in Who’s Who Among Black Americans, was a Grand Master in Martial Arts, and certified in SCUBA.

Sources: The New Orleans Agenda & Times Picayune

A native of New Orleans, who left her beloved New Orleans to spend twenty years of living in the land of Minnesota Not So Nice. Minnesota was full of opportunities but would learn that the soul of the state and the people who made it was just as icy cold as the temperatures. After the years and my 40th birthday flew by, I decided it was time to pack up my youngest child and come back to my roots, my birthplace the city that not only birthed me but gave me life. I would not be who I am without my New Orleans beginnings. I am all things that would challenge the belief of growing up in New Orleans. I was a 16yr old teen mother of a premature baby born with a severe medical disability. And only With the help of my mother, was it possible for me to BE! I was able to endure and survive the obstacles laid before my child and me. In a city that was built by my family, but did not allow for us to reap the benefits I overcame. Charity Hospital was my second home — a building filled with miracle workers who made it possible for my daughter to have life. I have lived a life of rainy days with peeks of sunshine, that are my children, including those not of my womb. I'm the proud mother of three and a grandmother of three. My dream was to live the life of the nursery rhyme of ”The Old Lady Who lived in a shoe,” and for the most part, I did. I cared for several children over the years as a special needs foster parent. I would learn that my love was not enough for some children, but I loved them through their pain. I'm not sure if I ever had a case of true love or came close to what love looks like on television, but I had my share of men and the mirage of love. I survived two abusive marriages. Though I longed to return to New Orleans on a daily bases, I must admit my move was one of the best decisions made for me. I am a college graduate; I was a successful entrepreneur. I coowned a soul food restaurant and catering company in Minnesota for 12 years. I developed the talent of creating custom cakes after the murder of my beloved cousin Melvin Paul. He survived Katrina only to go to Minneapolis six months later to be murdered over a parking spot dispute. But with the challenge of creating a simple wedding cake, I was able to find healing. I created the House of Cakes in honor of him. Minnesota life had me pretty materialistic. I worked to the point I do not remember much, but work and handing my children love money. I thought by having the big house on the hill, a husband, having a family, the ultimate provider and being involved in all things that matter, plus having the funds to match would cure me of what I was told was a generational curse of lack of everything from money, love to even self-love. But for the most part, that life poisoned my heart and soul. I was blinded by visions fed to me by the media. I was told I wasn't anything unless I was better than the Jones's. I lived being ok with a broken, bleeding heart. Life like this did not exist in my family while living in New Orleans from what I viewed with my eyes and soul. We may not have had all the things I acquired over the years, but we were happy, we were together. Family outside of New Orleans wasn't family anymore. We lived separate lives and had awkward moments when we bumped into each other in public. I hated living in Minnesota even though life their helped me in so many ways. I felt deep down the only way to repair it was to get back to my roots, my soul, my home, myself, my New Orleans. I'm here, and I love it. Even being in the so-called Blighted Area of New Orleans and not having all the financial and material security, I'm happy. I am determined that She, yes, New Orleans is a woman is just like me; together, we will overcome and will rise from all that tried to kill our spirit. Nothing like starting from the bottom and making your way back up!. I just know in my heart that New Orleans will provide for me. There's a bank account with funds in it owed to me by way of back pay for my ancestors. And I will receive my inheritance, and I will continue the traditions and customs of the old to keep the heartbeat of New Orleans beating. I'm down in the boot, living the life that feels right to me awaiting my destiny...

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