Friends, family and fans will gather Monday at Randol’s Restaurant to celebrate the life of Merlin Fontenot, the renowned Cajun fiddler who died Tuesday at age 93. Mr. Merlin graced the stage many a Friday night at Randol’s with the Cajun band Jambalaya.
He was widely respected for his dexterous fiddle playing, which he demonstrated around the world including the Grand Ole Opry, and was most recently an affable fixture for more than 20 years at Vermilionville where he regaled tourists and locals alike with both his musicianship and his recollections of growing up on the Cajun prairie long before Cajun was cool. Mr. Merlin was a World War II vet, so he was also a bad ass and American treasure.
The celebration of life at Randol’s commences following Mr. Merlin’s funeral at 11 a.m. at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Lafayette. He’ll be buried in Eunice. The celebration begins at noon.