PLAQUEMINE, LA (WAFB) - A Second Line brass band led the funeral procession Wednesday afternoon, in true Louisiana style, for the city of Plaquemine's longest standing mayor.
The band led the mayor's casket out of the church, into the hearse. Everyone then walked about a mile down to the cemetery with the band leading the way, and everyone followed behind with their umbrellas and white handkerchiefs.
When asked why the Second Line brass band led the procession, Police Chief Kenny Payne said "I would say we're celebrating what he's done for the city of Plaquemine. This was his request. He and his wife talked about it in the past. This is what he wanted to occur. We are celebrating what he has done for the people of Plaquemine."
Mark A. "Tony" Gulotta, 57, died the morning of September 11, 2015 from a massive heart attack.
According to officials with the Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office, he was rushed to the hospital around 10:15 a.m. and died at 10:52 a.m. Sheriff Brett Stassi said Gulotta had a history of heart disease.
The family said Gulotta was at a friend's house Friday morning when he had the heart attack and collapsed.
Gulotta was elected to his first term in 1992 and was currently serving his sixth straight term as mayor. He was also the owner and manager of Shotgun Construction LLC.
Having served Plaquemine for 22 years, Gulotta became the city's longest standing mayor. He is known for successfully completing many improvement projects. His proudest, his colleagues said, is the Bayou Plaquemine Waterfront Park.
Gulotta's constituents said he was more than just an elected official, he was a friend who genuinely cared about everyone.
Gulotta is survived by his wife Sue and two adult children.
Mayor Gulotta's death comes at a tough time for the city still recovering from the loss of its police chief, Tony's brother, Orian. He died in April after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
The Mayor Pro Tem, Oscar Mellion, will oversee the operations of the city until a new mayor is elected next fall. A special board meeting will be held next week to officially approve the move.
Plaquemine, LA is about 17 miles south of Baton Rouge.