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New Orleans Saints mourn loss of Lester Vallet Sr.

Former grounds superintendent and beloved longtime staff member passed away on Friday at the age of 101


The New Orleans Saints mourn the loss of former grounds superintendent and beloved longtime staff member Lester Vallet Sr., who passed away on Friday at the age of 101.

The Baton Rouge native was drafted into the United States Army following the attack on Pearl Harbor and served from 1942 until 1945. Vallet served as a saddle maker with the ninth and tenth Cavalry Regiments before being reassigned to the 1700th Engineer Combat Battalion. Vallet and his outfit worked to construct and deconstruct bridges across the Rhine River in Europe. After the war, Vallet returned home and was discharged with the rank of Sergeant.

Vallet was associated with the Saints organization for over 30 years, including serving as grounds superintendent for over a decade starting in 1979, where he was responsible for the maintenance of the team's complex of practice fields, meeting rooms and locker rooms at the club's original practice facility located off David Drive in Metairie. Vallet's first exposure to serving the Saints franchise came when he held the position of stadium superintendent at Tulane University for 12 years, including when Tulane Stadium was the team's home from 1967-74. Vallet served as the field crew supervisor at their current home, the Superdome, which the team moved into in 1975, before joining the Saints staff on a full-time basis in 1979.

Vallet, whose wife Carolyn passed away in 2017, is survived by their son Lester Vallet Jr., who was also a longtime member of the team's facilities/grounds department following his father's retirement.

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