“Swamp People” star Mitchell Guist will be laid to rest Saturday, the day after what would have been his 48th birthday, a family friend said Wednesday.
Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley said the parish coroner, Dr. John Fraiche, determined from preliminary autopsy findings that the star of the popular reality television show died of natural causes.
Guist, who appeared in segments of the series with his brother, Glenn, died after collapsing Monday morning while working on a houseboat he was building on Belle River, according to reports.
Guist had just launched the houseboat and was pushing it when he collapsed, Waguespack said.
Todd Alexander, friend and part-time employer of the brothers, said Guist’s family said they want his fans to attend the funeral services.
Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Ourso Funeral Home in Gonzales.
Funeral services are scheduled for noon Saturday at the funeral home, Alexander said.
“We’re just keeping to ourselves,” he said, adding, “We are dealing with this as a family unit.”
Alexander, the owner of Alexander Concrete Products, said the Guist brothers “worked for me during the day” and loved living off the land.
The brothers lived in Brittany on Conway Bayou in the house their grandparents once occupied, according to the brothers’ website, http://guistbrothers.com.
Fans of the show have posted hundreds of condolence messages on the brothers’ website and Facebook pages.
“The Guist brothers march to their own drummer. They are a backwoods duo who hunt, trap and fish to eat. If the fish in Conway Bayou aren’t biting, then squirrel and dumplings might be on the menu,” the brothers’ website states.
Since joining the “Swamp People” show during its second season in 2011, the brothers have made several public appearances, including riding
in the Gonzales Christmas Parade in December, Alexander said.
The History Channel program, which airs at 8 p.m. Thursdays, highlights Cajun culture, cooking and wildlife and fisheries in Louisiana, especially in the Atchafalaya Basin.
“Mitchell passed on the swamp, doing what he loved,” said Vicky Kahn, a spokeswoman for the History Channel, in a statement Monday.