Former Louisiana Agricultural Commissioner Gilbert Lynel “Gil” Dozier has died.
He was 79.
A memorial service for Dozier will be held at noon Saturday at Rabenhorst Funeral Home, 825 Government St., Baton Rouge, with visitation beginning at 10 a.m. Dozier died Monday at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center.
Dozier, a Baton Rouge lawyer, campaigned as a reformer when he ousted embattled Agriculture Commissioner Dave Pearce.
Dozier served as head of the state Department of Agriculture from 1976 to 1980.
Amid growing legal troubles, he lost a re-election bid.
Dozier was convicted of racketeering, extortion and jury tampering charges, which sent him to federal prison in 1982. Dozier was released from prison in 1986 when President Ronald Reagan commuted his sentence.
Afterward, Dozier worked as a real estate developer and coordinator of real estate development for a company and later resumed his law practice.
Dozier has been largely out of the public eye for some three decades, living mostly in Baton Rouge.
He spent the last years of his life in St. Francisville near his cattle ranch.
The Beauregard Parish native graduated from the Southwestern Louisiana Institute, now the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, where he was an all-conference basketball player and served in the ROTC. He rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force.
Dozier taught ROTC at LSU, while earning his law degree at night from LSU Law School.
He ran for the Public Service Commission in 1974.
Among Dozier’s survivors are his long-time companion, Treva Tidwell; five children; 15 grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; and a brother.