It was a weekend boating accident that took the life of a Lafayette Police Corporal, and today, Corporal Joel Bennett Grayson II was honored in a celebration of life at "Our Savior's Church" on East Broussard Road here in Lafayette.

Lafayette Police held a funeral procession today for Grayson. The Lafayette Fire Department had both sides of Coolidge Street blocked so that the American Flag could be draped over the roadway. Intersections along the route were temporarily closed as the procession moved through the city until it reached Greenlawn Cemetery in the 2300 block of North University where Grayson was laid to rest.

Corporal Paul Mouton, a Lafayette Police Department spokesperson, says Grayson, a graduate of Comeaux High School, went on to get his degree in criminal justice.  He was a five-and-a-half-year veteran of the police force. Mouton says he was a member of the Crime Suppression Unit and an operator on the S.W.A.T. team.  Mouton says Grayson was also a recipient of the department’s greatest honor, the Medal of Valor.

Here is the obituary for Corporal Joel Grayson, listing his many accomplishments, and details of family, friends and life:

Joel was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on September 5, 1983 and spent most of his life as a resident in Lafayette. He passed away on Saturday, June 23, 2012 in Gonzales, Louisiana. He was a graduate of Comeaux High School in 2002, where he was part of the marching band for two years and later played football for his last two years. He attended South Louisiana Community College and Northwestern State University pursuing his degree in Criminal Justice.

Corporal Joel Grayson was a 5 ½ year veteran of the Lafayette Police Department. Corporal Grayson was assigned as a member of the Lafayette Police Department's Crime Suppression Unit and an operator on the LPD S.W.A.T Team. Joel received numerous rewards, recognitions, and achievements while serving the Lafayette community including Most Physically Fit, Officer of the Year, and Distinguished Service Award. He was a recipient of the Lafayette Police Department's most prestigious honor, The Medal of Valor. He is said to have been a leader and outstanding officer by his co-workers and supervisors.

Joel served in the Marine Reserves unit based out of Baton Rouge from 2003-2010. He completed basic training at Paris Island, South Carolina and infantry training in South Carolina. He was passionate about music, boating, fishing, LSU football, and working out. Joel was also a talented musician and played the trumpet and multiple other instruments. His two boxers, Kamora and Khan, were the apple of his eye. He was a member of the Family Church in Lafayette.

Joel was a thrill chaser and always fearless even as a young boy. He loved to play with firecrackers, chase hurricanes, and was always doing something daring. His fun loving spirit, excitement, and sincere dedication for whatever he was involved in resonated throughout his life. Joel will be remembered for his ability to make people laugh and many will miss his big smile.

Joel’s life was not complete until he met Mandy Leger over eight years ago. She was his first love and a relationship that would forever better and enrich his life. Joel & Mandy’s relationship was admired by many friends and truly was a once in a lifetime love. Joel would be the first to admit that Mandy was the best thing that ever happened to him after this relationship with Christ.

Joel is survived by his wife, Mandy Leger Grayson of Youngsville, his parents, Brett and Sonhui Grayson of Lafayette, older sisters, Dionne Grayson of Lafayette, Elizabeth Grayson Landry and her husband Paul of Lafayette, and one younger brother, Judah Grayson of Lafayette.

Joel was blessed to have gained a second family thru marriage. He also leaves behind his in-laws Johnny and Denise Leger of Lafayette and Cassie Wofford and her husband Beau of Lafayette. The Leger and Savoie extended families truly embraced and loved Joel as their own.

Joel was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Joel Bennett Grayson I and Nellie Elizabeth Grayson of Baton Rouge and maternal grandparents, Yu Soo Wee and Kum Juk Wee of South Korea.

Serving as Pallbearers will be Chris Anderson, Stephen Bajat, Matt Benoit, Jeremy Dupuis, Tommy Marceaux, Brock Richard, Ryan Richard, and Andrew VanHoosier, all close friends of Joel and co-workers with the Lafayette Police Department.

Serving as Honorary Pallbearers will be Jordan Sonnier, Jon Suldo, Brandon Bonin, and Bobby Brignac, all close friends.

Eulogist will be Chief Jim Craft. Musical Selections will include, "Amazing Grace" a trumpet solo by Charles Broussard, Trumpeter, "I Will Rise" sung by Brittany Longmire, and "I Can Only Imagine" by R. J. Prestenbach, accompanied on the organ by Shane Landers.

Mandy and the Grayson family would like to thank Chief Jim Craft and the Lafayette Police Department for all their love and support. Joel truly had a second family with the LPD and we are forever grateful for all the love, prayers and support.

You may sign the guest register book and express condolences online at