St. Landry Parish is mourning the death of a longtime doctor and political figure in the parish.

Dr. Russell Pavich died on Friday. Pavich, who served as St. Landry Parish coroner from 1995 until his death, was 70.

Pavich was a native of Eunice and a graduate of Eunice High School. After graduating from the LSU School of Medicine, he joined the U.S. Public Health Service. He received an honorable discharge from the service in 1980, attaining the rank of Lieutenant in the U. S. Navy. Pavich began his private practice in the Carolinas before moving back to Louisiana in 1981. After moving back to the Pelican State, Pavich specialized in hyperbaric medicine, working at and leading the hyperbaric departments at hospitals in Mamou, Crowley and Lafayette.

In addition to practicing medicine, Pavich briefly served as an adjunct professor at UL, teaching students in the health sciences about organ systems and their associated diseases.

Pavich was active in local, state, national politics. He was a longtime the St. Landry Parish Republican Party and the Louisiana Republican State Central Committee. In those roles, he represented Louisiana at the 2000 and 2004 Republican National Conventions as a delegate. Pavich was a member of the Electoral College in two presidential elections.

Before begin elected as St. Landry Parish coroner, Pavich served a single term as a member of the St. Landry Parish Police Jury in the early 1980s.

Pavich was also a fixture on the local boxing scene, serving as the official ringside doctor for numerous amateur and professional bouts held in Acadiana.

Visitation for Dr. Pavich will take place on Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Quirk Funeral Home in Eunice. Funeral services will take place starting at 11 a.m. at the funeral home. Burial will follow in the Maxie Cemetery.

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