OBITUARY: James Gordon Rousseau

On Wednesday, April 14, 2021, Historic City News was informed of the death of 77-year-old James Gordon Rousseau.  He was born in St Augustine and proud of his Minorcan heritage.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Chester G. Rousseau and Frances Rousseau Fesperman, as well as a stepson, Charles Rardon.

He attended St Augustine High School and worked at the Matanzas Theatre on the Plaza downtown. He became an ambulance driver during the days when the funeral homes operated that service.  He was certified as an Emergency Medical Technician and was one of the first employees hired by Associated Ambulance Service when the local funeral homes decided they no longer wanted to provide that service.

Rousseau worked during the day, attended classes, and studied at night, to achieve his status as a certified law enforcement officer.  For the next 30-years, Jimmy served as a deputy beach marshal for the City of St Augustine Beach.  He picked up the nickname “Rooster” from his fellow officers. Rooster was present or participated at some of the highest-profile crimes that occurred during his time in emergency services.

  • In the early evening of January 23, 1974, he was called to a murder scene that reached national attention.  Athalia Ponsell Lindsley, an unsuspecting socialite and the wife of controversial St Augustine mayor, James “Jinx” Lindsley, was found slaughtered on the front porch of her Marine Street home.
  • Rousseau was also working at the Sheraton in St Augustine Beach on January 12, 1975, the night that 27-year-old Deputy Beach Marshal Ronald A Parker, was shot and killed by Thomas Edward DeSherlia; a fugitive wanted for bank robbery in Iowa and two murders in Alabama.

Rousseau leaves behind his wife of 34-years, Annette D. Rousseau. She tells Historic City News local reporters that she will remember him for his love of fishing and his many sayings.  She said that although he sustained a lengthy illness, he passed away peacefully. He is survived by his sister, Evelyn (Dan) Plunkett, and a brother Robert (Jill) Rousseau, both of St Augustine. Jim will also be remembered by one stepson, John Rardon, eight step-grandchildren, and 6 step-great-grandchildren as well as many nieces and nephews.

Craig Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. No information has been provided regarding services.