Cover photo for David Warner Hood's Obituary
David Warner Hood Profile Photo
1943 David 2023

David Warner Hood

December 4, 1943 — August 21, 2023



David Warner Hood passed away peacefully on August 21, 2023, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Our world was gifted with a true gentleman, wonderful husband, and devoted father. David is predeceased by his own father, Frank Cook Hood, and mother, Lucy Aucoin Hood. He is survived by his two daughters, Hope Marie Childers and Paula Elizabeth Hood, his grandson Camilo Velasco-Overson, and his wife, Diane Thuy Baum. Born in Durham, North Carolina, David lived most of his adult life in Baton Rouge, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master’s in political science from Louisiana State University.

David led a life of service beginning with time in the military as an Air Force Captain, serving first in the Korean DMZ, followed by assignments across the southern U.S. Later, he joined state government, working in the Louisiana Legislative Fiscal Office before taking on the role for which he is best known, as Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals that he led from 1998 until 2004.

David is best remembered and respected for his bi-partisan leadership in advancing the public interest in Louisiana healthcare policy, work that was ultimately recognized with the 2004 Nathan Davis Award for career public service, a national award given annually by the American Medical Association (AMA). He was a driving force behind the first expansion of Medicaid through the creation of LaCHIP, which brought much needed healthcare to children, pregnant women, seniors, and other underserved populations in the state.

David led the effort to modernize Medicaid by streamlining enrollment from a paper to an electronic system. This work resulted in quicker eligibility determinations and tighter controls to limit fraud and abuse. The result was increased access to health care services for those most in need.

As an advocate for people with disabilities, David was dedicated to creating more opportunities for people to live and be supported in their own homes rather than in facilities. His strong support for increased funding for home and community-based care has helped thousands of people achieve their goal of remaining independent.

David loved this work, and brought enormous energy, intelligence, and dedication to the job, ensuring a respected legacy that continues to make Louisiana a better place to live. His family and friends are very proud of his achievements.

His daughters will remember David as a devoted father and travel companion, with their early years defined by extended road trips and adventures in Central and South America, the Great Smoky Mountains, and Ireland. An assiduous reader and skilled writer, he also imparted a love of books to both Hope and Paula, who went on to pursue their own careers in the arts and sciences. David’s sharp intellect, keen sense of humor, and gentle demeanor were cherished by his daughters and grandson. He treated others with respect and compassion, and his thoughtful kindness will be forever missed by his family.

David enjoyed spending time with family and friends, eating out, traveling with his wife, and spending time with his dogs. A passionate advocate for animal welfare, David was particularly fond of Pit Bulls. He will get hugs in heaven from his dogs, Jade, Buster, Milani, Lola, Jersey and Dixie, who await his arrival.

As a husband, David will be missed eternally by his wife who adored and loved him every day of their life together. Married on 07/07/07 he was likewise lucky in love and partnership with Diane who will remember him as one she completely admired, supported, and loved deeply; she looks forward to greeting him again. Their love bond provided her with the strength to be a success and make him proud. He also inspired and motivated a connection for her to have future happiness.

The family is grateful to Tiffany Williams for her care and love for David during the last years of his life as he transitioned to peaceful rest. Just as David worked tirelessly to help others remain in their homes in spite of their age or disability, David was able to spend his years in his own home, surrounded by those who loved him most.

David had a long, successful and happy life, and his memory will be cherished forever by those who were devoted to him and loved him deeply to the end. He will be always remembered and missed. Our family was blessed to share this time on earth with him.

The memorial ceremony will be at Resthaven Funeral Home on 11817 Jefferson Highway in Baton Rouge on September 1, Friday from 4-7 PM and September 2, Saturday from 10 – 1 PM. With Eulogy and remembrance starting 30 minutes prior to end. We ask that you donate to the Humane Society in his honor, in lieu of flowers. Website information for memorial donations is:

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of David Warner Hood, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, September 1, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Saturday, September 2, 2023

10:00am - 1:00 pm (Central time)

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