VILLE PLATTE- It is with heavy, but grateful hearts, that the family of Joseph “Leroy” Soileau announces his passing on Thursday, July 29, 2021, at his home with loving family by his side, at the age of 86. A Memorial Service will be celebrated on Monday, August 2nd at 11:00 am at Ardoin’s Funeral Home in Ville Platte, Louisiana. Burial will follow in the Evangeline Memorial Cemetery with Father Andrew Killeen, officiating.
Leroy was a New Year’s baby born on January 1,1935 in Point Blue, Louisiana to Felix Soileau and Elena Breaux Soileau. He was a long-awaited answer to prayer as they had beseeched God for many years to have a child! He was a devoted older brother to Joseph Donald - better known as “JD” - and they shared a very special bond…one marked by having coffee together every morning until the final years of his illness.
Leroy grew up in Point Blue, where he attended school and worked alongside his family on their sharecropping farm. It was in these rural cotton fields that he developed his impeccable work ethic and skills for cultivating and harvesting crops. Little did he know that he, his brother, and his son would later form “Soileau Brothers” and together become one of the area’s prominent rice, soybean, crawfish, and cattle farmers.
In1954, at the tender age of 19, he joined the United States Army. He was a true Patriot who loved America. He served his country during the Korean Conflict but was primarily stationed in Germany as a truck driver. Although he could not read or write in French, he could speak fluently in Cajun French. This unique ability garnered him the nickname “Frenchy” and often gained him favor with his superiors.
Upon being honorably discharged from the military, he married his first wife Dorothy Ann Fontenot Soileau. He was a faithful husband and four children, Rebecca Ann, Rennotta Joan, Mitchell Leroy, and Mathilda (Mitzi) Faith, were born from this union. Sadly, tragedy struck their young family in1969, and he became a widower at the age of 34.
Being a committed family man, he worked tirelessly to provide for his children and soon found love again. He married Roselyn “Grace” Fontenot Soileau, his wife of now over 50 years, and from their union, Elizabeth Hope was born.
Leroy was not only committed to his family and to his work, but he was also committed to his community. He served from 1986 to 2018 on the Point Blue Water Board where he held many offices including President.
Leroy is survived by his beloved wife, Grace F. Soileau, his only brother Joseph Donald “JD” Soileau, and his children Rebecca S. Flash (Kevin) of Boise, Idaho; Rennotta S. Ryder (Michael), Mitchell Soileau (Christie), Mathilda “Mitzi” S. McDaniel (Todd) all of Ville Platte, La; and Hope S. Guillory (Jude) of Lafayette, La.
He was a wonderful grandfather and affectionately called “Paw Paw Blue.” He is survived by 13 grandchildren – 7 granddaughters: Brooke Tate Lafleur (Brant) from Arnaudville, La; Jamie Tate Vidrine (Coty) of Ville Platte, La; Jennifer Flash and Kimberly Flash of Boise, Idaho; Erin McDaniel of Carencro, La; Caitlyn Guillory of Provo, Utah; Abigail Soileau of Prairieville, La and 6 grandsons: Tyler Tate (Amy) of Ville Platte, La; Chase McDaniel of Ville Platte, La; Tucker Guillory and Noah Guillory of Lafayette, La; and Conner Soileau and Aiden Soileau of Ville Platte, La.
He is further survived by 10 great grandchildren: Caleb Lafleur, Silas Lafleur, Caroline Lafleur, Landon Vidrine, Logan Vidrine, Collin Vidrine, Abby Arnaud, Domanick Arnaud, Kenzie Arnaud, and Ava Tate.
He is also survived by his mother-in-law, Emalise Fontenot; brothers-in-law Carroll Fontenot and Michael Chris Fontenot; sisters-in-law Barbara Fontenot, Drusilla Fontenot, Nell Ardoin, Cynthia Bordelon, Joanne Willibur, and Debbie F. Dupre.
He is predeceased by his parents Felix and Elena Soileau, his first wife Dorothy Ann Fontenot Soileau, his fathers-in-law Edley Fontenot and Columbus Fontenot, mother-in-law Earline Fontenot, brother-in-law Norman Fontenot, and his dearly loved grandson, Cade McDaniel.
At the request of the family visitation will be held at Ardoin’s Funeral Home on Sunday, August 1, 2021, from 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM. A rosary will be recited at 6:00 PM by Deacon Candidate, Tim Donovan. Visitation will resume on Monday, August 2, 2021, from 8:00 AM until time of service.
The Soileau family wishes to thank STAT Home Health and St. Joseph Hospice for the ongoing care provided to him during his battle with Alzheimer’s. Mikie Attales, CNA, is to be commended for her skillful care. The Soileau family is also extremely thankful for Dr. Brandon Fontenot and Amy Pellerin, NP for providing excellent and compassionate medical care. Last but certainly not least, the family is eternally grateful for his personal caregivers: Nell Ardoin, Carroll Fontenot, and Lisa McMillen.
Family and friends may send condolences to the Soileau family at www.ardoinfuneralhomes.com.
Ardoin’s Funeral Home in Ville Platte is in charge of the arrangements.
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