Obit: Philip & Pauline Soileau Ackel

September 20, 2020

A Mass of Christian Burial for Philip Anthony Ackel and Pauline Soileau Ackel will be celebrated at 2:00 pm Thursday, September 24th at The Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church with Rev. Craig Scott and Rev. John O’Brien officiating. Burial will follow at The Catholic Cemetery in Natchitoches. Visitation will be from 9am – 1pm on Thursday, September 24th at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home.

Philip and Pauline Ackel went to be with the Lord on Sunday, September 20, 2020. The inseparable Philip and Pauline met at Northwestern State University and were treasured friends of the Natchitoches community. As devout Catholics they lived a happy and faith-filled life as best friends for over 34 years. Philip and Pauline enjoyed travelling and entertaining; Philip with his love of cooking and Pauline as the perfect hostess to all. Together with the Ackel family, for many years, Christmas Festival day was extra special as Melba and Latief’s home was opened to friends, family and out of town guests. They loved spending time with their family and friends, and an afternoon cruising down Cane River was the ideal end to any weekend. They spent many years supporting and serving St. Mary’s School, were active in the Mystic Krewe de St. Denis, and served the Mystick Krewe of Louisianans in Washington DC for many years. As alumni of Northwestern State University, the were active supporters their entire lives. Their children and grandchildren were the light of their lives.

Philip was born on July 11, 1961, in Alexandria, LA, the fourth child of John Latief and Melba Masson Ackel, of Natchitoches. He graduated with the 1979 class of St. Mary’s High School and from Northwestern State University, earning a B.S. in Business. Philip was a member of Kappa Alpha Fraternity and the Natchitoches Jaycees. He was instrumental in continuing the legacy begun by his father and uncle as a member of the local men’s group, The Agitators. Philip joined his mother and father in the family business, Ackel Brothers Store until 1994. At the time of his death, Philip had been employed by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture for over 25 years. Philip was an avid outdoorsman. He enjoyed hunting and fishing, which he and his brother learned at an early age from their father. Philip was the ultimate host – the first to invite family and friends to join he and his son on their many hunting adventures and to create family cookouts, tailgates, and lots of family fun. Philip’s Lebanese heritage was of utmost importance to him, he perfected recipes handed down from family and always had something prepared to share. He was the family historian, as well.

Pauline was born on August 6, 1960 in Opelousas, LA to James Rayburn and Barbara Robin Soileau of Opelousas. Pauline attended Amy Bradford Ware and later Northwestern State University earning a B.S. in Nursing. While at Northwestern, Pauline was a member of Tri Sigma Sorority and was selected as a member of the NSU Homecoming Court. She later attended Texas Wesleyan in Fort Worth, TX, earning a Masters Degree in Health Science and a certificate of Nurse Anesthesia. Pauline served as a registered nurse for the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts and for over 20 years she served as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist at Rapides Regional Medical Center. She was a sustaining member of the Natchitoches Service League. Pauline’s smile was a light in every room, her dedication to her patients was mirrored in her personal life through her unwavering care and concern for others.

The legacy of Philip and Pauline, Mom and Dad, Lovee and Papa, will forever be remembered as a loving and faithful couple, that aimed to bring joy, love, and laughter to everyone they encountered.

Philip was preceded in death by his parents, John Latief Ackel and Melba Masson Ackel.

Pauline was preceded in death by her father, James Rayburn Soileau and her brother-in-law, Jamie Gibson.

Philip and Pauline are survived by their daughter, Ashli Ackel Plemmons and husband Britton, son Abraham Philip Ackel and wife Kaylee (Beaubouef); grandchildren Jackson James Plemmons, Olivia Britton Plemmons and Pierce Wilder Plemmons. Mother, Barbara Robin Soileau; Sisters Rebecca Ackel Lavespere, husband Eugene; Martha Ackel Murphy, husband Pete; Paula Gibson Bourque, husband David; Katherine Soileau Simoneaux, husband Kevin. Brothers John Ernest Ackel, wife Donna; and Mark James Soileau, wife Mary. Philip and Pauline were the most special aunt and uncle to Aimee Lavespere, Evan Kyzar, Logan Kyzar, Hillary Ackel Bodden, Madison Ackel. Jordan Gibson, Peyton Gibson, William Gibson, Hunter Simoneaux, Kaitlin Simoneaux Boudreaux, Natalie Simoneaux, Tyler Soileau and Andre’ Soileau.

Honored to serve as pallbearers are their nephews, Jordan Gibson, Evan Kyzar, Peyton Gibson, Hunter Simoneaux, William Gibson, Logan Kyzar, Tyler Soileau, and Andre’ Soileau

In lieu of flowers, please sponsor a child through, or make a donation to a Catholic Church of your choice in memory of Philip and Pauline.

Due to the current COVID-19 guidelines, social distancing will be observed and masks will be required. Please note that both locations will have limited capacity.