Sept. 20, 2020

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

Philip and Pauline Ackel went to be with the Lord Sunday, Sept. 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, they were active supporters their entire lives. Their children and grandchildren were the light of their lives.

Philip was born July 11, 1961, in Alexandria, 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 Aug. 6, 1960, in Opelousas 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 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 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; her mother, Barbara Robin Soileau; sisters, Rebecca Ackel Lavespere and husband Eugene, Martha Ackel Murphy and husband Pete, Paula Gibson Bourque and husband David, Katherine Soileau Simoneaux and husband Kevin; brothers, John Ernest Ackel and wife Donna and and Mark James Soileau and 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.