Pine Prairie officials lower the flag at the Pine Prairie Village Hall in honor of former Pine Prairie High Principal and Mayor Ralph Soileau, who passed away on Thursday, May 16.
Village of Pine Prairie lowers flags to half mast for passing of former mayor Ralph Soileau
Pine Prairie officials lowered the flag flying over the community's town hall on Friday in honor of former Pine Prairie High Principal and Mayor Ralph Soileau, 81, who passed away on Thursday, May 16, 2019.
Soileau, who was a 1955 graduate of Ville Platte High and a 1958 graduate of USL in Lafayette, was married to the late Roberta Deshotel Soileau. Together they had two children, Julie Soileau Landreneau and Ralph A. (Tony) Soileau, II.
Upon graduating from college in 1958 he began teaching at Hopkins Street Elementary in New Iberia, where he continued to leave an imprint on the lives of students until moving to Pine Prairie in 1960 to begin teaching sixth grade at Pine Prairie High School.
In 1961, Soileau was drafted in to the United States Army during the Berlin Crises.
He resumed his teaching career at Pine Prairie High in 1963 after receiving an honorable discharge.
As an educator, Soileau continued to reach higher levels of success moving from the classroom and then to an administrative position as Assistant Elementary Principal in 1971.
As an educator Soileau touched the lives of many children, but not long after becoming assistant elementary principal he found another outlet that would allow him to have a positive impact on the lives of many when he became Mayor of the Village of Pine Prairie.
Soileau served as mayor from 1973 to 1981.
However, his service goes even further as he also served for a brief period as the first fire chief of the Pine Prairie Fire Department in 1982.
The success he garnered in his education career continued to grow when he was appointed the Principal at Pine Prairie High in 1982 - a position he held until his retirement in 1988.
Visitation for Soileau will be Sunday, May 19, from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m, with a Rosary recited at 6:30 p.m at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Pine Prairie.
Visitation will resume on Monday, May 20, from 9:00 a.m. until the time of service at 1:00 p.m.
Look for a story in Sunday's Ville Platte Gazette to read how those who knew Soileau best remember his service to the school and community of Pine Prairie.