Patrick J. Huval
Pat was a real living legend, a self-educated entrepreneur, a premier restaurateur one of the original Cajun restaurants to receive international recognition. The first mayor of Henderson, Louisiana, he orchestrated the incorporation of his beloved town, was loved by his people and was loved by a multitude of friends. He was proud to remind us “You educated boys study history, but I MADE history.” He loved politics and was unconditionally loyal to the candidates he supported. Pat left a legacy of pride and distinction to his fellow Cajuns. Our love and prayers to his fantastic family.
Godspeed, Pat, my very dear and loyal friend to eternal heavenly rest and peace.
Paul Hardy, Cecilia/Baton Rouge
Henderson – A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018, at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church for Patrick J. Huval, 88.
The family requests that visiting hours be observed at the funeral home in Breaux Bridge from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. on Tuesday and continue on Wednesday at 7 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. A rosary will be prayed at 7:30 p.m. and a Eulogy will follow on Tuesday.
Rev. Garrett McIntyre will officiate at the Funeral Mass. Readers will be Olivia Huval and Natalie LeBlanc. Gift bearers will be Kandi Huval, Alacia McGee and Kaysha Sims.
Interment will follow at St. Michael the Archangel Cemetery in Henderson.
Patrick Joseph Huval passed away in the early morning hours on January 6, 2018, at St. Martin General Hospital in Breaux Bridge. Mr. Pat was born in Henderson, Louisiana, on August 22, 1929. Growing up in rural Louisiana during the Great Depression, Mr. Pat, as he was affectionately known, knew the meaning of hard work. His father died when Pat was just six-months old. His mother worked doing whatever she could to keep a roof over their heads and food in their pantry. Ever a “take-charge” man, Pat dropped out of school in the fourth grade to go to work to help support the family. Before Pat was an official teenager, he had his first “real” job. George Dupuis, relative and friend of the family, hired Pat as a clerk in his grocery store. The rest is history.
When Pat was 18, he married Agnes Hebert and the two of them opened their own grocery store in 1948. It was here that he began the career that would make his name a household word. He and Agnes worked from dawn to dark every day selling groceries and hamburgers and crawfish by the sack. To make ends meet, Pat worked on dredging boats in the evenings after he closed the grocery. A self-educated and determined man, he knew that hard work and long hours would eventually pay off.
He and Agnes added crawfish and seafood dishes to their modest menu, gradually building up a local following. He eventually had the means to buy Henry Guidry’s dance hall/restaurant in the early Fifties. An entrepreneur with foresight, Pat sold the Guidry restaurant/lounge and bought another building in 1952, which was to become Pat’s Restaurant. It was here that the demand for good, homecooked crawfish dishes resulted in what is known today as the original Pat’s Restaurant in Henderson.
By the mid 1960’s, people from all over Louisiana were filling the room to capacity. Today, visitors from the interstate can still have dinner at Pat’s, dance next door in the Atchafalaya Club, and spend the night at Pat’s Edgewater Inn. The lively compound is a metaphor for Pat’s passion for growing and improving.
Since the early 1960’s, the restaurant’s close proximity to Baton Rouge and the catfish and crawfish meals were a natural draw for Louisiana politicians. The place became a familiar haunt of Louisiana celebrities, who liked the food and conversation.
Mentors, George Dupuis, who gave him his first job, and Robert Angelle encouraged him to direct some of his energy and natural business acumen to the local community and region. A natural politician who was born gifted with the Southern gentleman’s “gift of gab,” Pat became the community’s unofficial spokesman. As his business grew, he attracted the attention of Senator Paul Hardy and Governor John McKeithen, who served the state from 1964-1972. Under their tutelage, Pat threw his hat into the local political ring and became the Mayor of Henderson, a position he held for nearly 22 years. He served on the Board of Directors of Farmers-Merchants Bank for over ten years. During the 1990’s, he was appointed by Governor Edwin Edwards to serve on the Atchafalaya Levee Board.
As Mayor of Henderson, Pat was passionate about progress. He and Agnes wanted to raise their four children in a safe community, and all local residents benefited from this commitment. When he first moved to Henderson, the streets were little more than dirt and gravel roads. One of his first goals was to improve the roads. After most of the roads in the city limits were paved, he built a city hall and a local jail and spearheaded city incorporation. He eventually created a 20-acre park. A volunteer fireman himself, he was instrumental in creating a fire department. He instituted the first municipal trash services.
He is well known for his public service, but he lent not only his energy, but also his resources to private works as well. He wanted to make sure that everyone in Henderson had livable homes. He was known to pay for home repairs and subsidize mortgages for those in need. He made sure that no one went hungry, and was the first in line to assist the local church with what it needed to serve the people.
The 60-year legacy of Mr. Pat stretches from one end of the state to the other, from the dirt roads of the rural parishes to the city streets of New Orleans, from shrimpers and crawfish farmers to politicians and businessmen. A testament to a life well lived, Mr. Pat will be known for having nurtured both the bodies and the spirits of family and friends from all over.
Mr. Pat will be remembered as a loving patriarch, a dedicated family man, a steadfast friend, and an extraordinary entrepreneur.
He is survived by one brother, Isaac “Bin” Huval; his first wife, Agnes Huval and their four children, Harvey and Tracy Guilbeau Huval, Nancy and Richard Perioux, Cynthia and Wade Domingue, and Jude and Wendy Hebert Huval; step daughter Sheree Latiolais and companion and caretaker Linda Huval.
Pat loved his grandchildren and liked to refer to them as “his crop”; Kaysha and Rick Sims, Nicholas Perioux, Natalie and Wade Leblanc,; Alacia McGee, Joel Doré, Lucas Perioux; Kandi Huval, Chance Huval, Julien Huval, Peyton Domingue and Olivia Huval. His great-grandchildren include Hanna Sims, Jace Boney, Zaylie Serrette, Mason McGee, Jackson Leblanc, Isabella Leblanc, Madden Guidry and Eli LeBlanc.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Tom and Noelie Berard Huval; brothers, Francis Huval, Lester “Las” Huval and Valrie “Cowin” Huval; and step-son, Scott P. Latiolais.
Pallbearers will be Nicholas Perioux, Joel Doré, Lucas Perioux, Chance Huval, Julien Huval and Peyton Domingue.
Honorary pallbearers will be Tom Huval, Irving “Red” Huval, Warren Dale Huval, Ike Huval, Toby Huval, Don Huval, Zack Huval, Bobby Angelle, Ji Angelle, Chad Angelle, Chris Latiolais, Don LeGrand, Willis “Boy” Robert, Michael Schmolke, Tony Mouton, Melvin Broussard, Edward “Tat” Wiltz, Wesley Davis and Riley Hebert.
Pellerin Funeral Home of Breaux Bridge is in charge of arrangements.
To view on-line obituary, sign guestbook and view video tribute, go to www.pellerinfuneralhome.com.