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Obituary: Armand Joseph Brinkhaus – Strong UL & AN Supporter – Feb. 12, 2017

Armand Joseph Brinkhaus
November 7, 1935  –  February 12, 2017 
SUNSET – A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, February 17, 2017, at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Grand Coteau, Louisiana, for Armand Joseph Brinkhaus, 81, who died Sunday, February 12, at Lafayette General Medical Center after a short illness. Fr. Steve Kimmons, S.J. will be the celebrant of the Mass. Readers will be his nieces Deirdre Brinkhaus Polanco and Karla Brinkhaus Brown. Music will be provided by Greg Martinez, vocalist, and Karen Broussard, organist. Pallbearers will be his nine grandsons. Burial will be in the St. Charles Church Cemetery in Grand Coteau. 
The family requests that visiting hours be observed at Sibille Funeral Home, 2309 George Drive, Opelousas, LA, Thursday, February 16 from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. A rosary will be recited at 6:30 p.m. Visitation will resume at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Grand Coteau, Friday, February 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (time of services). The funeral will begin at 11:00 a.m.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Margaret Bellemin Brinkhaus; his children and their spouses, Michelle (Steve Prudhomme) of Louisa, Virginia, Armand, Jr. of Sunset, LA, Celeste (Troy Hebert) of Lafayette, LA, Julia (Tracy Landry) of LaPlace, LA, Andre (Denise) of Cankton, LA, Renee of Gonzales, LA, and Marguerite of Metairie, LA; thirteen grandchildren, Micah, Samantha, Rachel, Lee, Jacob, TJ, Julian, Ali, Gabriel, Mikey, Brandon, Brittany and Bradley; and nine great-grandchildren with two more on the way.
He is also survived by his sister, Anna Jane Gaiennie Miller; his sisters-in-law, Diane P. Brinkhaus and Cynthia Bellemin; and his brothers-in-law, John L. Olivier, Leroy (Blue) Bellemin and Michael Bellemin.
He was predeceased by his parents, Dr. Armand L. and Julia Thoms Brinkhaus; his brothers, William A. Brinkhaus and Allan L. Brinkhaus; his sister, Julie B. Olivier; his sister-in-law, Loretta T. Brinkhaus; his brothers-in-law, Richard M. Gaiennie and Roderick Miller; and his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Mike and Louise P. Bellemin.
Armand was born November 7, 1935 in Sunset, Louisiana. He graduated from Sunset High School, University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana Lafayette), and received his Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School in New Orleans. He was the first law clerk at the Third Circuit Court of Appeal in Lake Charles, Louisiana, serving under Judges Al Tate and Cleveland Fruge. He practiced law with Judge Kaliste Saloom in Lafayette, Louisiana, then became a partner in the law firm of Olivier and Brinkhaus in Sunset, where he practiced law until his death.
He was elected to the Louisiana State House of Representatives (1968 to 1976), then to the Louisiana State Senate (1976 to 1996). He was a member of the board of directors of St. Landry Homestead Federal Savings Bank and a board member and board chairman of the South St. Landry Community Library.
His professional memberships included the St. Landry Parish, Louisiana and American Bar Associations, the Louisiana Association of Justice, American Judicature Society, Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel, and the American Trial Lawyers Association. He was a member of the Fourth-Degree Knights of Columbus and the Elks Club. Among the accomplishments he was most proud of were serving as Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, Chairman of the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee, a member of the Finance and Senate Judiciary C Committees, a member of the Legislative Appropriations and Senate Executive Committees, and a member of the House Appropriations, House Executive, and House and Governmental Affairs Committees. Over the course of his legal and legislative career, Armand was recognized with many awards. Among them were distinguished service awards from the St. Landry Parish Farm Bureau and the Handicapped and Exceptional Children of Louisiana; the Louisiana Pharmacy Association, Louisiana Restaurant Association, Louisiana and National Association of Educators, and the Louisiana Federation of Teachers. He was deeply appreciative of these honors. He was especially proud to receive the L’Association Internationale des Parliamentaries de Langue Francaise L’Ordre de la Pleiade for distinguished dedication to the development of the French language and the preservation of the francophone culture in Louisiana. He received the USL Alumni Association Outstanding Legislative Support Award, the Sunset Area Sertoma Club Service to Mankind Award, and a certificate of appreciation for dedication and contribution to the history of the Third Circuit Court of Appeal. 
He created the Dr. Armand L. and Julia Thoms Brinkhaus Fund to benefit Dupre Library at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now ULL) in Lafayette, which was the first contribution dedicated solely and specifically to Dupre Library.
Armand touched so many lives over the years in ways that will never be known except by the recipients of his kindness. He was always fair and loyal, and he always tried to do what was right, even if it was not the popular thing to do. He has been described as a true statesman. 
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to St. Charles Borromeo
Catholic Church Building Fund (for repair of the bell tower built in 1886 by Brother Joseph Armand Brinkhaus, S.J.), P. O. Drawer A, Grand Coteau, LA 70541.
Sibille Funeral Homes, Opelousas, Louisiana, is in charge of all arrangements. www.sibillefuneralhomes.com

Footnote posted by Dr. Ed Dugas on Feb. 15, 2017.
Armand was an outstanding legislator and supporter of the university and Acadiana.. He chaired the Senate Education Committee and it was refreshing to go to him with education concerns. He attempted to always deal in facts and the truth and remove emotional concerns in order to design lasting long-range solutions. My last visit with him was at St. Charles. He will be missed.  Our condolences are sent to his family.