Eldon Joseph Soileau

July 24, 1941 - September 9, 2023

Eldon Joseph Soileau, 82, of Beaumont, died Saturday, September 9, 2023, at Harbor Hospice, Beaumont. He was born on July 24, 1941, to Lydia Marie Borque Soileau and Elta Soileau, in Pine Forest, and was a United States Marine Veteran.

Eldon was a member of Pipefitter’s Local 195 and served on the Pipefitter’s Pension Plan as Trustee and Chairman of the Board. A lifelong supporter of employee rights, he was very active in local and statewide politics and worked as a volunteer and staff member in numerous statewide campaigns. As President of the Sabine Area Central Labor Council, he kept abreast of legislation before the Texas State Legislature and U.S. Congress and effectively advocated the concerns of construction workers and those employed in the petro-chemical industry.

Eldon was later recruited to serve as a Director for the Human Resources Development Institute associated with the National AFL-CIO. While in this position, his department assisted dislocated workers in Beaumont and Houston. He was subsequently promoted to National Coordinator for the Dislocated Workers Program in Washington D.C. with responsibility for overseeing 8 state-wide dislocated worker programs. Although he enjoyed working at the National AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, he later resigned his position and returned home to chair his son’s campaign for State Representative.

After tirelessly working to support his son’s successful election to the legislature, Eldon served as Director of Dislocated Workers at the John Grey Institute at Lamar University for six years. He would eventually start and own Soileau Printing located in Beaumont.  Soileau Printing was widely known throughout Texas and much of Louisiana for quality political sign and literature printing.  He enjoyed advising and visiting with political candidates for local and state-wide office during these years until his retirement.

Eldon believed that it was important for his children and grandchildren to understand that helping those less fortunate and less influential would ultimately result in a successful and fulfilling life.  His desire to help those less fortunate led him to serve on the first board of directors for the Southeast Texas Food Bank shortly after its inception. Eldon was also a member of Beaumont Masonic Lodge 286.  His love for God was consistently demonstrated through his willingness to advocate and serve those who were vulnerable and powerless in society. Always guided by his conscience, he believed that social and economic justice should be his life’s work.

His love and devotion to his family was perhaps his greatest accomplishment in life. His children and grandchildren will miss the love and concern he consistently shared but are so grateful for the living example that his life of service to others demonstrated.

Survivors include his children, Curtis Soileau and his wife, Becky, of Lumberton; Kim Coker and her husband, Gary, of Beaumont; and Troy D. Soileau and his wife, Pam, of Lumberton; grandchildren, Curtis Soileau, Jr. and his wife, Bre, of Lumberton; Justin Soileau of Austin; Lauren Sheffield and her husband, Eric, of Pinewood; Lindsey Gladden and her husband, Doug, of Allen; Dr. Matthew Coker and his wife, Candice, of Meridian, Mississippi; Kyle Coker and his wife, Kate, of Dallas; Megan Rawlins and her husband, Andrew, of Brampton, England; and Captain Troy D. Soileau, Jr. and his wife, Katelin, of Palm Dale, California; twelve great-grandchildren; and brother, Aubrey Dean Soileau of Lumberton.  He is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Rhonda Ard Soileau; and brother, John Darrell Soileau.

A gathering of Mr. Soileau’s family and friends will be 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., Wednesday, September 13, 2023,  at Broussard’s, 490 Cemetery Road, Silsbee. His funeral service will be 10:00 a.m., Thursday, September 14, 2023, at Broussard’s, with interment to follow at Franks Branch Cemetery, Fred. The service will also be available to view remotely via Zoom: at this link.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Southeast Texas Food Bank, 3845 South ML King , Jr. Parkway Beaumont, Texas, 77705-4114 or https://setxfoodbank.org/.


Download Program

Gathering of Family and Friends

Broussard’s Mortuary Silsbee
  • 490, Cemetery Road, Silsbee, Texas, 77656,
  • September 13, 2023
  • 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Funeral Service

Broussard’s Mortuary Silsbee
  • 490, Cemetery Road, Silsbee, Texas, 77656,
  • September 14, 2023
  • 10:00 am


Franks Branch Cemetery
  • 21650, Farm to Market 92, Silsbee, Texas, 77656,
  • September 14, 2023

Comments (13)

    Kent Shaffer says:

    Curtis, I am very sorry for the loss of your father and our Masonic Brother at Bmt 286….Prayers, Kent Shaffer

    Mary Jane Burrell Hancock says:

    Sad to hear of the passing of your dad. I considered him a dear friend and neighbor. I was truly blessed for our paths to have crossed, and thankful he so freely shared his family with me. How proud he was of each of you.
    RIP Eldon. 🙏 ❤️

    Mary Kirkwood says:

    Curtis, Kim, Troy and families, So sorry to hear of Eldon’s passing. Thinking about all the years we worked together at the John Gray Institute and the many times going to his print shop to have printing done. Enjoyed our great long conversations regarding unions & politics. He was a true believer in
    equality for all. May all the wonderful memories live forever in your hearts as they will in mine. God bless & comfort you.

    Garry & Melinda LeBlanc says:

    Garry and I are so sorry for your loss. Your family will be in our thoughts and prayers.

    Gary and Darlene Hall says:

    Eldon was a true friend and customer,Gary enjoyed cutting his hair for many years.Our prayers are with his family..Gary Hall

    Ronny Nelson says:

    Eldon was a great friend. I loved him like a brother. One of the best union men that I ever worked with. I probably had more arguments with Eldon about politics and unions than anyone, but in the end we always agreed to disagree! I’m going to miss those long talks that we had over the years when we would solve the world’s problems! Rest in peace my dear friend and brother in Christ.

    Curtis Soileau says:

    Thank you Ronnie. You two were brothers in every way other than genealogy. All brothers disagree, but in the end, no two men were greater friends. Anyway, we all know Daddy loved nothing better than talking politics and debating the issues of the day!

    Jeffrey P Darby says:

    On behalf of the Sabine Area Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO and our 8,000 union members in Jefferson, Orange, Hardin, Tyler, Jasper, and Newton counties and in Chambers and Liberty counties east of the Trinity River, and on my own behalf, I offer condolences to the family on the loss of Eldon Soileau who was our former President and our Brother.

    On a personal level, I note that Eldon came out of Pipefitters Local 195 (now Local 211, Zone 195), the local of which my grandfather Paul Darby was a faithful member for many years, and also that Brother Eldon was a member of Beaumont Lodge #286, AF&AM.

    Unionism helped build and continues to build Southeast Texas. Brother Soileau was an instrumental part of this progress.

    It is my intention that the Sabine Area Central Labor Council will honor our Brother through a donation to the Southeast Texas Food Bank.

    It is my hope to see you at the visitation tomorrow evening.

    Jeff Darby
    President, Sabine Area Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO
    Past Master, Nederland Lodge #1368, AF&AM

    Curtis Soileau says:

    Thank you Brother. Daddy was always proud to stand with his union brothers and sisters. He too recognized the contribution unions have made to building our state and nation. He would often speak of the efforts unions have made to form a strong middle class, establishment of Social Security and Medicare, and Civil Rights. In short, Daddy believed that unions helped all working people to be recognized for the hard work that are often overlooked and taken for granted. Daddy believed every person’s work deserved respect and had value. The union movement reminds us to not forget those who faithfully do the hard work but are often marginalized in society.

    Luke and Harriet Latino says:

    We are so sorry to hear of your father’s passing. Praying for your family during this time. May God comfort you. He will be missed. Sincerely, Luke and Harriet.,

    Wayne & Stacy Wilber says:

    Curtis, Kim, Troy and families,
    We’re so saddened to learn of Eldon’s passing. We certainly have some great memories from the campaign trail and after. Eldon was a good man, a hard worker and a fella with a wonderful laugh and wit. I know you all will miss him so much.
    Peace be with you all in this time.

    Curtis says:

    Wayne & Stacy, thank you so much for your kind words. Daddy loved being with both of you. No one could make him laugh harder than when Wayne and he got together. On a personal note, I will always be grateful for all the hard work you did for me before and after I was in the legislature. Those were great times!

    Dorothy Overstreet says:

    Curtis and Becky ,love you and keeping you in my prayers ❤️

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