Erne John Plessala Sr.

September 4, 1930August 26, 2021
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Thursday, August 26… the sun was setting on another beautiful day, a faithful man knelt down in prayer and closed his eyes to this earthly life. Erne John Plessala, Sr., a loving and devoted father, grandfather, and great grandfather was called to his Heavenly reward of eternal peace and rest. At his passing, he was 90 years of age.

He was born September 4, 1930, in rural Iberia Parish near Loreauville, the only son of three children to the late Sidney Plessala, Jr. and the late Rose Segura Plessala. He proudly served his country as a member and veteran of the United States Marine Corp.

Erne grew up in a family steeped in the sugarcane farming tradition that has spanned over six generations. Along with farming, he harvested crawfish from his ponds, and “Moved dirt” as his children exclaimed. He was instrumental in the development of many subdivisions in the area, clearing land, leveling lots, he also cleared much of the land at Lake Fausse State Park. He would jokingly tell people he had graduated from USL also! Earning a certificate in Crawfish Management as he proudly showed off his certificate.

His children fondly recalled their father being known as the “Mayor of Marshfield” for the constant upkeep of the landing and area surrounding it. With so many talents and skills, he often said he was a “Jack of all trades, and master of none.” But his children, and many businesses knew better.

Many years ago, and in his late 70’s, Erne took on a project of building a chapel in the swamp near the Marshfield Boat Landing. He desired a place that would provide peace and tranquility for prayer. The beautiful chapel and Grotto that stands today, is a monument of his faith and dedicated to his sister, Helen. Known as Lil Helen’s Chapel, it was where Erne and his family found peace. Erne also enjoyed God’s nature and animals. He faithfully and daily fed the many stray cats at the Marshfield Boat Landing. Next to his chapel he occasional feed the alligators. He affectionately named one Joe Pete. His children reminisced about how their father would lay down next to the water, slapping his hand on the surface calling Joe Pete, feeding him and the other gators cheese balls. He continued to feed Joe Pete, until he got just a little too close to his fingers. On the Chapel grounds Erne raised Jerusalem donkeys. The Jerusalem donkey is marked with the cross on its back. It was marked by the blessed Virgin Mary on her way to delivering Jesus. The many visitors who came to his chapel were amazed when they were able to walk among them and to hand feed them. He loved all of God’s creatures.

This gentle soul and kind man, who had a heart of gold, leaves a legacy of faith, love and compassion that will live on in the hearts of all who knew and loved him. Rest well Erne, for you have earned your heavenly reward. Until we meet again, all our love.

Those left to cherish his memory are his five children, Rox Anna “Roxie” Dugas, Erne J. Plessala, Jr. (Mitzi), Shannon Marie Plessala, Carl “Skinner” Plessala (Janet), and Elizabeth Plessala “Zob” Munnerlyn (David). Ten grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren whom all adored and loved him dearly. You never saw Erne without his precious and faithful Maltese dog, Sophie.

Along with his parents, he is preceded in death by his wife, Gloria Agnes Louviere Plessala, his sisters, Loyce Dewitt and Helen Plessala; his daughter-in-law, Elaine Gardemal Plessala; and his sons-in-law, Dale Dugas and Karl Courrege.

Funeral services celebrating Mr. Plessala’s life will begin at 3:30 pm Saturday, September 4 (which is his 91st birthday) at his chapel at Marshfield Landing with a Eulogy by the family. Following that, the funeral procession will then move to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Loreauville for the funeral service at 5:30 pm. Mr. Plessala will be laid to rest in St. Joseph Cemetery following services.

A gathering of family and friends will be held at Evangeline Funeral Home of New Iberia on Friday with the family viewing beginning at 4:00 pm. and the doors open to friends at 5:00 pm until 9:00 pm, with the Rosary being recited at 7:00 pm. Visiting hours will resume on Saturday from 12:00 noon until 3:00 pm.

Those honored to serve as pallbearers are Colby Patout, Israel Plessala, Dale Dugas, Christopher Plessala, Michael Courrege, Blake Plessala and Preston Plessala. Honorary pallbearers will be his granddaughters and his great grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made in Erne’s beloved “Lil Helen’s Chapel” to benefit upkeep and to ensure that all who visit can pray in peace and in the beauty of his creation. Contributions may be sent to Lil Helen’s Chapel, 109 Joliet St., New Iberia, LA 70563.

Family and friends are encouraged to share their memories and condolences with the family by visiting Erne’s memorial page at

Evangeline Funeral Home of New Iberia is in charge of arrangements.


  • Roxanna "Roxie" Dugas, Daughter
  • Erne J. Plessala, Jr. (Mitzi), Son
  • Shannon Marie Plessala, Daughter
  • Carl P. "Skinner" Plessala (Janet), Son
  • Elizabeth Plessala "Zob" Munnerlyn (David), Daughter
  • 10, Grandchildren
  • 25, Great Grandchildren
  • Sophie, His faithful Maltese
  • Gloria Agnes Louviere "Roxie", Wife (deceased)
  • Rose Segura Plessala, Mother (deceased)
  • Sidney Plessala, Jr., Father (deceased)
  • Helen Plessala, Sister (deceased)
  • Loyce Dewitt, Sister (deceased)
  • Dale Dugas, Son-in-law (deceased)
  • Elaine Gardemal Plessala, Daughter-in-law (deceased)
  • Karl Courrege, Son-in-law (deceased)

  • Colby Patout, Pallbearer
  • Israel Plessala, Pallbearer
  • Dale Dugas, Pallbearer
  • Christopher Plessala, Pallbearer
  • Michael Courrege, Pallbearer
  • Blake Plessala, Pallbearer
  • Preston Plessala , Pallbearer


  • Visitation

    Friday, September 3, 2021

  • Visitation

    Saturday, September 4, 2021

  • Eulogy and Shared Memories

    Saturday, September 4, 2021

  • Catholic Service

    Saturday, September 4, 2021


Erne John Plessala Sr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Vicky Bonin

September 8, 2021

Our thoughts and prayers for the family. God bless all of you. Johnny and Vicky Bonin

Vee Bernis-Cazelot

September 3, 2021

My deepest sympathies on the loss of such a wonderful man. I never had the pleasure of meeting him but heard wonderful stories over the years from Zob. My prayers are with all of you.

Wanda Broussard

September 3, 2021

I am so happy that I got to see the chapel and his animals. I have great memories of Uncle Erne when he would come to the courthouse on business. He would stop by my desk and tell me a joke!
He always had a smile. What a great legacy.

Love to all.

Randy Ransonet

September 3, 2021

Rox, Shannon, Zob, and the boys, i still remember going to your house with Grandfather Emile and hearing them cut up lol.. They were both a handful…Yall have a beautiful family. Your Parents did a great job raising great people…Condolences from the Ransonet clan…..

Olga Hartman

September 3, 2021

I had the pleasure of sharing many wonderful conversations with Erne when I would meet with him regarding tree cutting and other land clearing projects on our property on Sidney Rd in Loreauville, we shared the love of talking about Jesus! May he greatly rejoice in meeting his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ face to face and may Almighty God comfort Colby and the whole family from beyond the grave as only HE can.
Very Sincerely
Olga Hartman
New Orleans, La.

Laurene Dugas-Thibodeaux

September 2, 2021

My sweet cousin & dear friend, Zob;

My heart is so sad for you because you know you were his baby but we know Roxi was his favorite! Ha! That’s for all the times you said, Myrt, is your favorite cousin. What great memories we have over the years spending time with Erne. He was so entertaining. He taught us so much about nature, history of Loreauville & our family tree. His humor is what I will remember. What a talented man with a brilliant mind! The fact that he was able to build a whole chapel using recycled things after clearing swamp -land for a sanctuary to honor God through his sadness over the loss of his young sister, is a true testimony to his huge heart. He is truly amazing and I’ve never met anyone with more energy. I will pray for him and you, Zob. I know you will miss him.

All my love and prayers to Roxi & Shannon and Israel.
Israel built me a beautiful cypress bench on my dads frame as a surprise a few years ago without me asking and it just shows how Erne’s talents have been handed down.

What an icon from my beloved hometown!

All my love and prayers, Laurene

John Berard

September 2, 2021

Zob and David , Your family has my deepest sympathy...I was so sorry to hear of his passing......all of you will be in my thoughts and prayers...