Harold Charles Abdalla died Saturday night in the ICU at Lafayette General after a short battle with cancer. He was 70 years old.
Longtime friend Sterling Lejeune spent much time with the family, especially in recent weeks. "Harold Abdalla was a friend and a good man who cared about his community," says Lejeune. "He helped so many in ways we will never know."
Remembered for his joie de vivre, Harold was a lifelong resident of Lafayette, graduating from Cathedral Carmel High School in 1960 and UL Lafayette in 1965 with a BS degree in biology and post-graduate work in economics. Harold served in the U.S. Navy Reserves before working for almost four decades with his family's business, Abdalla's Department Store, which closed in December of 2005 after 110 years.
While serving as vice-president of Abdalla's, Harold launched Abform Workwear and Career Apparel in 1981 as his own venture. It is now located on U.S. Hwy. 90 in Broussard.
Harold was joined in the business by his wife Elizabeth after they wed in 1992, and together they expanded product lines and services, growing the business to more than 30 employees today.
Among his many civic contributions, Harold served as past president of the Louisiana Retailers Association and the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission and reigned as King Gabriel LIX. An active member of Ducks Unlimited, The Gulf Coast Conservation Association and the American Diabetes Association, Harold was also an avid fisherman, and duck and goose hunter.
Harold is survived by his wife Elizabeth, his daughter Jasmine, his mother Evelina, his sister Barbara Abdalla Black, her husband Tom and their daughters Barrie and Bradley. He was preceeded in death by his father Herbert in 2010.
Martin & Castille Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Funeral services will be held Monday, Dec. 31, at a 2 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial in Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. Interment will be in Greenlawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery.
The Rev. Msgr. Keith DeRouen, pastor of Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church, will be the celebrant of the funeral Mass and will conduct the funeral services. The Rev. Chester Arceneaux, rector of Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, will concelebrate, and and Deacon George Jourdan will assist. Lectors will be Jasmine Abdalla and Bradley Black, and giftbearers will be Amanda Black and Bradley Black. Bob Vining and Paul Eason will give the eulogy.
Musical selections will be "Amazing Grace," "Ave Maria," " Notre Pére," "How Great Thou Art," "Pie Jesu," and "Battle Hymn of the Republic."
Interment will be in Greenlawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery.