Duhon Funeral Homes sold to second generation family
PAUL KEDINGER ~ Managing Editor
The operation of an Acadia Parish family business has been turned over to a second generation with the announcement by Joyce Duhon, the widow of Ray Duhon, that her daughter, Melinda Duhon Arabie, and her husband, Randall, are the new owners
Melinda and her husband announced that Alan B. Breaux has been named general manager of the funeral homes located in Church Point, Rayne, and Crowley.
Thirty-five years ago, on Aug. 13, 1974, the first Duhon Funeral Home became a reality at 831 S. Broadway in Church Point for mortician Ray Duhon and his wife, Joyce.
That purchase, for Ray, was a lifelong dream come true.
At the age of 16, when Ray Duhon began working at his hometown funeral home in Sulphur he knew somehow one day he and his family would own and operate their own funeral home business.
In 1987, Ray and his wife, Joyce, built a new funeral home in Church Point. Their original building has since been razed and is the site of the Acadia Parish Health Unit in Church Point.
The Duhons expanded to Crowley in 1991 and then opened their Rayne location in 1994.
With the sale to the Arabies on Aug. 3, the family’s dream continues.
As new owner, Melinda says she wants to continue what her parents believed: “by being there for others at the most difficult time of their lives by showing concern, compassion, and understanding.” She remarks, “Duhon Funeral Home was built on this concept, and I will do my best to keep it going.”
Born in DeRidder, Melinda remembers the family moving to Church Point in 1974.
After graduating from Church Point High School in 1984, Melinda married Randall Arabie, a 1980 Church Point graduate. Randall is employed as an A&P mechanic at Petroleum Helicopter.
The couple, married for 25 years, have three children: Adrienne, Dustin, and Shawn, and have one grandson, Jayden, three-years-old.
The family are members of St. Edward Catholic Church in Richard, where Melinda serves as a Eucharistic minister and as a member of the Parish Council. She has served two, consecutive terms on the Our Mother of Peace Elementary School Board.
The new owner joined the family business as a bookkeeper in 1992. In 2005, she decided to follow in her parents’ footsteps and obtained her accounting degree from the University of Phoenix.
Following her father’s death on Nov. 12, 2006, Melinda began her one-year internship as a funeral director on June 6, 2008, under the supervision of her mother. She took the State Board examination and earned her funeral director’s license in July 2009.
The new general manager, Alan Breaux, is the son of late Bradley and Ura Latiolais Breaux.
A graduate of Rayne High School and the Dallas Texas Institute of Funeral Services, Breaux has 28 years experience as a funeral director and embalmer.
He is a past member of the YMBC and the Rayne Chamber of Commerce, holding several offices over the years in both organizations.
He and his wife of 19 years, the former Shelley Fontenot, of Gueydan, are the parents of three children, Addison, Sydney and Brad.
They are members of Centenary United Methodist Church of Rayne.