Stutes, Thibodeaux named distinguished citizens
By PAUL KEDINGER
Former Mayor Ralph Stutes and Horace Thibodeaux, longtime scoutmaster of Troop 61, were recognized as distinguished citizens during a noon luncheon hosted Thursday, May 23, by the Evangeline Area Council Boy Scouts of America.
The tributes presented by Lee Hebert for Thibodeaux and Sidney Stutes for his brother, Ralph, acknowledged both men’s contributions to the community with a touch of humor.
Hebert praised his former scoutmaster for teaching him leadership and community service which he put into action as a young man. “I learned how to set and meet goals,” said Hebert. He also commended that his own years of volunteerism helped secure his current position as Acadia Parish’s director of the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
Hebert, who assumed the role as Troop 61 scoutmaster, told luncheon guests, “I could tell your story, but I might incriminate myself.”
He conclude his mentor “was a good friend is is now by assistant scoutmaster.”
In his response Thibodeaux remarked, “I raised my replacement,” adding, “It’s been a pleasure working with Rayne’s scouts.”
About his older brother Sidney Stutes described several instances where he has been mistaken for Ralph. “I’m known as the other Ralph Stutes,” joked Sidney.
While the two may often be mistaken for each other, Sidney said about his brother, “There are no mistakes about his accomplishments.” He went on to mention his achievements in the U.S. Marine Corps, as a businessman and mayor between 1978 and 1994.
In his response to his brother, Ralph said the recognition “was a great honor,” pausing to introduce his wife, Arleen, and other family members.
He also related an encounter he had with a customer in a local grocery store who chatted away with whom she thought was his brother, Sidney.
Listed among Thibodeaux’s contributions and achievements are:
•American Legion Post Youth Activity Chairman, 12 Yrs
•Assistant Scoutmaster Troop 60, 11 Yrs
•Scoutmaster Troop 61, 35 Yrs
•Mike Gehr Blue Cap Award
•City Athletic Committee, 12 Yrs
•Little League Coach, 23 Yrs
•Silver Beaver Award, Boy Scouts of America
•St. George Catholic Award, Boy Scouts of America
•District Award of Merit, Boy Scouts of America, 1987
•National Outstanding Scoutmaster Award, Boy Scouts of America, 1988
•65 Year Veteran, Boy Scouts of America, 2012
•Past Grand Knight, KC, 1976 - 1977
•Knight of the Year Award, 1977
•President of Acadia Barbers Local 728, 7 Yrs
•7th District Boy Scouts of America Chairman, 10 Yrs
•William J. McGoffin Memorial Award, Boy Scouts of America, 1997
•Rayne Lion of the Year, 1995 - 1996
•Beta Sigma Phi Outstanding Male of the Year, 1996
•James E West Fellowship Award, 2008
Listed among Stutes’ community activities and achievements are:
Active Business Owner of Stutes Grocery, 23 Yrs
•Member and Past Vice Commander of Post 77, American Legion
•Member of Veterans of Foreign Wars
•Past Member of Young Men’s Business Club
•Past Member and President of St. Vincent DePaul Society
•Past Board Member and President of Rayne Chamber of Commerce
•Past Member of the Acadian Industrial Development Corporation
•Alderman, City of Rayne, 1962-1974
•Mayor Pro-Tem, City of Rayne, 1970-1974
•Mayor, City of Rayne, 1978-1994
•Past Vice President and President of the Louisiana Municipal
•Past Member of the Governor’s Community Development Advisory
•Past Member of LA Dep’t of Environmental Quality Advisory Committee
•Past Chairman of LMA Policy Committee on Environmental Quality
•Past Member of Louisiana Housing Authority
•Governor Appointee to LA Naval War Memorial Commission (USS Kidd)
•Past Member of Council for the Development of French in Louisiana
•Past Member of LA Broadcasting Community Advisory Board
•Grand Marshal, Rayne Frog Festival, 1992