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Robert Arceneaux

1957 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Robert Arceneaux Obituary
Robert Elton Arceneaux

NEW ORLEANS - Family and friends mourn the passing of Robert Elton Arceneaux (age 58) of New Orleans who died unexpectedly from a heart attack on April 2 at his home in Old Metairie.

A native of Lafayette, Mr. Arceneaux was a beloved son and brother, and a friend to many. He graduated from Cathedral-Carmel High School in Lafayette, the University of Southwest Louisiana (now UL Lafayette), and the Paul Hebert School of Law at LSU ('82). He was managing editor of the LSU Law Review (Order of the Coif) and he served as a clerk for the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Mr. Arceneaux's legal career spanned four decades wherein he successfully represented clients in Louisiana and across the country, shining brightest in appellate work. In the early 1980's he worked as an associate in the practice of Judge Mack Barham becoming a partner in what became Barham and Arceneaux in 1990, his professional home for a decade until the firm disbanded. His expertise included law pertaining to local government, property, commercial and personal injury, and he had extensive class-action experience. Robert was highly regarded in the legal community, by both colleagues and judges, for his tremendous intellect, critical reasoning and deft persuasion. That community recognized him several years ago as a Best Lawyer in the category of appellate advocacy. He successfully argued before the Louisiana Supreme Court, state appellate courts, and federal courts across the country. Never detached from the soul and substance of his cases he was fearless and unrelenting in his pursuit of justice for individuals who had been harmed by institutions too large for them to take on themselves.

Friends, family and close associates treasured his sly and wicked sense of humor, his playfulness, his deep sweetness, his sometimes- unorthodox (but always formidable) reasoning, and his wide-ranging interests. Following graduation from law school, Robert instantly fell in love with New Orleans, enamored of its history, beauty, food and joie de vivre—and not incidentally its unspoken credo of live-and-let-live, live-and-let-loose. He became his truest self there and developed profoundly deep friendships as he also did all across the country.

Robert was a gourmand and a generous host; an eyebrow-raised observer of news and social currents; a stickler for details (an inheritance from his librarian mother); a platinum-level traveller with a fascination with the golden age of trans-Atlantic ocean sailing; a Broadway and film aficionado who dabbled in producing along with other business ventures; a tech wizard before that was fashionable; and a connoisseur and collector of Arts and Crafts pottery and furniture.

His annual gift of homemade biscotti to dozens of family members and friends came to signify Christmas as much as Santa's on lawns. Sadly, like Robert himself, they will never be duplicated- or at least not to his high standards. The world is a better place because he was in it, and will now be less for his passing.

His siblings, Donald J Arceneaux, Claudia A Wallace, Mary A Castille and her husband Michael F Castille, his four nephews, one niece, three great nephews and two great nieces survive him. Additional survivors significant to Robert are his brother Donald's life partner Mariam Kent and Donald's previous wife Ginger Arceneaux. He also cherished his extended family and his many close friends he considered family.

His parents Claude and Heloise Arceneaux of Lafayette, LA predeceased him.

Per Robert's wishes, a private celebration of his life will be held at a future date.

Donations in his memory may be made to Louisiana Hemophilia Foundation, 3636 Sherwood Forest Suite 390, Baton Rouge, LA 70816 or the website

To view and sign the guest book, visit
Published in the The Advertiser on Apr. 10, 2016
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