Paul A. Doerle, Sr. Biography
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Paul A. Doerle, Sr.
Founder of Doerle Food Service

October 29, 1924 – June 5, 2012

We are saddened by the loss of Mr. Paul.
Please keep the Doerle Family in your prayers.
Mr. Paul will be greatly missed by all.
Mr. Doerle, affectionally known as "Mr. Paul", or "Pee Paw" to his grandchildren, was a native of Beaumont, Texas, although he grew up mostly in New Iberia, Louisiana. He graduated from St. Peter's College in 1943, and enlisted in the United States Army during World War II. He was stationed in Okinawa and returned from his tour of duty to marry his beloved wife, Gertrude Dugas in 1946.

He joined his father, Paul Peter Doerle, in the family wholesale produce distribution business, working alongside his brother, Bob, for many years before founding his own food wholesale business in 1950.

Paul A. Doerle Wholesale, Inc. started out as a two-man operation selling produce from the back of a pick-up truck. It was housed in what was once a cow barn. But, over the years, Mr. Doerle grew the business into a multi-million dollar distributor of meats, canned goods, produce, paper, chemicals, and janitorial supplies that repeatedly garnered national recognition. The company currently operates out of four facilities and employs over 400 people. Corporate headquarters are located in Broussard, LA, with satellite facilities in Shreveport, LA, Port Fourchon, LA and Pasadena, Texas. The latter two locations service the Energy and Marine segments from Corpus Christi Texas to Mobile Alabama, while Broussard and Shreveport supply restaurants, casinos, nursing homes and hospitals, convenience stores, schools, prisons and hotels.

Doerle Food Services is most recently ranked No. 8 in sales volume in the Acadiana’s Top 50 Privately-Held Businesses.
Mr. Doerle was the recipient of many awards and accolades throughout his 60 years within the foodservice industry. He served as a Board of Director for 10 years with NIFDA, (National Institutional Food Distributor Assoc.) and his company was recognized nationally three different times as "Distributor of the Year". In 2005, he was recognized and awarded the 'Pioneer Award' in Las Vegas, bestowed upon him by UNIPRO, an international foodservice trade organization of which he was a member.
He also served for many years as a Board of Director for People's National Bank, which later purchased by New Iberia National Bank and is now known as Regions Bank.
Mr. Doerle was a true entrepreneur and visionary. In addition to growing Doerle Food Services, he created several other companies throughout his career. He started Gulf Coast Catering Company in 1971, an offshore catering company that employed over 300 cooks and galley hands. He also created Doerle's Quarterboats, Inc., which leased "floating hotels" to drilling and marine construction companies that needed to house and feed their crews in isolated Gulf Coastal areas. To provide internal support services, he formed Doerle's Mechanics, Inc. which maintained the various companies’ fleet of cars and trucks. More recently, he created Bayou Oaks Catering, a special events caterer for weddings, club meetings and parties, etc.

Although he had an illustrious business career, he was also active in his community, serving for years as a member of the Cajun Kiwanis Club, and as its past President. He was also very active with the St. Vincent DePaul organization, devoting countless hours to providing food, clothing and general assistance to the needy. Throughout his life he was a humanitarian and philanthropic. He "gave back" quietly, supporting Disch-DeClouet Social Service Center and other charitable organizations with substantial financial contributions throughout the years.

On a personal level, he often said that his greatest joy was being with his family. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He loved to travel, and throughout the years arranged numerous trips to spend with his wife and adult children. He loved to dine out at the finest restaurants, which was a favorite past-time of his. He loved good music, and was a beautiful, elegant dancer, which all the women in his family thoroughly enjoyed. He also loved to duck hunt, which he did well into his 70's. Perhaps his greatest passion was creating beautiful flower gardens and landscaping for his home, changed out seasonally, much to the enjoyment of his neighbors. Throughout his life, his nature was to be a "builder", and he was happiest when there was a construction project of some kind going on at one of his businesses or home.

He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
The family wishes to particularly thank his doctor, Dr. Jan Nugent, for her unwavering devotion to him throughout his illness, which allowed him to remain at home during his final months with his family by his side.

Also, special gratitude to his wonderful team of nurses who cared for him daily over these last two years, Julia Chaney, Amanda Jakabffy, Mitzi Olivier, his sitters, Maxine Randal, and Janice Walker, along with Dr. Clyde Roy, and Dr. David Baker.
Mr. Doerle is survived by his wife, Gertrude, and four children, Carolyn Doerle Schumacher and husband Dr. William 'Kip' Schumacher, Paul. A Doerle, Jr. and wife Mindy Bixler Doerle, Barbara Doerle Woodburn and husband Robert "Woody" Woodburn, Gordon Doerle and grandchildren, Chad Woodburn and his wife Brandi, Ashley Woodburn, Jacob Doerle, Chase Doerle, Dustin Ray, Cody Ray, Erica Ray, Jennifer Doerle, Gordie Doerle, Avery Doerle, and Caroline Doerle, as well as several great-grandchildren.

He is also survived by one sister, Betty Comeaux and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his son, Frank E. Doerle, his parents Paul and Emma Doerle, his brothers Robert " Bobby" Doerle. Francis Doerle, Harold Doerle; and his sisters, Gertrude Walet, Bernice Roy, Dickie Theriot, Rena Waller, Mildred Miller, and Pauline Davant.



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