Floyd Marceaux, co-founder of Mardi Gras of SETX, passes away

Published 12:20 am Friday, December 29, 2023

Floyd Marceaux, co-founder of Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas, died Dec. 23 at the age of 83.

Marceaux is hailed as a visionary for his ideas that positively impacted Port Arthur and Southeast Texas.

Verna Rutherford, who previously served as president/CEO of the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce as well as communications manager at the Motiva Port Arthur site, was saddened to hear the news of Marceaux’s passing but blessed to know he is reunited forever with his wife, Ann, who passed several years ago.

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The couple had been married 61 years.

Floyd and Ann Marceaux smile for the camera at a Mardi Gras event in this undated photo. Floyd Marceaux died Dec. 23. (Courtesy photo)

“Floyd was a visionary, bringing ideas into highly successful plans that greatly impacted Port Arthur and Southeast Texas,” Rutherford said.

“Because of his ideas and commitment to rallying teams to develop and carry them out, numerous nonprofit organizations still benefit from proceeds derived from the Rotary Club’s Holly Days program, Taste of Gumbo and Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas.”

Among his many other ideas, the Chamber’s Shrimpfest was a major fundraiser for work performed by the Chamber, she said.

“Much like Floyd’s life – serious ideas brought business and economic impacts while attracting people to expand their expertise and talents and have good times working together,” she said. “We owe Floyd a debt of gratitude, as his legacy continues to positively impact us in many ways.”

For Laura Childress, Marceaux was a boss, co-worker and mentor.

Childress remembers the first time she met Marceaux as if it were yesterday. He hired her on the spot at the Retail Merchant Association and over the next 47 years they shared many accomplishments.

As if speaking to him, she said on social media, “You taught me so much and gave your employees, company and community a sense of pride and leadership. Rotary King Gumbo, co-founder of Mardi Gras SETX, charter member of Krewe of Aurora and so many other successful projects that will carry on in your honor. I am confident that you are in the Lord’s hands, completely healed, protecting and watching over us. Until we meet again, may your soul rest in peace.”

Tom Neal, director of the Museum of the Gulf Coast, said there are very few people with the vision Marceaux displayed.

“He was so positive about the community and about Port Arthur,” Neal said of the Bishop Byrne High School graduate. “He was totally dedicated to things that are positive for this community and surrounding communities.”

Pat Avery, recently retired president/CEO of the Chamber, first met Marceaux in 1998.

“Being new to Port Arthur at the time, I wanted to know how everyone fit into the community. I quickly learned that he started the Mardi Gras in Port Arthur, Texas,” Avery said. “Floyd was a drum major for Port Arthur, and his influence is still being felt in the community today. He will be missed.”

One of Marceaux’s projects came from the now late Rotarian Ray Depwe.

Depwe had the idea of creating the Holly Days fundraiser, which he brought to two fellow Rotarians — then-Port Arthur News Editor Dub Brown and Retail Merchants Association Director Floyd Marceaux.

Brown began publicizing the drive while Marceaux provided administrative services.

Funeral services for Marceaux are pending with Melancon Levingston Funeral Home in Groves.