Armand Brinkhaus

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Armand Joseph Brinkhaus, Sr.


Louisiana State Representative
for St. Landry Parish
In office
1968–1976
Preceded by Steven J. Dupuis

Sidney S. Sylvester

Succeeded by Walter James
Champagne, Jr.

Louisiana State Senator
for District 26 (Acadia, Avoyelles, Calcasieu, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, and St. Landry parishes, formerly District 24
In office
1976–1996
Preceded by Robert K. Guillory
Succeeded by Tommy Casanova

Born November 7, 1935
Sunset, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana
Died February 12, 2017 (aged 81)
Brief illness
Resting place St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Grand Coteau
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Margaret Bellemin Brinkhaus
(married c. 1957-2017, his deathP
Relations Roderick Miller

(brother-in-law)
Parents:
Dr. Armand L. and Julia Thoms Brinkhaus

Children Michelle Prudhomme

Armand Brinkhaus, Jr. Celeste Hebert
Julia Landry Andre Brinkhaus
Renee Brinkhaus
Mary Evangeline Miller
(died at birth)
Thirteen grandchildren

Residence Sunset, Louisiana
Alma mater Sunset, Louisiana, High School

Spring Hill College
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Loyola University New Orleans College of Law

Occupation Attorney
Religion Roman Catholic

Armand Joseph Brinkhaus, Sr. (November 7, 1935) – February 12, 2017)[1] was an attorney from his native Sunset in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, who served as a Democrat in both houses of his state legislature. He was a representative from 1968 to 1976[2] and the state Senate from 1976 to 1996.[3] He was particularly known for his promotion of the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana to encourage use of the French language.

Background

Brinkhaus graduated from Sunset High School, the Roman Catholic Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, then known as the University of Southwestern Louisiana at Lafayette, from which in 1958 he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree. In 1960, he received his Juris Doctorate from he Catholic Loyola University in New Orleans. He was an active member of the American and St. Landry Parish bar associations, the American Judicature Society, and the American Trial Lawyers Association. He served as well on the boards of St. Landry Homestead Federal Savings Bank, the Opelousas-St. Landry Chamber of Commerce, Doctor's Hospital of Opelousas, and the South St. Landry Community Library. Brinkhaus was also affiliated with the Southwest Rehabilitation Center, the American Red Cross, the Boy Scouts, Lions International, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Woodmen of the World, the National Rifle Association, the Louisiana Cattleman's Association, and the Roman Catholic men's organization, Knights of Columbus.[4][5]

Brinkhaus and his wife, the former Margaret Bellemin, have seven children. Margaret Brinkhaus is a native of Grand Coteau, another small town in St. Landry Parish. Like her husband, she graduated from nearby Sunset High School and subsequently received a degree from Maryville College in St. Louis, Missouri. In recent years, she has operated a bed and breakfast in a restored railroad complex and has been involved in the canning of jellies, jams, and relishes as well as numerous arts and crafts. The Brinkhauses attended St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Grand Coteau.[6] Brinkhaus was a brother in-law of the late Republican state Representative Roderick Miller, who was married to Brinkaus' sister, Anna Jane Brinkhaus Gaiennie Miller.[1]

Brinkhaus also managed to till two family farms and to play the piano, saxophone, and clarinet.[7]

Political career

Brinkhaus was the first law clerk at the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal in Lake Charles, serving under Judges Albert Tate, Jr., and J. Cleveland Fruge. He practiced law with Judge Kaliste Saloom, Jr., in Lafayette and then became a partner in the law firm of Olivier and Brinkhaus in Sunset, where he practiced law until his death.[1]

In the state House under the administrations of Governors John J. McKeithen and Edwin Edwards, Brinkhaus served on CODOFIL, in which capacity he received the L'Ordre de la Pleiade for his work in promoting French language and culture.[4]

On August 19, 1972, having earlier in the year taken the oath of office for his second term in the Louisiana state House, Brinkhaus ran in the Democratic then closed primary, prior to the establishment of the Louisiana nonpartisan blanket primary system, for Louisiana's 8th congressional district]seat, since disbanded. He polled 31,934 votes (28.2 percent), but victory went to former Ventress in Pointe Coupee Parish.[8] Long then reclaimed the seat by defeating in the general election held on November 7, 1972, the American Independent Party choice, Dr. S. R. Abramson of Marksville in Avoyelles Parish and the Republican Roy C. Strickland, then of Gonzales in Ascension Parish.[9]

Brinkhaus chaired the Senate Education Committee and was a major promoter of his alma mater, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He authored legislation to establish special protection for school teachers facing acts of violence from unruly pupils. His law created the crime of assault of a school teacher with an enhanced penalty. Brinkhaus worked to provide low interest loans for the purchase of school buses and greater operational allowances for bus drivers. He worked for increases in pay for teachers and support personnel as well as for additional supplements to retired educators. He led the effort to require that a teacher evaluation plan be developed by local school boards, rather than the Louisiana Department of Education.[7]

Brinkhaus also served at various times on the Senate Finance, Judiciary, and Agriculture committees.[4] He sponsored legislation to halt the distribution of campaign contributions to legislators within the Louisiana State Capitol, the governor's mansion, or any other state office building. He voted to require the disclosure of certain expenditures by persons who lobby the legislature and to require that individual legislators disclose the receipt of gifts of transportation, food, lodging, or entertainment.[7]

After five terms in the state Senate, Brinkhaus lost his bid for reelection in 1995 to the Republican Tommy Casanova, a Louisiana State University football legend. Casanova polled 21,543 votes (57.7 percent); Brinkhaus, 15,793 (42.3 percent).[10] Casanova vacated the seat after one term.

In addition to his legal practice, Brinkhaus was affiliated with Marta C Turksel Educational Consulting, location not specified.[11]

Brinkhaus created the Dr. Armand L. and Julia Thoms Brinkhaus Fund to benefit the Dupre Library at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. On November 7, 2009, the Acadian Museum in Erath inducted Brinkhaus into the "Order of Living Legends."[4]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Armand Brinkhaus obituary. The Baton Rouge Advocate (February 14, 2017). Retrieved on December 23, 2020.
  2. Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2024. Louisiana House of Representatives. Retrieved on December 23, 2020.
  3. Membership in the Louisiana State Senate, 1880-2024. Louisiana State Senate. Retrieved on December 23, 2020.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Living Legends: Armand Brinkhaus. acadiamuseum.com. Retrieved on December 23, 2020.
  5. "Louisiana: Brinkhaus, Armand," Who's Who in American Politics, 2007-2008 (Marquis Who's Who: New Providence, New Jersey, 2007), pp. 652.
  6. Margaret Brinkhaus biography. louisianacrafts.org. Retrieved on May 23, 2014; information no longer on-line.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 House Resolution No. 10 (2000). Retrieved on December 23, 2020.
  8. Louisiana District 8 - D Primary. ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved on December 23, 2020.
  9. LA District 8. ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved on December 23, 2020.
  10. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 21, 1995.
  11. Armand J. Brinkhaus. intelius.com. Retrieved on May 23, 2014; material no longer mentioned on-line.