Cover photo for Joseph Canal's Obituary
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1933 Joseph 2021

Joseph Canal

March 3, 1933 — April 16, 2021

Joseph Canal, age 88, passed away on Friday, April 16, 2021 at the LaCour House Assisted Living in New Roads, La.

He was born in Woodside, La. on March 3, 1933 to Loretta and Anna Torina Canal, the sixth of eight siblings.

He graduated from Simmesport High School, and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Louisiana State University.

He married Yvonne Purpera on June 4, 1955 in Innis, Louisiana. He started his career at General Electric Company, eventually rising to the position of Manager of Systems Evaluation.

Joe and Yvonne raised 6 children together: sons Mike, Joe, Bob, twins Ron and Don and (finally!) a daughter, Frannie.

After 47 years of marriage, Yvonne passed away in 2002.  Joe later married Gladys Bourgeois, who passed away in 2008.

Joe enjoyed hunting, fishing, and gardening, but his one enduring passion was his family. He was a kind and loving son, brother, uncle, father and grandfather, always interested and supportive of the successes and challenges that his children and grandchildren experienced.

He was a faithful and trustworthy servant of the Catholic churches he attended throughout the years, first in Tyler, TX, then in Coppell, TX, then Baton Rouge, LA.

Joe loved hearing and telling great stories and retained his dry wit and sense of humor until his very last day. He was a delight to be around, even when he was struggling with physical challenges. He truly cared for others.

Those left to cherish his memory are his daughter-in-law, Anita; his sons: Joe (Becky) Canal of Tyler, TX.; Bob (Frankie) Canal of Bluff City, Tennessee; Ron (Tonee) Canal of New York City, New York; Don (Marina) Canal of Austin, TX.; and; daughter, Frannie (Jeff) Benjamin of Westerville, OH.; sister, Catherine Maloney of Covington, La.; grandchildren: Justin Canal, Tyler Canal, Caleb Canal, Gabriel Canal, Joey Canal, Jesse Canal, Josh Canal, Eli Canal, Cristina Canal, Madeleine Benjamin, Lydia Benjamin and Lilah Benjamin. He is also survived by 6 great-grandchildren.

He leaves a very special friend, Rose O’Rear, who brought him joy and support in his final years.

In his last days of life, he enjoyed nothing more than sitting in the sunlight in his favorite spot. He would sit for hours with no other form of entertainment but the warmth of the bright sunshine on his face and hands. He now joins many loved ones as they bask together in the glow and presence of Christ, our Savior.

He is preceded in death by his late wife, Yvonne; his second wife Gladys; son, Mike Canal; grandson, Joshua Canal; sisters: Rose Hart, Annie Dilberto, Connie Canal, and Josephine Galiano; brothers, Peter Canal and Carlo Canal.

The Canal family would like to express their deep appreciation to those who cared for Papa Joe in his final years, especially the staff and family of dear friends at LaCour House Assisted Living.

Internment will take place on June 19th at 11 o’clock in the morning at Christ the King Catholic Church Mausoleum in Simmesport, La.

Escude Funeral Home of Mansura have been entrusted with funeral arrangements.

Friends and family are invited to sign the online guestbook at

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Rocky Mountain National Park through Rocky Mountain Conservancy @

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joseph Canal, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Mass

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Christ The King Catholic Church (Simmesport)


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