Paul Louis Abel II
1926 - 2016
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Paul Louis Abel II, was born on November 23rd 1926, in the northern Mississippi delta town of Clarksdale, and he peacefully passed to the Lord on January 12, 2016. Paul was a jovial, fun loving man who loved life. He enjoyed people, good food, and a wide range of activities, but was best known as a gifted musician. Mr. Abel matriculated from the Eastman School of Music in 1950 where he studied trumpet, music theory, and composition. Upon the completion of his studies he embarked on an academic and performing career at the University of Montana in Missoula. In 1954 Abel arrived at the Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge to serve as Assistant Professor of trumpet and theory. He served as the Assistant Dean for the School of Music from 1969-1971, and as a member of the Athletic Counsel c. 1981-1985. While at LSU, he joined the Baton Rouge Symphony where he performed as first trumpeter for fourteen years. After thirty-three years teaching music theory, orchestration, composition, and trumpet, Mr. Abel retired in 1987 as a full professor. During his career, Paul Abel was renowned for selecting and refining music as part of the worship services on Sundays and other important ecclesiastical feasts. His churches included St. Aloysius, Broadmoor Presbyterian and St. Thomas More. In addition, Abel composed numerous orchestral works including the Vignette for Orchestra for which he won the prestigious Edward Benjamin Prize. His works were also performed by the Timm Woodwind Quintet, and the University Brass Ensemble. Abel's Misa brevis pro defunctis performed by the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra and Choral Society conducted by Victor Klimash, is his most auspicious work. His composition, Idyll, written in memory of his eldest son Paul III, was featured in a celebratory performance of the Baton Rouge Symphony on November 19, 2009. A partial collection of his works can be found at>. Paul Louis Abel II was a dedicated and nurturing father who had five sons: Paul Louis III, Mark (Jean), Charles, Andrew, and Leo (Kimberly), and he was also a loving father to his step daughter, Lisa (Ben). He was pre-deceased by Paul III, and Andrew, but his beloved wife of forty-eight years, Genevieve, and his living children and grandchildren survive to celebrate and remember his life. In all, Paul Louis Abel II had eleven grandchildren: Christopher Dudley, Matthew (Elaine) and Brian Abel, Paul Louis Abel IV, Jason and Michael Abel, Amanda and Emily Hattaway, Matthew Alexander, Ian, and Estelle Abel. His eight great grandchildren are Julia, Charlie, Alexis, Grayson, and Gaston Dudley, Marshall Moore, Cynthia and Shaun Abel. He will be remembered for his ebullient spirit, his wit, intelligence and for his unwavering dedication to family and of course, for his enduring contributions to music in the form of original compositions, pedagogy, directorships and performances. Visitation will be held at Greenoaks Funeral Home on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Visitation will continue at St. Joseph Cathedral on Wednesday, January 20, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. until Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers please consider donations to

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Published in The Advocate from Jan. 15 to Jan. 19, 2016.
05:00 - 07:00 PM
08:30 - 10:00 AM
St. Joseph Cathedral
Mass of Christian Burial
10:00 AM
St. Joseph Cathedral
Greenoaks Memorial Park
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Memories & Condolences
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29 entries
January 10, 2017
Mr Abel was a regular on weekday mornings at portobellos in bocage village where I worked for many years. His kindred spirit and wit will not be forgotten. He is the reason why my favorite beverage is an old fashion. Great man. Glad he is in a better place now and I will never forget him.
Jeremy Braud
April 23, 2016
I did not have the honor of taking a class with Paul, but his presence was such that I (a pianist and singer) knew who HE was... and remember the fondness many of his students had for him. sending condolences (at this very late date) to his family
E J Michel
February 22, 2016
Condolences. He was really influential to me. Sat me down at McDonalds and discussed my viola perf degree. Counterpoint class with him was just a treasure. I really really liked him. He was an example of what it's all about. May he rest in peace and God grant his family peace and comfort.
James Long
January 27, 2016
I had Mr. Abel for several classes in graduate school, and he was an amazing teacher. I marveled at seeing him write 3- and 4-voice canons in 16th-Century Counterpoint, but my favorite class was 18th-century Counterpoint--a class I have now taught for over 35 years. I still refer to "Abel's Law" when teaching fugue. He was on my doctoral committee, too. What a legacy he leaves his family as well as his students. May the Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace during this time of sorrow.
Ed Dunbar
January 24, 2016
Dear Abel Family,
Paul Abel will always remain in my memory as a fine teacher, but most of all as one who truly cared for me. The feeling was mutual and I will always be grateful to have known and studied with him. My deepest condolences to all of his family.
O. David DeRossett
January 23, 2016
May the God of all comfort be with the family.
Barbara Baylis
January 22, 2016
Ah! So sad to lose another member of this great family. You all moved away from Cherrydale when I was five, but you will always have a special place in my heart. Your father was my godfather, a great man. I am so sorry for your loss - and ours. Love to all.
Paula Koenig Ross
January 21, 2016
I will forever be grateful that I could sing in Paul's choir at Broadmoor Presbyterian. It was never the same after he retired. He taught us so much as we made beautiful music. We always left choir rehearsal feeling inspired. Please accept my condolences, Genny. I did love your husband. He was a wonderful, talented man.
Susan Mele Schiehl
January 20, 2016
Dear Abel Family,

Paul Louis Abel will not soon be missed and perhaps never forgotten. Although I was aware that he was not in good health, my wife and I were saddened to read of his death. His tremendous teaching ability and his dedication to precision in music was a great gift that he gave each student. May the Heavenly Father grant each of you His Grace, Comfort, and Strength for these days.
Jon Barker
January 19, 2016
I will truly miss visiting with Mr.Paul. He was a true joy and a true gentleman. He would always greet me with a contagious smile. Mr. Paul truly enjoyed visiting with my grandchildren. He made a difference in the lives of all who met him!
Arlene Byrd
January 19, 2016
January 19, 2016
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
January 19, 2016
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
January 18, 2016
Wonderful Music Theory teacher! Great humor!!
January 18, 2016
Dear, Dear Charlie. I am so very sorry to hear about your father. I knew him through you, and know what a powerful source of love and strength he was for you. You embody all of that love, talent and generosity, and he will always be with you and your family. God Bless him, as he has blessed us all with his music. Much love, my Salt of the Earth. Vicki
January 18, 2016
Dear Charlie - I am so sorry for your loss. From the description of your dad, it sounds like you are very much like him. My best to your family.
Amy Hathaway
January 18, 2016
So sorry for your loss of this wonderful man. Have heard many wonderful stories. Bless you all.
Belinda Fry
January 18, 2016
I feel like I knew this man from the stories I heard over the years from (his son) Charlie. Assuming Charlie is a "chip off the old block", I know he was a wonderful man and wish I could have met him. Rest in eternal peace.
Carol Tilford
January 18, 2016
My heartfelt condolences to the family. May your treasured memories and drawing close to God in prayer help comfort you in your time of sorrow. Psalms 66:19,20
January 18, 2016
With sympathy to the family, sorry for your loss. May you find comfort in Jesus promise at John11:25.
January 18, 2016
Paul's son Mark brought Paul over for a visit several years ago. Paul entertained us with one story after another. He was delightful. Finally Mark insisted that they had to leave. Karen and I and I think Paul wanted to keep the little party going. We're sorry we didn't get another chance to get together. He seemed like such a nice man.
Dick and Karen Whitehill
January 17, 2016
No one had a more glorious laugh than Paul Abel. What a joyful man and friend. It's been a long, long time since Cherrydale and St Aloysius, but his memory is still fresh and vibrant. I'm sorry we will not pass his way again.
Karen Koenig Denby
January 17, 2016
Paul Abel was one of my best, closest friends during our time together teaching music at LSU. He was a great colleague and a fine performer, composer, and teacher. His infectious joie de vivre was an inspiration for all who knew him. He will be missed! Milton Hallman
Milton Hallman
January 16, 2016
Remembering Paul with you-so many fond memories of him and my Mom- Myrtis Riley at LSU. I never laughed so hard or learned so much than when I had him for music theory. He will be missed!
Sharon Riley/Millar
January 16, 2016
Leo - I had the pleasure of meeting your Dad one day at the doctor's office. I called and enlisted your help in finding your Mom for him. In the hour or so I spent with him that day we had a delightful conversation about his life's work. He was such a sweet gentleman, and I was so sorry to see in this morning's paper that he had passed away. Prayers for your Mom and you, and the rest of your family.
Marilyn Percy
January 16, 2016
Paul will always be remembered for all his wonderful music at St. Aloysius.
Lenny Long
January 16, 2016
My heartfelt sympathies go out to the family and friends during this difficult time. I hope that the promise found in 1 Thessalonians 4:14 can bring you some comfort. Knowing that there is a future for the ones we have lost in death can be so reassuring.
January 16, 2016
As a charter member of the Baton Rouge Choral Society (T II), I remember very well rehearsing, and then performing, Paul's "Misa brevis pro defunctus". Paul would attend some rehearsals, listen for a while, talk to Victor, and pretty soon we would take out our pencils and make changes to the score. It was so much fun being involved as this consummate musician's wonderful music was born. His life and talent certainly enriched my life and, I am sure, the lives of all those who heard his music. For that I am very grateful.

Steve Watkins (
Steve Watkins
January 15, 2016
My condolences to the family. Continue to rely on God during this difficult time and know that he hears prayers : Isaiah 59 : 1
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