Cover photo for Merlin Joseph Stelly's Obituary
Merlin Joseph Stelly Profile Photo
1931 Merlin Joseph Stelly 2023

Merlin Joseph Stelly

July 4, 1931 — October 6, 2023

Opelousas -- A Mass of Christian Burial for Merlin Stelly, will be held on Monday, October 9, 2023, at 3:15 p.m. in the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Grand Coteau. Rev. Mark Kramer will be celebrating the Mass. Reader will be Victoria Higdon. Gift bearers will be Kinsley and Katelyn Stelly. Musical selections will be provided by Dr. Rendell James. Burial with Military Honors - 21 Gun Salute will follow in the St. Charles Mausoleum.

Merlin, age 92, a resident of Opelousas, LA., passed away on October 6, 2023, with his family by his side. Merlin proudly served his country while in the Army - National Guard of the United States. He was named Master Sergeant and was very proud to carry that title as well as being born on the Fourth of July. He will always be our “firecracker”.

He was a 1948 graduate of Sunset High School where he was a member of the Sunset High FFA. He also attended SLI in Lafayette, LA and Mathieu’s Business College in Lake Charles, LA. During his career he worked for Continental Oil Company, American Department Store, Haas-Hirsch Estate, and as a licensed realtor with Century 21. 

He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and shrimping at Grand Isle in his early years. He also loved going to the casino as well as trips to visit distant family. He could also be found in his vegetable garden. But most of all, he enjoyed his family. He was always deeply involved in their lives attending family events, birthdays, and graduations. He was always there when we needed him for any task and was happy to help. He was extremely proud of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren following in his footsteps with military service and agricultural leadership careers. “Pa” will forever be in our hearts and no one could ever replace him. 

Survivors include his daughter, Katherine Stelly Guidroz; two sons, Donald Stelly and David Stelly (JoAnn); 2 grandchildren, Stephanie Guidroz Higdon (Cary) and Eric Stelly (Lacie); and five great-grandchildren, Nicholas Higdon, Victoria Higdon, Gabrielle Guidroz, Kinsley Stelly, and Katelyn Stelly.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 70 years, Mary Helen Leger Stelly; parents, Joseph and Agnes Stelly-Stelly; sisters Myrtis Stelly Cashiola and infant Myra Stelly; grandson, Scott Stelly; and father and mother- in- law, Artheus, Jr., and Elmire Lalonde Leger.

 The family request visiting hours be observed in the Sibille Funeral Home in Opelousas, at 12:00 p.m. on Monday October 9, 2023. A Rosary will be prayed at 2:00 p.m. in the Sibille Funeral Home Chapel led by Deacon Darrell Burleigh. A eulogy regarding his inspirational life and forever memories he leaves upon his family will be shared by Nicholas Higdon.

Pallbearers will be Eric Stelly, Nicholas Higdon, Chad Montgomery, Russell Montgomery IV (Rusty), Allen Lanclos, Orlando Hall, and Daniel Manuel. Honorary pallbearers will be David Stelly and Cary Higdon.

The family would like to express their appreciation to the staff at Hospice of Acadiana, Calcutta House, and Prompt Succor Nursing Home. 

In lieu of flowers, the family of Merlin would ask you to make donations to Hospice of Acadiana and Calcutta House in his name.

Words of Comfort for the family may be expressed at Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Sibille Funeral Home of Opelousas.

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

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, October 9, 2023

12:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

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Rosary Service

Monday, October 9, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

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Monday, October 9, 2023

3:15 - 4:45 pm (Central time)

St. Charles Borromeo Cathoilc Church

174 Church St, Grand Coteau, LA 70541

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Monday, October 9, 2023

Starts at 4:00 pm (Central time)

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