Elton interim Mayor Avella Ackless dies at 77

Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 3:13 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Elton Mayor Avella Ackless has died from surgical complications, her family has confirmed.

Ackless, who was 77, dedicated her life to the town serving as water and town clerk for 35 years before being elected to the town council.

From more than two decades working together, Elton Police Chief Bruce Lemelle said she was a pleasure to work alongside.

“From a working point of view she was really good to work around, she will really be missed,” Chief Lemelle said.

In her years on the town council, she gained the wisdom and knowledge of the town that would prepare her for the role of Elton Mayor after Roger Laughlin stepped down earlier this year.

When Ackless was sworn in on March 7, she became Elton’s first Black mayor.

“She was the type of person that got along with everybody if you needed to know something you could ask her, she knew the answer to everything,” Lemelle said.

Some of those answers were passed down to Avella’s daughter, Edana Ackless, who said she’ll miss her mother greatly but knows she is in good hands.

“It’s weird because I know she’s at peace because she was strong in her faith,” Edana said.

Avella went to church every Sunday and instilled that love for God in her children at a young age.

Edana says it’s the little things about her mother that she’ll always cherish.

“The talks you know, she would call and make fun of her scrolling on Facebook and ordering stuff for the grandkids,” Edana said.