Gisele E. Souter, 83, of Magnolia, died Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, at Arkansas Hospice in Little Rock. She was born April 13, 1929, in La Chapelle, St. Melaine, France.

After studying in England following the liberation of her home in Brittany France in World War II, she worked as a translator-interpreter at Chateauroux Air Force Base, a NATO installation in France.

After receiving her United States citizenship, she worked for the U.S. Civil Service at Laredo AFB in Texas, Brindisi AFB in Italy, Greenville AFB in Mississippi, and Craig AFB in Alabama. Upon obtaining a BA and MA in romance languages from the University of Alabama, she taught in the Tullahoma, Tenn., schools, in the Magnolia Junior and Senior High Schools for seven years, and at Southern Arkansas University for 20 years.

Gisele was an Honor Professor and Professor Emerita at Southern Arkansas University and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa (“Love of learning is the guide of life”) and the Sigma Delta Pi (National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society). Gisele received several awards, the Life Achievement Award (Southern Arkansas Women Network), Educator Award of Excellence (Arkansas Foreign Language Teachers Association), and the Chevalier in the Ordre des Palmes Academiques (by the government of France for her major contribution to the expansion of French culture).

Gisele served two terms on the SAU Foundation Board, was a past member of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging, and was a founder of the South Arkansas Foreign Language Alliance. She has funded scholarships and departmental endowments in the SAU College of Liberal and Performing Arts, and was a Steward of an Arkansas Tree Farm family since 1969.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Arthur H. Souter; her parents, Pierre Gernigon and Edith Lefebvre Gernigon; her sister, Yolande Martel; and nieces Tandy Lowery (survived by David) and Carol Creech.

She is survived by her two children, Dr. Ray A. Souter and wife Kris of Athens, Ga., and Edith G. Watson and husband Nigel)of Naples, Fla.; four grandchildren, William A. Souter of Wilmington, N.C., Katherine G. Fleming and husband Keith of Washington, D.C., Alexander Watson of Walnut Creek, Calif., and Lena Souter of Little Rock;

two great-granddaughters, Anna Gisele and Madeline Grace Fleming of Washington D.C.; four nephews and nieces from France, Jocelyne Theaudin, Catherine Martel, Jean Paul Martel and wife Genevieve, and Jeannick Martel and their children and grandchildren; nephews and nieces from the United States, Zina Horne and husband Art of Sherwood, Ted Souter of Texarkana, Pam Shemas and husband Mike of Magnolia, James Latson Souter and wife Rhonda of Benton, La., Jim Souter and wife Julia of Milledgeville, Ga., Voyne Souter and wife Claire of Sandersville, Ga., David Souter of Milledgeville, Cindy Bradley of Athens, Texas, Sherry Nuska of Athens, Texas, Lori Bukoski of Cypress, Texas, Breke Souter of Lafayette, La., and Carl Knight of Taylor; also survived by two brothers-in-law, Latson Souter of Haughton, La., and Voyne F. Souter and wife Julie of Milledgeville, and three sisters-in-law, Alma Rene Montgomery of Sherwood, Sybil Souter of Magnolia, and Betty Souter of Tyler, Texas.

Funeral services will be Saturday, February 9 at 2 p.m. at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church with Father Tony Robbins officiating. Burial will follow at the Harmony Cemetery under the direction of Lewis Funeral Home, Inc. of Magnolia. Visitation will be Friday from 5-7 p.m. at the funeral home.

Pallbearers will be her grandsons and nephews, with church members and friends.

Memorial donations may be made to the Gisele Souter Assistant Professor in Foreign Languages Emerita Scholarship Fund at Southern Arkansas University, P.O. Box 9174, Magnolia. AR 71754.

Published: 02/07/2013