Visitation and a funeral mass will be held Tuesday, June 11 at St. Pius Catholic Church for Acadian Ambulance CEO and Chairman Richard Zuschlag.

This local titan of industry died on the morning of Wednesday, June 5 at the age of 76.

Officials from Martin and Castille are in charge of arrangements. A visitation will be held at St. Pius Catholic Church on Tuesday, June 11 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. with a rosary to be recited at 6 p.m. Visitation will continue on the morning of June 12 starting at 8 a.m. and will conclude when services begin at 10 a.m.

Reverend Louis J. Richard will conduct the funeral mass and services with attendance by Lafayette Diocese Bishop J. Douglas Deshotle, and Lake Charles Diocese Bishop Glen John Provost.

Richard Zuschlag, submitted photo
Richard Zuschlag, submitted photo

Pallbearers for Zuschlag will be the following:

  • Matthew Touchette
  • Gilberto Morales
  • Paul Hamilton
  • Leighton Guilbeau
  • Scott Dominge
  • Justin Back
  • Dr. Chuck Burnell

Honorary pallbearers have been chosen as well with all past and present members of the Acadian family designated as such. 


According to the family,

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in Mr. Richard Zuschlag’s honor be made to Coeurs d’Acadian at 130 E Kaliste Saloom Rd., Lafayette, LA 70508.

Richard Zuschlag was born in Greenville, Pennsylvania. He held a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from what was known at the time, as Capitol College in Washington, D.C.

Before coming to this area he worked for Greenville Broadcasting and Westinghouse Electric Space and Defense.

The employee-owner private ambulance service was started in the 70s in Lafayette and quickly branched out to multiple parishes in Acadiana and then to the entire state. The growth of the company only continued to accelerate in recent years.

Zuschlag along with Richard Sturlise and Roland Dugas formed Acadian Ambulance. While it was tough raising capital for the company, they made the decision to hire medics home from Vietnam to staff the ambulances.

They also decided to sell memberships to be a part of Acadian Ambulance.

It was in 1971, that the partners secured a contract with Lafayette Parish via the police jury system in place at the time to provide ambulance services to the parish.

The following is the statement released by Acadian Ambulance:

It is with the heaviest of hearts that we share with you the passing of our friend, mentor, and leader Richard Emery Zuschlag. Richard fought the hard fight that so many with cancer and its complications have endured. While we mourn our extraordinary loss, we are comforted in knowing that he is no longer suffering. He is now in the loving arms of his Lord, in whom he had unwavering faith.

Richard was a much loved and admired agent of change, not only in the state of Louisiana but across the nation. The lives he affected through his vision, generosity, inspiration, and leadership are countless. Whether a friend, employee, peer or patient, all of our lives were changed due to his undeniable determination to make a difference.

His legacy endures through his beautiful family, every life saved, every patient helped, and every battle he waged to ensure that all people had access to high-quality medical care. He never backed down when fighting for the things he loved most: his family, his employees, and the communities he served.

His legacy also lives on in the company he tirelessly worked 53 years to grow and nurture. Acadian Companies is not just a successful organization but also serves as an example of how servant leadership, high integrity, and unwavering determination create success, not for one but for all.

We will forever be changed, forever be grateful, and forever be better because of who Richard was and the lessons and legacy he has left us. He treated everyone with respect and was constantly striving to bring people together for the greater good. It is up to all of us to honor this legacy by living and leading by his example and his faith. Because of Richard, Acadian is stronger than ever, and in his honor, we will carry on his life’s work.

Special thanks go out to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Dr. Charles Burnell, Dr. Jason Breaux, Paul Hamilton, and the many friends and healthcare providers who attended to him.

Please continue to pray for Richard, his family, friends, and all those whose lives have been forever changed by this loss.

Information regarding services will be provided when available. We humbly ask you to please respect the privacy of the family while arrangements are being made.

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