Remembering Leah Chase: How New Orleans said their final goodbyes

Remembering Leah Chase: How New Orleans said their final goodbyes

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - After two days of second lines, memorials and celebrations, Leah Chase was laid to rest Monday (June 10), while New Orleans said their final goodbyes in a way fit for a legend.

Starting in the morning with a public viewing and visitation at St. Peter Claver Catholic Church, an emotional yet far from solemn funeral was attended by crowds of hundreds wishing to say farewell and thank you, one last time.

Mayor Latoya Cantrell spoke during the funeral, noting the response to Ms. Chase’s death proved how much she meant to the community -- and the nation as a whole.

“Over the course of the week, it’s been demonstrated time and time again who she touched, how she touched them and truly what she is meant to each and everyone of us,” Cantrell said.

Leah Chase’s son, Edgar Chase III, reflected on his mother’s profound impact on the city, including her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement.

“Leah dreamed a better world and wished to see it before she died. In so many ways, Leah aided change,” he said.

In true New Orleans fashion, the ceremony at the church was followed by a second line and of course -- a party, where a repass wrapped up the final send off and even more people paid homage in their own way.

“All of us in the chefs world, we’re just proud to get back to her, and just do a small part today to honor an amazing woman," Tory McPhail, executive chef of Commander’s Palace, said. “We’re just proud to be here."

For those mourning Ms. Chase, it’s been a long nine days, made a little brighter by the city’s show of solidarity. Tracy Griffin, said her grandmother would be touched by the love that poured in from far and wide.

“It’s been so wonderful to be overwhelmed with such love and joy and respect that people have shown to my grandmother and to us,” Griffin said.

Though the official farewell is done, Chase will remain in the hearts and minds of those she touched.

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