Mary Cathryn "Mickey" Easterling

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Mary Cathryn "Mickey" Easterling, noted philanthrophist, Patron of the Arts, and one of the last New Orleans "Grande Dames" of her generation, went peacefully to her eternal rest at home on April 14, 2014 after a lengthy illness. Her age? Mickey always said, "Age is a number, and mine's unlisted". She is survived by her son Ed Easterling of Corvallis, Oregon and daughter Nanci Easterling of New Orleans. Mickey was well-known in her beloved native city of New Orleans, as well as in many other cities noted for arts and culture, such as New York, Paris, Rome, Vienna, and her second favorite city of residence, Tangier, Morroco, where she spent a portion of each summer until health issues curtailed her travel. There she was noted for the wonderful and very well-attended parties and dinners she hosted for friends and acquaitances from around the world. She was a true Bon Vivant, living life to its fullest each day, bringing her energy and enthusiasm to all that she did. And she did a lot. She was exceptionally active in charitable activities, giving generously of her time and money, especially to cultural and charitable events for children. She served on the Board of the Spring Festival, was a long serving Chairperson of the New Orleans Easter Seals Society, and a member of the Board of numerous other charities, many providing medical assistance to sick and/or crippled children. Among her favorites were Childrens Hospital of New Orleans and St Judes Hospital for Children. She also provided sponsorships to local musicians and artists such as George Dureau, and many others. She contributed heavily to cultural activities and events at the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts, Loyola University, where she created an Endowed Chair in the Theater Department, and New Orleans' premier Broadway Show venue, the incomparably beautiful Saenger Theater. She was not only a Founding Member of the Saenger, but was instrumental in its renovation and restoration after Hurricane Katrina. She was active in local, state and national politics, and helped provide support to the NOPD and its community-based crime-fighting efforts. Mickey was also an active investor and Entrepreneur. She was a Founder and/or Board Member of several corporations, many involving development projects in the US and abroad. She was active in Import/Export ventures, a natural fit because of her extensive foreign travel and social, business and diplomatic connections. In New Orleans, Mickey was often seen out and about at parties, dinners, cultural and charitable events, and at New Orleans' finest restaurants. She was always dressed in the latest fashions, champagne or wine glass in one hand, cigarette holder in the other, flashing her trademark smile, and wearing one of her seemingly innumerable dramatically creative hats she was known for. Mickey was also often seen --- and still is --- in many of the documentaries about "old New Orleans", providing colorful commentary and fashion statements as she recounts some of the stories and history of places and events now gone that were once commonplace in her beloved city. She helped a lot of people, especially children suffering from illness, and local artists and musicians trying to make a breakthrough with their talent. She was a gracious hostess to everyone from the rich and famous, to the little-known artists and musicians of the French Quarter who were struggling to merely survive. She was a wonderful friend to people the world over, and a major contributor to New Orleans' charitable, arts, music and cultural activities and facilities. She will be missed. A celebration of her life will be held at one of her all-time favorite places, the Saenger Theater from 5-7 PM on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. In lieu of flowers, a donation to one of her many charities she supported in life, such as Easter Seals, Childrens Hospital of New Orleans, or St Judes Hospital for Children is preferred. Condolences may be expressed online www.schoencanalstreet.com Arrangements under the direction of Schoen Funeral Home, New Orleans, LA. "Darling, don't' be afraid to be original" Mickey Easterling.
Published in TheNewOrleansAdvocate.com from Apr. 18 to Apr. 22, 2014
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