Dead Socialite Attends Her Wake Upright and Dressed to the Nines

Illustration for article titled Dead Socialite Attends Her Wake Upright and Dressed to the Nines

A famed New Orleans socialite and philanthropist made one last appearance in public—at her very own funeral wake.


Mickey Easterling died April 14, but that didn't stop her from making a grand appearance at one last party thrown in her honor. Via the New York Post:

Instead of a lying in a boring coffin, the 83-year-old was dressed to the nines and holding a Champagne flute during a jazzy soiree at the Saenger Theater last Tuesday, according to The Advocate of New Orleans.

More than a thousand mourners including musician Allen Tousaint, attended the bash, paying their respects to Easterling, who was clad in an extravagant party hat, feather boa, and clutched a cigarette holder firmly in her cold left hand.


Easterling's makeup artist said that he dressed her for the specifically for the occasion. "My goal was to make her look even prettier than she was in real life," Steele told the Advocate. "Because she was a larger-than-life person."

"It's a really nice way to say, 'The party's over.'" said her daughter, Nanci Myke Easterling."She loved the limelight. She loved the attention....She was flamboyant. She had flair. She was outrageous."

As the Post points out, it's not the first time New Orleans has had a funeral like this:

The occasion was reminiscent of another wake for Treme Brass Band member "Uncle" Lionel Batiste's in 2012. The deceased drummer was wearing a suit and sunglasses while leaning against a fake street lamp.

Image via The Advocate.


Violet Baudelaire

She was pretty beloved here in NOLA and the town LOVED this send off.

But Burt, while I love that you covered this to begin with, there are SO MANY OTHER amazing facts about her and her funeral that prove she was a pretty awesome lady.

1) She not only had a cigarette holder in one hand and a champagne flute in the other, that fantastic hat and boa, but also a diamond studded pin that spelled out "BITCH" was pinned to her dress. I have included a closeup image with pin for your enjoyment.

2) She has an entire room in her house full of portraits of herself, including a naked sculpture of herself done by an Italian princess that holds up a glass table.

3) She carried around her own champagne flutes to restaurants, because she often didn't like the ones they used. She would also drive around in either a Bentley or a Rolls Royce, with the trunk packed full of ice and bottles of champagne and stop by her friends' houses to pick them up

4) Her makeup artist referenced here was actually a dear friend for over 30 years named, I kid you not, Sammy Steele III. Her makeup and clothing choice were his homage to their friendship

5) She was a philanthropist, and civic and political activist who used her outrageous party throwing skills over the years to raise a shitload of money for things and ran or sat on boards of several charities. Seriously, read this, before we all get lost in the fact that she had a kooky funeral.