Remembering Alvin Smith

Patio Planter Alvin Smith passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, February 19th.  A French Quarter part-time resident since 1979, his perpetual smile and sunny disposition will be sorely missed by all.  His "reserved" seat at St. Louis Cathedral is now empty.  Alvin's internment was in Brookhaven, Mississippi, and a Memorial Mass was held at St. Louis Cathedral on March 1, 2011.  As many have said, we lost one of the true Southern gentlemen of our era.


Missed Friends

These tributes to departed friends originally appeared in the Patio Planters Punch Newsletter.  

Remembering Harold Haydel

Patio Planters recently lost a member, Harold Haydel, who departed this life on February 20th after a brief illness. Our hearts and prayers go out to Betty.  

Remembering Marti Speights

The Passing of a Friend

Her spirit was as lovely as her face,
Her charm was matched by her grace,
May our prayers comfort her in a better place.
One of the French Quarter's most beautiful flowers was picked for a heavenly bouquet.

-- Samara D. Poché

It is with much sadness that we inform you that Marti Speights passed away last Friday morning in her French Quarter home. I was at her home visiting with her and her family at the time. When I left Marti and David's home that morning, he was surrounded by many loving family members.

-- Leslie Perrin

Marti Speights passed away Friday morning, February 22, 2008, at her home in the French Quarter with her husband, David, and her family with her. Marti lost her long and heroic battle against cancer. Marti was a cherished friend to those who knew her. She had an eloquent and sophisticated sense of life and living. One could always count on Marti and David to show up for any event "dressed to the nines," with a flamboyant and gracious manner and always, always smiling. She added a touch of fun and generosity to everything she did.

A Jazz Funeral Mass is scheduled for Saturday, March 1, 11:00 am, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 411 North Rampart Street, followed by a Second Line through the French Quarter. As a tribute to Marti and her love for "dressing up," ladies are asked to dress up and wear their favorite hats. The family wishes that in lieu of flowers, a gift be made to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church or to any breast cancer organization.

-- Carol Greve


Remembering Bebe Roberts Freeman

Patio Planters members were sad to hear that fellow member Bebe Roberts Freeman passed in November after bravely fighting cancer for several years. The following announcement appeared on the Times-Picayune website:

"FREEMAN Bebe Roberts Freeman died at her home in Starkville, Mississippi on Friday, November 2, 2007. She was the daughter of the late Billy Roberts of Meridian, Mississippi. She is survived by her mother, Mary Roberts of Flowood, Mississippi, husband of forty-one years, Harry Freeman, of Starkville, Mississippi, son, Ben Freeman, daughter-in-law, Missy Freeman, and grandson, Richard (Rick) Freeman, all of Louisville, Kentucky. Bebe was born in Meridian, Mississippi and graduated from Meridian High School. She is a graduate of Mississippi University for Women (MSCW), and holds a Master's Degree from The University of Cincinnati. Bebe was a teacher of thirty years, teaching in the public schools in Meridian, Mississippi, Luling, Louisiana, Washington, D.C., and Cincinnati, Ohio. She was a community activist, union organizer in Sacramento, California, member of American Federation of Teachers, American Association of University Women, The Oktibbeha County Chapter of the Federation of Democratic Women, and a lifetime member of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. Bebe lived in New Orleans for twelve years, enjoying and loving the music, second-lining and diversity, and considered this wonderful city her home. Her passion was social justice. Bebe thanks all those friends who loved and cared for her, especially Mary Roberts, her best friend, and Harry Freeman, her childhood sweetheart and life partner."


Gordon Maginnis and Bob Richmond

In July, we were saddened to lose two dear Patio Planters, former Patio Planter president, Gordon Maginnis, and Bob Richmond, husband of Patio Planter board member, Barbara Richmond. In memory of Bob Richmond, members Bob and Beth Mazur made a donation of $75.00 to Patio Planters.


Frank Sciacca

Frank Sciacca, neighbor, friend and Patio Planter passed away on Monday, October 9, 2006. I met Frank 17 years ago when I moved to the corner of Dauphine and Ursulines. We mostly chatted about real estate and goings on in the neighborhood.

He never talked much about his community involvements, but in reading his obituary I confirmed he was very dedicated to the French Quarter. Frank was the President of Le Petit Theatre and St. Louis Cathedral Parish Council. Anyone ever serving in these positions knows this is a labor of love. He was also a dedicated family man and is survived by his three children, Sandra, Frank & Richard. His late wife is memorialized at Le Petit Theatre in Teddy’s Corner. While browsing through our scrap book I came across a photograph of him dating back to 1957. This memento dates Frank as member of this group no less than 49 years. I hope all of our commitments last as long. Peace.

Sam Poché


Anna Farman

On April 4, 2006, I attended the funeral of a friend. Anna Farman was a friend to many of us. She was a member of Patio Planters for 50 years and defined what active membership means.

She attended almost every event hosted by Patio Planters, including our monthly membership meetings. In 2003 Anna was named Volunteer of the Year by then President Marie Dennis. Marie knew and understood the love Anna had for our organization. Anna would want us to celebrate her life. She left us ambassadors of her energy, her kindness and her smile, and for this reason today I celebrate Anna Farman's life. Anna had beautiful friends who shared stories at her service. Anna*s family, her son Chip, was thankful to have her friends there to see her off. I am comfortable in believing that after her 90 years here, she has found a peaceful resting place. Knowing Anna she has a seat near the band, and I hope she saves one for me.

Go gently friend, you will be missed.
Sam Poché