New Orleans lost a trusted and valuable community leader last Thursday, May 2 with the somewhat sudden and unexpected death of Ms. Patricia “Pat” Evans. She passed away in her home, with family by her side, at the age of 81. Simply “Ms. Pat” to most of her Treme neighbors and to those that knew her well from her many advisory board positions at numerous local community non-profit organizations such as the Historic Faubourg Treme Association, People United for Armstrong Park, Odyssey House and countless others, Evans actually earned her reputation as one of the city’s most pioneering and experienced human rights and community organization consultants through her work in women’s rights and related politics during the 1970s and 1980s.
Ms. Pat also served as campaign adviser to several notable female politicians of executive office from Louisiana’s own Mary Landrieu to Costa Rican presidential candidate, Margarita Penon and more. Though a lifelong advocate for women’s rights legislation, she was known and endeared in recent years by members of the Treme community in which she lived until her passing day as a children’s activities leader and respected liaison between longtime indigenous community members and new local organizations.
The petite, passionate and often fearless native New Orleanian became a mentor to many young adults seeking to participate in the rebuilding of New Orleans post-Katrina from urban planning to community development. Her patience seemed to be limitless, and her love for New Orleans music and culture a high priority. She will be dearly and truly missed.
Ms. Evans’ memorial services will be held at her lifelong personal parish, the historic St. Augustine Catholic Church (1210 Governor Nicholls St.), also located in Treme, on Saturday, May 11 from 10am – 1pm, and she will be buried at St. Louis Cemetery No.2.
But first, in authentic New Orleans tradition, Ms. Pat will receive a proper going home jazz funeral with a second line parade led by People United for Armstrong Park (PUfAP), an organization of which she was an advisory board member, as part of PUfAP’s weekly Thursday free community concert series, Jazz in the Park. The second line will take place from 3pm – 5pm on Thursday, May 9 in and around Louis Armstrong Park, with a closing parade leading from the park to the Candlelight Lounge at 925 N. Robertson St. at 8pm. All activities are free and open to the public.