Dominic Massa and Katie Moore / Eyewitness News
NEW ORLEANS - Friends say that although Lindy Boggs walked the halls of Congress and even the Vatican, she never lost her common touch. Boggs died Saturday at the age of 97.
Retired New Orleans Criminal Court Judge Terry Alarcon managed four of Mrs. Boggs' political campaigns and says her ability to connect with people was evident even today.
“I actually got a text today and it said, ‘Please give the Boggs family my sympathy. She was very good to my family.’ It was signed George, and I have no idea who George is. I called the number back and it was one of the doormen in the French Quarter. And I'm not a bit surprised.”
Alarcon said Boggs will be remembered both for her noble achievements and also her random, indiviual acts of kindness.
She lived a lifetime of firsts, as the first Louisiana woman elected to Congress, the first woman to chair a national political convention, and the first woman appointed U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. In all of those roles, and her nearly 40 years in Washington, she was the iconic southern lady - displaying grace, charm, dedication and perserverance.
“She broke glass ceilings for women but most importantly she walked in a world where she represented everybody and never lost her charm,” said City Council president Jackie Clarkson, a longtime friend. “She played the role as tough as anyone in Congresss on our behalf and stayed a lady.”
Alarcon said Boggs’ skills are sorely missed in Washington today.
“She was a politician in the greatest sense of the word,” he said. “She looked for consensus and she did it in such a way that it is a remarkable achievemnt to this day.”
A tireless worker, even well into retirement, Boggs is especially remembered for her dedication to advancing the rights of all people - women, children and minorities
“Everybody was somebody to her and she had that special dedication to thsoe who needed help, the vulnerable,” said Dr. Norman Francis, Xavier University president.
“I thought that Lindy Boggs was an angel. Her enthusiasm, her optimism, her friendship, her faith – it all exuded from her. Her energy was unfethered and boundless.”