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Celebrating the life of the Queen of Creole Cuisine, Leah Chase

People from all walks of life gathered to honor the New Orleans icon

NEW ORLEANS — It was a powerful day of celebrations to honor the life of Leah Chase who died Saturday June 1, 2019. She was 96-years-old. 

Leah Chase, the beloved “Queen of Creole Cuisine” whose Dooky Chase’s restaurant in Treme served two U.S. presidents and stood as a landmark of the Civil Rights era.

Saint Peter Claver Catholic Church was a full house Monday for a funeral mass. 

"She understood the heart. She understood what united people," were just some words said about Chase. 

Following the mass, friends, family, and strangers second lined to Dooky Chase. Later on Monday, another second line was held through City Park. It ended with an open meal for everyone, as Chase would have wanted.

RELATED: Leah Chase, beloved 'Queen of Creole Cuisine,' dies at 96

A powerful voice from another New Orleans icon Deacon John sang Chase's farewell during her funeral mass. 

Dooky Chase became a safe haven for blacks and whites to meet during the Civil Rights Movement.

"We're so thankful she ran that race," Congressman Cedric Richmond said.

RELATED: Petition launched to rename Lee Circle to honor Leah Chase

She leaves behind a legacy and an unforgettable impact on people far and wide. 

RELATED: Leah Chase's family vows to carry on her legacy as Dooky Chase's reopens

"She really relished in the simple things," Vaughn Fauria said. "Thought that life was delightful always. I think she had this happy button pressed all the time."

Perhaps there isn't a way to truly say goodbye to a legend.

"She's in our hearts. We appreciate everything that she's done for the United States, for the world, for New Orleans," Sharon Rawls said.

RELATED: Leah Chase was an iconic figure in the civil rights movement

Chase was  formally laid to rest Monday following a noon mass at the St. Peter Claver Catholic Church at 1923 St. Phillip Street. Visitation was from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. followed immediately by the Rosary, then a second line to Dooky Chase restaurant. 


WWL-TV reporters Jacqueline Quynh and Duke Carter contributed to this report.