Elizabeth Diggs Edmundson
Elizabeth Diggs Edmundson
  • November 19, 1914 - February 9, 2017
  • New Orleans, Louisiana

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New Orleans lost one of its formidable women this week. Elizabeth Diggs Edmundson was born November 19, 1914 in New Iberia, Louisiana. By the time she was 30 years old, she had lived with her husband in Buenos Aires, Havana and Washington D.C., later settling in Crowley, Louisiana. She travelled throughout Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, including a solo trip around the world in the 1960’s. She kept an apartment for some years in Mexico City, where she thrived on its music, and one in the French Quarter beginning in the early 1950’s, being one of the first tenants in the then newly restored Audubon Cottages. She bought her first home in the French Quarter in 1968. In New Orleans she was renewed, and became a stalwart supporter of the city's music, art, theater, and cultural life. Among many activities, she served on the board of the New Orleans Opera Association and its Opera Guild, was a member of Le Petit Salon, the Preservation Resource Center, the Louisiana Landmarks Society, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Alliance Francaise, Les Causeries du Lundi, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the New Orleans Country Club, and the Patio Planters of the Vieux Carre, for whom she often opened her home to their Spring Fiesta home tour. She also served on the Regional Board of the Metropolitan Opera. Only as she approached 100 years old did she stop attending the opera, theater, and Jazz Fest. She spent her last day in her own home on Dauphine Street, and died peacefully on February 9, 2017.

The daughter of the Reverend Robert Russell Diggs and Elizabeth Berryman Diggs, Mrs. Edmundson attended the University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette, where she received a BA in Spanish with a minor in French. She is predeceased by her husband Ernest E. Edmundson, Jr, a graduate of Tulane Law School, Class of 1937, who later served as the first President of the U.S. Rice Millers Association. He was an entrepreneur throughout south Louisiana and was active in several New Orleans civic and Carnival organizations. Together, they founded the Ernest E. Edmundson, Jr. Scholarship at Tulane University Medical School. She is also predeceased by three sisters: Katherine Diggs Starbird, Roberta Diggs Hill, and Edith Miner Diggs.

Mrs. Edmundson is survived by two sons, Ernest E. Edmundson III and Robert Diggs Edmundson, both residents of New Orleans, five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

A memorial service and celebration at Trinity Episcopal Church in New Orleans is being planned for early March.