Irma Marie Stiegler
Irma Marie Stiegler
  • June 29, 1921 - September 5, 2017
  • New Orleans, Louisiana

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Irma Marie Stiegler, a WDSU-TV employee for almost four decades who served as a model of how to live life to its fullest, passed away peacefully at her Uptown home on September 5th. She was 96. Irma, who was affectionately known as Toodie, worked as executive secretary to several general managers at WDSU. With her pleasant voice and beguiling smile, she managed her duties with an innate efficiency, handling everything her bosses needed while still finding time to collect autographs from visiting celebrities for family members. She was a devout Catholic, loved to travel and even published a book in her early 90s about her father, who had served as a New Orleans port official in the Huey Long era.

Toodie had an avid interest in many subjects, from genealogy and antiques to making pralines and growing Ponderosa lemons in her backyard. She dug trenches and helped clear roads at her Covington farm. She also was known for her “Toodie poems,” perfectly rhymed verses that captured the essence of someone’s life at an important moment. When she was younger, she treated her nieces to car trips to places like New York, Colorado and the Dakotas. Still going strong, she traveled to Paris and Strasbourg in her late 80s with a group from the Historic New Orleans Collection, one of her favorite institutions. She published her book, Memoirs of Rene A. Stiegler, in 2012 after collecting all the scraps and notes her late father had left in his basement office.

Toodie’s life spanned almost one-third of New Orleans’ history, and she was an indefatigable ambassador for the city who often invited tourists to view the French Quarter from a WDSU balcony. She also was a lifelong member of the Holy Name of Jesus Parish on St. Charles Avenue., and went to breakfast with other daily churchgoers. She was active in the St. Vincent de Paul Society, which helps the poor, and the Children of Mary. She was awarded the Order of St. Louis IX Medallion for service to the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

In addition to her father, Toodie was predeceased by her mother, Irma Mermillod Stiegler, and siblings Rene A. Stiegler, Jr.; Maxine S. Lawrence; Winifred S. Flanagan; Brother Hilliard F. Stiegler, S.J.; and Harold J. Stiegler. Her survivors include her sister Mary Lynn S. Kennedy and 22 nieces and nephews and their children.

Visitation will take place at Holy Name of Jesus Church at 6367 St. Charles Ave. on Saturday, Sept. 9 from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. A Mass of Catholic burial, celebrated by Father Edwin L. Gros, S.J., the church’s pastor, will follow with interment at St. Louis Cemetery No. 2. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the Daughters of St. Paul (an order served by one of Toodie’s nieces) or the Holy Name of Jesus Church.

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