Valerie Elizabeth Tunstall
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Valerie Elizabeth Tunstall
  • August 8, 1928 - July 2, 2017
  • Kenner, Louisiana

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Valerie Elizabeth Tunstall, 88, died at home Sunday, July 2, 2017, of complications from congestive heart failure. Born August 8, 1928, in New Orleans, Louisiana, she was a 1945 graduate of Eleanore McMain High School, trained at the Eddie Reggio studio and was a performer in the New Orleans entertainment industry during the variety show era. Performing under the stage name Valerie Gay at various local venues such as the Pete Herman Club and Al Hirt’s Club and in USO shows during World War II, she lived in New Orleans most of her life amid short periods in Boston, Massachusetts, and Charleston, West Virginia, and relocated to Kenner, Louisiana, after Hurricane Katrina. Survived by her four daughters, Bonnie Tunstall, Terrie Poehl (Chuck), Kerrie Slaton (Kelvin) and Sherrie Portwood (John); four grandchildren, Leslie Slaton Ducatel (Mark), Meredith Portwood, Sabrina Portwood, and John Portwood III and one great-granddaughter, Amelia Ducatel. A parishioner of Divine Mercy. Valerie is also survived by many friends and relatives, young and old and will be missed by all. Was preceded in death by her parents Marie and William Gatipon, Sr., brother Bill Gatipon, Jr., infant grandson Jonathan Slaton, former husband Edmund Tunstall, and her beloved Yorkies: Trixie, Alexie and Daphine. A wake will be held at Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home on Sunday, July 9, 2017 from 5:00p.m. until 8:00p.m.; the Rosary will be said at 7:00p.m. Visitation on Monday, July 10, 2017, beginning at 9:30a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass in the Chapel of Lake Lawn Metairie at 12:00p.m. Interment following at Lake Lawn Park and Mausoleum culminating with a gathering for family and friends (details announced at the Mass) celebrating Valerie’s life. Her daughters would like to thank Elaine Talley, Lejina Bell and Sharon LeBlanc for their loving care of Mom. Their appreciation is also given to the caring and professional staff of Passages Hospice. In lieu of flowers, donations to the World War II Museum in Valerie’s memory are preferred. Donations can be mailed to 945 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70130; completed online accessing Honor/Tribute gift tab; or by phone at 504-528-1944 ext. 396. Please mention her name when donating. The family invites you to share your thoughts, fond memories and condolences online at www.lakelawnmetairie.com .