Friday, September 24th 2021   |

Bon vivant, Shelley Katz, dies at 71

SHELLEY LYNN KATZ,  a vivacious, second-generation and lifetime resident of New Orleans, died on July 18 doing what she loved the best – riding horses. She was 71.


A brilliant and multifaceted woman, she graduated from LSU before embarking on a teaching career at the high school level. She taught Spanish, French and English, and also helped work with the hearing impaired, often serving as a mentor to her students long after they graduated.

Katz also lived and worked in Madrid after college, translated for the Italian Government in New Orleans, became a part-time French Quarter tour guide to foreign tourists for fun and gave private piano lessons.

She lived a full life, and enjoyed traveling the world from Asia (including Bhutan) to Europe, and all over South America, as far south as the Straights of Magellan.

In the challenging period after Hurricane Katrina, Katz distinguished herself as a leader in the Broadmoor Neighborhood Association’s rebuilding efforts while helping her family repair the destruction to their real estate — learning on the job to be a “general contractor.” She took that skill to the next phase of her professional life: buying and renovating distressed property in the Broadmoor area where she grew up.

A lifelong animal advocate, she fostered and adopted many rescued animals, most beloved of whom were Cinco, her little black cat, and Music, her Springer Spaniel. When not riding Cajun, Raina or Gris Gris (her white Tennessee Walker) on the levee, or dressing Gris Gris as a unicorn and dying her tail and mane pink for children’s parties, she was known for her yearly, themed, costume parties and family holiday dinners.

She will be missed by the hundreds of people whose lives she touched, from her students, to her numerous friends, both old and new, by the community she served, and the family who loved her.

She is survived by her beloved mother Freda, soon to be 100; her brothers Paul and Myron (Sharon) Katz and her sister, Jaclyn Katz of Bozeman, Montana. 

A graveside burial will be held on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 at 1:00 p.m.  at Ahavas Sholem Cemetery, 4400 Elysian Fields, 70122.  Shiva will follow at 3416 Upperline St, 70125 and be held daily from 2:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. until July 26, 2021, with evening Kaddish recited.

Kosher Cajun (504-888-2010) will coordinate all food donations to the family. For the online memorial tribute and latest updates should the weather cause an alternative funeral date to become necessary, please check

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are suggested to the LSPCA or your favorite animal charity. 

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