There are some famous folks spending the afterlife in one of New Orleans’ most beautiful cemeteries.
Louis Prima, the legendary singer of ‘Just a Gigolo’ and numerous other hits is one of many famous folks buried at the Metairie Cemetery.
“Louis was buried here in 1978. He’s buried with his dad and mom,” Gerard Schoen, Community Outreach Director for Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home, said.
“You may notice the St. Gabriel statue on top of the tomb. It’s a trumpeteer because Prima was a band leader. He was popular all the way back from the 1920’s to the Rat Pack days to his Disney movies, like ‘The Jungle Book’,” he said.
As a tribute to the music legend, fans stop by and they reference one of Prima’s classic songs, ‘Pennies from Heaven’ by putting pennies at the foot of his tomb.
“There is no Marie Laveau voodoo going on. This is a tribute from his song,” Schoen said.
Another famous person buried here at the Metairie Cemetery is Ruth Fertel of Ruth’s Chris Steak House. This private mausoleum was built in 1999, and she ended up passing away a few years later.
While alive, Ruth got her humble start in New Orleans, opening up her first Ruth’s Chris Steak House on Broad Street. Now there are over 120 location nation-wide.
Lana Dauke, who was her business partner, is still alive and will be buried in the same mausoleum. When the mausoleum was bought, both women threw a huge tomb revealing party for all their family and friends.
“Ruth was so proud so they wanted to show it off prior to her funeral,” Schoen said.
Ruth’s buried along what many call ‘Millionaire’s Row’.
“A couple of tombs down is Anne Rice’s tomb for when she passes away, then there’s John Schwegmann the Grocer, and right around the corner is Al Copeland,” he said.
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