Phyllis Ann Coldewy Landrieu

February 27, 1934October 10, 2020

Phyllis Ann Coldewy Landrieu went to her eternal reward on Saturday, October 10, 2020 in New Orleans surrounded by her loving family. Phyllis was predeceased by her beloved husband of 62 years, Joseph G. Landrieu, Jr. She was also predeceased by her parents, Francis J. Coldewy and Mary T. Coldewy and her mother and father-in-law, Joseph G. Landrieu, Sr. and Loretta B. Landrieu. Phyllis was also preceded in death by her sons, Stephen Landrieu and Scott Landrieu, and her daughter-in-law, Brenda Landrieu. She is survived by her children, Michael Landrieu, Renee Landrieu (Dave Johnson), Gary Landrieu, Joanne Curren (John Curren, Jr.), Judy Klein (Mark Gelis), David Landrieu (Kimberly Flair), Kenneth Landrieu, and Gregory Landrieu (Harriet Landrieu). She is also survived by 18 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews, her sisters, Elaine Coldewy Boudreaux and Joan Coldewy Gros, and her brother and sister-in-law, Moon Landrieu and Verna Landrieu.

Phyllis’ family was the most important thing in the world to her, and she spent her life warmly loving all who entered it. Her proudest accomplishment was that she was a mother of ten. She was full of energy and enthusiasm, most evident by the zeal she had for hosting Mardi Gras each year on her front lawn on St. Charles Avenue and toasting her favorite, Pete Fountain, each Fat Tuesday. She loved to punctuate each Saints touchdown with her sisters by performing their world famous “Who Dat” dance. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Phyllis was born in Baltimore, MD on February 27, 1934 and moved with her family to New Orleans in 1942. A graduate of St. Mary’s Dominican High School, she attended Loyola University and later received a B.A. in Marketing Communications at the age of 40 and a Masters Degree in Education from the University of New Orleans at the age of 70. She received an Honorary Doctorate in Letters from Loyola University New Orleans in 2016. A champion for education in Louisiana and for the wellbeing of underserved children, Phyllis was the Founder and President of the Health and Education Alliance of Louisiana (HEAL) and the former President of the Orleans Parish School Board. She was passionate about lobbying for legislation and raising funds to help those in need until her final days.

Active in local, state and national politics for many years, Phyllis was the first woman to serve as President of the Louisiana Democratic State Central Committee, a member of the Democratic National Committee, and was the first woman to serve on the New Orleans Aviation Board.

The many boards and commissions upon which she served included the Task Force on Child Sexual Abuse (founder), the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission Consortium for Learners and Learning, the UNO Education Advisory Board, the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, the United Negro College Fund Board (first woman), the New Orleans Navy League Board, the Crescent City Peace Alliance, the House of Ruth (co-founder), the New Orleans Area Health Planning Council, the Louisiana State Health Planning Council and was appointed by President Gerald Ford to the National Health Planning Council. Among many awards, Phyllis was named the 2000 Outstanding Child Advocate by Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana (PCAL), received the 2003 UNO Outstanding Community Service Award, the 2004 Light of Hope Award for Dedication to Abused and Neglected Children (PCAL), the 2007 and 2010 City Business Woman of the Year Award, along with numerous other civil and governmental awards and recognitions. In 1976, Phyllis founded Advantage Public Relations and Landrieu Public Relations, which she operated for 44 years and through which she was instrumental in founding seven hospital systems and served as business development advisor to Tenet Healthcare Inc. She also was a Public Relations Consultant to the New Orleans International Airport. Additionally, she was an advisor and major fundraiser for numerous successful political campaigns on a local and national level. She was a passionate supporter and personal friend of President Jimmy Carter, President Bill Clinton, President Barack Obama, Secretary Hillary Clinton and Representative Lindy Boggs, as well as an untiring supporter of her family members, former Mayors Moon and Mitch Landrieu and Senator Mary Landrieu.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, October 14 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at St. Francis Assisi Catholic Church, 631 State Street in New Orleans. A Requiem Funeral Mass will follow immediately at Noon. Burial will be private. Donations can be made in Phyllis’ honor to HEAL, 1700 Josephine St., New Orleans, LA 70113.

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  • Visitation

    Wednesday, October 14, 2020

  • Funeral Mass

    Wednesday, October 14, 2020


Phyllis Ann Coldewy Landrieu

have a memory or condolence to add?

Karen Pichon

October 14, 2020

My sincere condolences to The Landrieu Family. Thank you all for your Love and Support through the years up until this day. We have many fond memories of Mrs. Landrieu and her children. May the Lord give you all guidence, comfort and peace . Love You All!!❤❤🙏🙏🙏 Karen Dallas,TX

Sr. Clarita Bourque

October 13, 2020

I've known Phyllis since we worked together in Algiers to create the House of Ruth, an agency dedicated to assisting homeless families. She was a joy and a great asset to our board.
I always enjoyed visiting her home at Mardi Gras time. I'm so grateful that we remained friends all these years.
Be assured of my prayers for the repose of her soul and for her wonderful family.

Love and prayers,
Sr. Clarita Bourque, MSC

Mayor Jennifer Vidrine

October 13, 2020

I applaud Ms. Landrieu’s devotion, dedication and commitment to children and public service. Her contributions will be indelible and an example for all of us!

Karen Niklaus

October 12, 2020

I remember visiting Phyllis when she lived on Venus Street as it was across the street from my brother-in-law's (Bill & Rita Niklaus). She was preparing dinner for the 12 of them - hamburgers - and I asked how in the world does someone cook for that many people. I knew her and Joe (and most of the Landrieus) as I campaigned for Moon, etc. Phyllis was brilliant yet so kind to everyone. Treated everyone special. She was loved by all. A great loss. My prayers are with you and your family, Karen Niklaus

Nancy Picard

October 12, 2020

To Judy and the rest of the family we send condolences for your loss. It is so hard to lose a parent, especially one who was such a large and vivacious presence as yours.
Nancy Picard & Clif St. Germain

Sandra Pichon

October 12, 2020

The Pichon Family has many good memories of Ms. Phyllis. She was always kind and considerate to our family, and we have much thanks and gratitude for her to this day. We send our love and prayers to the family and know that God is with you.

Morgan Stewart

October 12, 2020

Phyllis was more than a treasure for the city and power for good working for those in need. She was a wonderful person. Caring, kind, generous, and Mardi Gras day would not be complete without her. She will be in our hearts forever.

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