Louisiana’s Longest Serving First Lady Laid To Rest Today
Today is the funeral service for former First Lady Elaine Edwards, the onetime US Senator, actress, seamstress, and wife of Edwin Edwards. Elaine married Edwin in 1949, remaining married for 40 years, and three terms of her husband’s governorship. Biographer Leo Honeycutt says a life in politics wasn’t exactly what she had in mind.
"She said came down from upstairs so many times, the house would be full with strangers, she recognized very soon that the Governor's Mansion was the people's building, but it didn't mean she had to like it," said Honeycutt.
As one of her husband’s political machinations, Elaine was appointed a US Senator following Allen Ellender’s death in 1972, where she served for three months. She’s been quoted as saying “Let’s have no misgivings, I am not a United States Senator.” But Honeycutt says she picked up on the great responsibility remarkably quickly.
"She went up there and she did a very good job, she had to learn the protocol, but it was not something she particularly enjoyed, but she did like the fact that her salary at that point was higher than her husband's," said Honeycutt.
After Edwin’s third term began in 1983, Elaine did not return to the mansion. Instead, she became a seamstress specializing in exclusive dresses for Mardi Gras balls. The two divorced in 1989, which lead to Elaine trying her hand at acting in the Big Apple.
"She wound up with a couple of roles on Soap Operas. She was in a scene or two with Meryl Streep," said Honeycutt.
She was 89-years-old. Honeycutt says Edwards died of respiratory problems at her daughter's home in Denham Springs.