Pat Tessier, a section editor for Baton Rouge’s newspapers for more than 40 years, died Tuesday at her home after a battle with cancer. She was 83.
A graduate of St. Joseph’s Academy in 1949 and LSU in 1952, Tessier came to work for The Morning Advocate in 1953 after starting her career at The Bogalusa Enterprise. She became The Morning Advocate’s society editor later that year and editor of The State-Times’ Trend section in 1978, continuing in that position until the afternoon newspaper closed in October 1991. She then became editor of The Advocate’s People section, a title she held until retiring in 1995.
During her career, Tessier won several awards from Louisiana Press Women, the Louisiana Press Association and United Press International for feature writing and editing and also won a first-place award from the National Federation of Press Women for editing a lifestyle section.
She was named the Outstanding Alumnae in 2003 by St. Joseph’s Academy. In retirement, Tessier did volunteer work in the archives of St. Joseph’s Academy and Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and she enjoyed gardening at the Ogden Park home where she grew up and where she also lived with her husband, Jeff. They celebrated their 60th anniversary on Oct. 29.
Tessier also oversaw her family’s business, Martinez Properties.
“Mother was leasing property and negotiating leases all summerlong, even with a terminal diagnosis,” said her daughter Shivaun Davis.
In addition to her husband, Tessier is survived by four children: Davis and her husband, Randy; Jeff Tessier Jr. and his wife, Suzanne; Robert Tessier; and Tara Tessier; and four grandchildren, Allison and Joey Davis, Lauren Moore and Henry Thomas Tessier. She was preceded in death by her parents, Lily Callaghan Martinez and Fabian Lawrence Martinez; and two siblings, Faye Martinez Scully and Larry Martinez; a daughter, Melanie Moore; and a granddaughter, Katie Moore.
Visiting is scheduled from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Suuday at Rabenhorst Funeral Home, 825 Government St., and from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, 2250 Main St., with a Mass of Christian burial at 10 a.m.