Lucy Priddy, who rose from Ethyl Corporation’s steno pool to its corporate offices and was a Baton Rouge civic dynamo, died Thursday morning from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. She was 83.
Reared in East Feliciana Parish, Priddy joined Ethyl in 1954 and eventually became its community relations coordinator. At the time of her retirement in 1994, she was serving on 19 community boards, some of which she helped found, like Adopt-A-School, Volunteers in Public School, Community Fund for the Arts, and Volunteer Baton Rouge.
“She was a tireless worker,” said J.H. Martin, who served on many boards with Priddy. “Whatever she was involved in, she put everything into. I don’t know if she ever said no to anybody or any organization.”
“Just a wonderful lady,” said Gary Ter Haar, who worked with Priddy at Ethyl. “I don’t think there was anybody in the city who didn’t have a good experience with her.”
In 1987, Priddy became the Baton Rouge Rotary Club’s first female member and, in 1994, its first female president.
“She was the strongest person I ever met,” said her daughter, Kathy McQueen. “She went from a little country girl taking notes for people to sitting in conference with people who formed our policies in government and industries, people who shape our society, and she had an opportunity to influence those decisions.
“She opened doors for people, not just women. People focus on, oh, she was the first woman to do XYZ, and all of that was true. … But she opened doors for people in general.”
Priddy and her son, Rusty McQueen, were in a wreck on La. 964 in East Feliciana Parish on Monday night, Kathy McQueen said. Rusty McQueen remains hospitalized, she said.
Priddy is survived by Kathy McQueen and husband Dickey Evans, of Baton Rouge; Rusty McQueen, of Baton Rouge; daughter Dawn Rollins and husband Murphy Rollins, of Jackson, Louisiana; and 5 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by husbands Sam McQueen and Charlie Priddy and grandson James “Pic” McQueen.
Funeral arrangements are pending.