'They’re part of the city’: 2 local icons sent off in true New Orleans style

Nancy Parker, CJ Morgan Second Line

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Those who knew her and many who did not gathered in Treme to celebrate the life of Nancy Parker, as well as long-time radio host CJ Morgan, who died earlier this week, for a traditional New Orleans sendoff.

It's an honor often reserved for Crescent City natives, but this Alabama gal held New Orleans in her heart.

“She’s a part of the city, so what other better way than to bring her out than with a second line?” one reveler said. “It relieves you. When you celebrate, it’s a sense of relief. Even though she’s gone, you know you’re still bringing her out good. That’s a part of our culture.”

Dozens took to the underpass across from Kermit Ruffin’s to honor Nancy Parker and long time Radio Host CJ Morgan, who passed away Wednesday (Aug. 14), at the age of 63.

"It's just something you grew up with," New Orleans native Dustin Tomlinson said about Morgan.

“Wake us up like Nancy Parker,” agreed Tonja Crawford, also a New Orleans resident.

Both individuals were recognizable personalities in the city, part of people's daily routines.

“I’ve been watching her for like, the last 20 years, since I was a little girl,” Elouise Matthews said.

“In the morning she wakes everybody up. As soon as I cut on the TV, it says Nancy Parker. ‘Good morning, I’m Nancy Parker, I’m here to tell you the news this morning.’ A lovely lady,” Crawford said.

New Orleans area residents said, even though they didn’t know these people, personally, they still feel like family.

“Never met the lady in my life, but it’s like you know her,” Tomlinson said.

“I cried like she was my sister,” New Orleans resident Carol Harris said.

Harris said she unknowingly met Nancy Parker once in a dress shop.

"This lady she turns around and she says, 'oh my god, you look flawless!' That was the kind of spirit she had," said Harris. "Nancy Parker picked out my birthday dress!"

As area locals bid farewell to two New Orleans icons, they also celebrated their legacies and years of dedication to this city -- even the youngest expressing their love.

“I’m going to miss her. I’m going to miss her so much. I wish I could see her again,” Mulaine Alexander, 6, said.

Morgan died in hospice care after health problems following a stroke. There is a Gofundme set up to help pay for his funeral expenses, here.

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