NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Gayle Benson said during a second line following the funeral for her late husband Tom Benson that she has a world of gratitude for all of the people who have shown her love and support after the passing of Mr. Benson, at age 90 recently.
In true New Orleans fashion, a processional led by musicians went ahead of the carriage carrying Benson's body on Chartres Street after it left St. Louis Cathedral.
Thousands were honored to pack the narrow street to witness the funeral cortege.
Gayle Benson walked every step of the way of the four block processional.
At times she waved respectfully to spectators and touched her heart in an apparent sign of gratitude.
She told FOX 8 News she is grateful for the outpouring of support and condolences.
"It's very humbling. I thank everyone for being here. You know I appreciate it, thank you so much," said Mrs. Benson.
The archbishop was a close friend of Tom Benson and remains close to Mrs. Benson. He was by her side every step of the way.
"The outpouring of the people in this city is unbelievable for Mr. Benson, for Mrs. Benson. The outpouring of love really touches the heart," said Archbishop Gregory Aymond.
Quarterback Drew Brees and other members of the Saints and Pelicans franchises which Benson owned also walked in the processional.
"It's well deserved. It's a spectacular day. Well deserved for a great man and it's a hundred percent New Orleans and I'm telling you he would have loved it. He would have just loved it," said Mickey Loomis, Saints GM.
The Who Dat nation was vocal and vibrant.
"I am here to honor Tom Benson, pay our respects to a wonderful man," said Phyllis Miller, a Saints fan who was among the people craning to see the second line.
"Look, today is a celebration day now with beautiful weather, so we couldn't be more pleased and Mrs. Benson has been a true trooper for the last few days and she's really holding up nicely and she's a strong lady," said Greg Bensel, Sr., V.P., of Communications.
"So what do you think of this outpouring of support? Overwhelming, naturally New Orleans. Tom Benson was a benefactor, we admire and appreciate it," said Saints fan Naomi Miller.