Pamela Ann Marquis, fierce and loving mother, adventurous and playful Gigi, hilarious and devoted friend, and versatile Jill of all trades, died suddenly May 4, 2021, in New Orleans. She was 68.
She was born on Sept. 3, 1952, in Evanston, Ill., to Robert and Dorothy Marquis. Her life took her from Milwaukee to Griffin, Ga., where she was a spirited high school cheerleader (although she probably would’ve rather played quarterback) and then on to St. Augustine, Fla., where she attended Flagler College. She lived in New Orleans’ Marengo Street Commune in the early 1970s, where she met her future husband, Eugene Kidd, and made lifelong friends. She and Eugene traveled through California in a van and eventually settled in North Carolina, where they built a house and had their only child together, Eve, in 1980. They returned to New Orleans in 1984, and Pamela lived there for almost the rest of her life (except a brief stint in Missouri, where she followed her daughter for college).
She was a fun-loving and nurturing mom, always up for an impromptu beach trip, a morning of yard sales, or a heart-to-heart talk, but she was an also ambitious and resourceful businesswoman with the heart and soul of a true creative. She worked as the education curator at the Contemporary Arts Center for many years; starred in numerous plays; sold ads at Gambit; founded and produced Shakespeare in the Park; wrote a pilot for Brandon Tartikoff; mentored at-risk youth and domestic violence survivors; taught theatre in numerous schools, including Upturn Arts and KIPP Central City; worked as a freelancer for almost every publication in the city; and cared for the elderly. After her divorce, she even started a pet-sitting business to help make ends meet. She was always thinking of some new scheme, pitching some new story, and she won several writing awards for her work over the years. She went back to college to finish her undergraduate degree in 2003 at age 51 – and then finished her master’s in social work a year later. Her passions included art and theatre, baking bread, cooking (never with a recipe), gardening, sailing, football, college basketball, her pets, and her family.
As a grandmother, aka Gigi, she truly blossomed, surrounding her two granddaughters, Ruby and Georgia, with endless giggles and unconditional love, as well as the perfect presents at the perfect time: corgi stickers, rainbow necklaces, silly T-shirts she’d spend hours searching for.
She is survived by her daughter, Eve Peyton; her son-in-law, Robert Peyton; her granddaughters, Ruby Crawford and Georgia Peyton; her step-grandson, Elliot Peyton; her ex-husband – who remained a dear friend – Eugene Kidd; her brother, Rick Marquis, his wife, Gail, and her nephew, Matthew; and a vast and eclectic group of friends. Her stepson, Scott Kidd, and stepdaughter, Ashley Kidd, as well as her parents, preceded her in death.
A celebration of her life will be held Saturday, May 15, at the Chapel of the Holy Spirit Episcopal Church, 1100 Broadway St. Visitation will begin at 11 a.m. with a service at noon. A gathering will follow at 142 Delaronde St. in Algiers Point.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the New Orleans Botanical Gardens or the Sesame Workshop.