VALERIE ELIZABETH TUNSTALL

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Valerie Elizabeth Tunstall, 88, died at home Sunday, July 2, 2017, of complications from congestive heart failure. Born Aug. 8, 1928, in New Orleans, she was a 1945 graduate of Eleanore McMain High School, trained at the Eddie Reggio studio and was a performer in the New Orleans entertainment industry during the variety show era. Performing under the stage name Valerie Gay at various local venues such as the Pete Herman Club and Al Hirt’s Club and in USO shows during World War II, she lived in New Orleans most of her life amid short periods in Boston, Mass., and Charleston, W.V., and relocated to Kenner after Hurricane Katrina. She is survived by her four daughters, Bonnie Tunstall of Kenner, Terrie Poehl (Chuck) of Natchitoches, Kerrie Slaton (Kelvin) of New Orleans and Sherrie Portwood (John) of Baton Rouge; four grandchildren, Leslie Slaton Ducatel (Mark), Meredith Portwood, Sabrina Portwood and John Portwood III; and one greatgranddaughter, Amelia Ducatel. A parishioner of Divine Mercy in Kenner, Valerie is also survived by many friends and relatives, young and old and will be missed by all. She was preceded in death by her parents, Marie and William Gatipon Sr.; brother, Bill Gatipon Jr.; infant grandson, Jonathan Slaton; former husband, Edmund Tunstall; and her beloved Yorkies, Trixie, Alexie and Daphine. A wake will be at Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home Sunday, July 9 from 5- 8 p.m. The Rosary will be at 7 p.m. Visitation will be Monday, July 10 beginning at 9:30 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass in the Chapel of Lake Lawn Metairie at noon. Interment will follow at Lake Lawn Park and Mausoleum culminating with a gathering for family and friends (details announced at the Mass) celebrating Valerie’s life. Her daughters would like to thank Elaine Talley, Lejina Bell and Sharon LeBlanc for their loving care of Mom. Their appreciation is also given to the caring and professional staff of Passages Hospice. In lieu of flowers, donations to the World War II Museum in Valerie’s memory are preferred. Donations can be mailed to 945 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70130; completed online accessing Honor/Tribute gift tab; or by phone at 504-528-1944 ext. 396. Please mention her name when donating.