“Gooooood mawnin’! How y’all are?”
Anyone who knew Fritzi Lorraine Presley would associate that saying with her, hearing her sweet, slightly husky voice and her Southern accent.
Presley, who had about as many Facebook friends as the population of any given small Mississippi town, died Sept. 25 in her hometown of Long Beach at age 62. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, at Riemann Family Funeral Home in Long Beach, with a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Long Beach.
Many people knew her as a singer and musician who performed locally at spots such as Darwell’s in Long Beach, but she also taught voice and piano at Pinkston Music Inc. in Gulfport, said daughter Daisy Seal. “She was there at least 10 years. She worked there until they closed,” she said. Presley sang at Darwell’s, usually on Tuesdays and Thursdays, until she got too sick to sing, her daughter said.
Presley’s musical talents kept her and her three children going following her divorce when Seal was about 6 years old. For several years, she and her children lived in New Orleans, where she worked, but drove the children to school in Long Beach every day.
“Her playing supported her family,” Seal said.
Presley’s style covered many genres, from blues and rock and gospel to even some reggae.
“There was that Bob Marley song, ‘Don’t Worry About a Thing.’ Her, me and my brother would sing it, and it really was a song that said a lot about her,” Seal said.
Facebook friends looked forward to her daily greetings, her voice seeming to seep out of each post — even in one of her simple “Dang!” posts. She also enjoyed posting links to news stories and giving others a sort of forum to discuss the topics of the day.
“She was big into politics, but I stayed out of that,” Seal said with a soft laugh.
Another thing Facebook friends could expect to see from Presley was a simple daily post: “11:11.” It was Presley’s favorite time of the day, and for a reason.
“It’s supposed to be angel time,” Seal said, a time that is supposed to be when angels are nearby. After Presley’s death, several Facebook friends posted “11:11” in honor of a woman they considered an angel.
How would Seal have described her mother to someone who hadn’t met her?
“Get ready,” she said. “She’s one of a kind. I’ve never met anyone like my mom.”
She remembered going with her mother to the wax museum in New Orleans and being unsure of going in.
“It looked creepy to me, but she said, ‘Go on in, don’t worry about it,’” Seal said. “She was right there with me the whole time, and she changed my mind. She was good about pushing us to do things we’d probably not have had any interest in otherwise.
“She was probably the most amazing person I have ever known.”