Ellen “Puddin” Simmons Steen


Ellen “Puddin” Simmons Steen

77, Slidell, La.

A memorial service was held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, at First Methodist Church of Slidell, 433 Erlanger Ave., for Ellen “Puddin” Simmons Steen, 77, of Slidell, who passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Jan. 22 on her house boat. 

She was born in Columbia on Feb. 24, 1941, to Dr. W.E. Simmons and Elizabeth Beacham Simmons.  She was the eldest of four children. Her siblings are Judy Richards, William “Bill” Simmons and Elizabeth “Libby” Henley-Best. As a young girl, she competed on the Tennessee walking horse circuit with her mare, Silver Slipper. She was a graduate of Columbia High School, class of 1958. She attended the University of Houston where she studied psychology and graduated in 1963. While at University of Houston, she met Wiley H. Steen of New Orleans. They married in 1961 and were married for 57 years. She was known for her love of dance and music.

She was head majorette of her high school and a majorette at University of Houston. She placed third nationally as a baton twirler and was selected by the U.S. State Department in 1959 as majorette leader to travel and perform in Cuba. After graduating from college, she lived in Lafayette where she became a charter member and inaugural president of Avec Souci, a service league organization now amalgamated into the Junior League. She was also a member of the DAR.

In her thirties, she lived abroad because of Wiley’s work. One of her passions was to travel, so she took advantage of this time and visited over 40 countries. In 1976 at the request of the Republic of Singapore she organized that country’s first majorette drill team which has continually marched in parades in throughout Southeast Asia. In 1976, the Steens moved to Spring, Texas, where she became an avid player of bridge and tennis. Proud of being 1/8th Cherokee Indian, she was adept at genealogy and traced the lineage of all other family members back to their arrivals in the United States.

After their daughter, Lara Helen, graduated for from high school, she began to work in the oil and gas industry. Her work took her throughout the United States thus allowing her to continue her love of travel. She always had a love of water, so, closer to retirement they moved to Slidell and bought a house boat. She let it be known the she truly loved living on their boat and being on the bayou. 

She leaves behind her husband, Wiley; daughter, Lara Helen McAndrew (John), and grandsons, Brennan and Connor.

Ellen loved the congregation of the First Methodist Church. She participated in Feed Dat ministry as long as she had the capacity. RIP! Much loved and missed. 

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