Governor Blanco to Lie in State in the Capitol Rotunda Thursday

August 19, 2019 

Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco will lie in state on Thursday, August 22, in the State Capitol Rotunda as part of a three-day Celebration of Life for the former governor, who passed away on Sunday following a courageous battle with cancer.

Governor John Bel Edwards has ordered that flags be flown at half-staff until after the funeral Mass on Saturday, August 24.

Thursday’s remembrance will begin in Baton Rouge with an Interfaith Service at St. Joseph’s Cathedral, before an honor procession at the State Capitol, where she will be met with a military salute on the front steps and then lie in state for public visitation.

On Friday, there will be a public visitation and prayer service in Governor Blanco’s beloved Acadiana. On Saturday, a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Lafayette before a private burial.

Click here for the full Celebration of Life schedule. 


Thursday, August 22

10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Celebration of Life Interfaith Service

St. Joseph Cathedral
401 Main Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Note: This service will be broadcast by Louisiana Public Broadcasting.

12:30 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. Honor Procession 

Louisiana State Capitol (Front Steps)
900 North Third Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Note: Access to the State Capitol steps and the Rotunda will be limited beginning at noon.

1 p.m. – 6 p.m. Gov. Blanco Lies in State 

Louisiana State Capitol Rotunda
900 North Third Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Note: Access to the State Capitol steps and the Rotunda will be limited beginning at noon. Visitors should enter through the basement of the Capitol and will be guided through to the Rotunda. For security purposes, no bags larger than a small purse will be allowed.

Friday, August 23

12:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. Public Visitation 

St. John the Evangelist Cathedral (Cathedral Hall)
914 St. John Street
Lafayette, LA 70501

Saturday, August 24

8 a.m. – 10 a.m. Public Visitation 

St. John the Evangelist Cathedral (Cathedral Hall)
914 St. John Street
Lafayette, LA 70501

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Reflections and Mass of Christian Burial 

St. John the Evangelist Cathedral
515 Cathedral Street
Lafayette, LA 70501

Note: This service will be broadcast live by Louisiana Public Broadcasting.



In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Governor Kathleen Blanco Public Policy Center, via the University of Louisiana - Lafayette Foundation, 705 East St. Mary Blvd, Lafayette, LA 70504 or online at   


Access to the State Capitol steps and Rotunda will be limited on Thursday, August 22, beginning at noon. Visitors are encouraged to carpool and park in the lots along River Road, as parking in front of the Capitol will be limited. No large bags will be allowed at any of the memorial events.

Visitors who wish to pay their respects on Thursday in the Rotunda will enter through the ground floor of the State Capitol, where they will be guided through to the first floor of the Capitol. There will be no access from the front steps. Seating will not be available for those waiting in line.

Seating for the public may be limited at Thursday’s Interfaith Service and Saturday’s Mass of Christian Burial. There will be an overflow area at the Mass in Lafayette on Saturday where the service will be broadcast.


Free parking for the public visitation will be available in the Welcome Center Parking Garage at 101 North Street, Baton Rouge, La. 70802 beginning at 12:00 p.m. Additional free public parking will be available along River Road across from the Claiborne Building.

Parking may be limited and visitors are encouraged to carpool.


Visitors to the State Capitol for the public visitation, which begins at 1 p.m., should enter through the Ground Floor, where they will be screened by security. This will allow lines to form inside of the State Capitol.

Access to the State Capitol front steps and front doors will be limited on Thursday.

Seating will not be available for those waiting in line for visitation.

Anyone who is in line as visitation ends at 6 p.m. will be welcomed by the Blanco family.


Seating for the public will be very limited for Thursday’s Interfaith Service at St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge and standing room will not be allowed inside of the Cathedral.

The Interfaith Service and other parts of the Celebration of Life will be broadcast live and streamed online at by Louisiana Public Broadcasting so that all may watch the service.

Gov. Edwards Issues Statement from the family of Former Louisiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco

August 18, 2019 

Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the passing of former Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco.  Her family has released the following statement:
“Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco peacefully passed away on August 18, 2019 at St. Joseph’s Hospice Carpenter House in Lafayette, Louisiana, surrounded by her beloved husband Raymond, her children and family.
She was a woman of grace, faith and hope. She has left an eternal mark on all who knew her, because she was generous and unconditional in her love, warm in her embrace and genuinely interested in the welfare of others.
While she knew that her name would forever be linked with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, it was her dying wish that she be remembered for her faith in God, commitment to family and love of Louisiana.
As Louisiana's first female governor, her prestigious career cannot be separated from her faith and family - all are intertwined. In her words, her public service provided an opportunity for her “to be the voice of the voiceless; to shape the rising tide that lifts all boats; to advocate for policies and changes that make good common sense; and to have a positive impact on the lives of all people.
Our hearts are broken, but we are joyful in knowing that she is rejoicing in her heavenly reunion with Christ. Please pray for God’s peace to carry us through the coming days and months of sorrow as we mourn her absence from our lives. “
Note: Details regarding services to celebrate her life and legacy will be issued in the coming days.

Gov. Edwards' Statement on the Passing of Former Louisiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco

August 18, 2019

Former Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, Louisiana’s first female Governor, has died at the age of 76, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced today. Governor Blanco will lie in state at Louisiana’s State Capitol in the coming days. The Governor’s office will release details soon.
Gov. Edwards issued the following statement:
“It is with a heavy heart that I announce that Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco has passed, after courageously battling cancer. 

Serving as this state’s first female governor, Kathleen was a trailblazer and broke many barriers, leading the way for others to follow.  She stands among the giants who have helped shaped Louisiana’s history. Kathleen loved this state and our people and was a shining example of what can be accomplished by hard work and determination.         

She led Louisiana through one of our darkest hours, when hurricanes and the failure of the federal levee system devastated much of our state. I hope history will remember Governor Blanco as a tireless advocate for Louisiana, who fought fiercely for our state to rebuild following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. 

Louisianans owe a debt of gratitude to Governor Blanco, who always put the people of our state first, fighting to improve the quality of life for our families and children, championing better educational opportunities for all students at every level and building a stronger Louisiana.  In 2004, she said: “I feel that call to lift up the less fortunate, the call to improve our communities and our state. It drives me to serve Louisiana as governor.” 
Donna and I hope you will join your prayers to ours for her husband Raymond “Coach” and their family and friends. May God bless them all during this difficult time.”

EXECUTIVE ORDER NUMBER JBE 19-14: Flags at Half Staff for Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco

 August 18, 2019

As an expression of respect and to honor former Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, the flags of the United States and the State of Louisiana shall be flown at half-staff over the State Capitol and all state buildings from August 19, 2019, through August 24, 2019.

Click here to view the executive order.