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Vieux Carre Commission
Louisiana National Guard
Louisiana State Museum
Loyola Law School
Louisiana National Guard
Loyola Law School
Dr. E. Ralph Lupin, philanthropist and Vieux Carre Commission chair, dies
Dr. E. Ralph Lupin, philanthropist and Vieux Carre Commission chair, dies Dr. E. Ralph Lupin, philanthropist and Vieux Carre Commission chair, dies Dr. E. Ralph Lupin, a longtime local physician known for his years of charitable and civic involvement including a long stint as the chairman of the Vieux Carre Commission, has died. He was 83. A native of New Orleans, Dr. Lupin was devoted to the preservation of the French Quarter, and his role on the city commission charged with protecting it often put him in the headlines, sometimes for less than favorable decisions or confrontations with people appearing before the agency. "In my opinion, the mission to preserve and protect the French Quarter is one of the most important efforts that I have had, and continue to participate in," he told The Times-Picayune for a 2011 interview. "The French Quarter is the most essential economic development effort that helps drive the financial success of this city and its citizens," Lupin said. Lupin was appointed to the VCC as a representative of the Louisiana State Museum, which he also served for many years. "Dr. Lupin was the heart and soul of the State Museum System," Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne said in a statement. "His love of New Orleans, the French Quarter and its heritage was unsurpassed." Lupin served on the museum board for more than 35 years, including three stints as the board's chairman. His family foundation was also generous in donating funds toward the restoration of the Cabildo after the devastating 1988 fire. Eyewitness News political analyst and Gambit political editor Clancy DuBos remembered Lupin as a generous supporter of many civic and cultural causes in the city. "Ralph was an amazing man - generous, fun-loving, dedicated to his profession and to his community," DuBos said. In his professional career, Dr. Lupin delivered thousands of babies during more than 50 years as a practicing obstetrician and gynecologist. He continued practicing well past retirement age because, as he told St. Charles Avenue Magazine for an interview, he considered women's health care part of his life's mission. "Every time I see a new being come into this world, I feel that my mission in life is fulfilled," he said. "My mission in life is to make people happy, and I would have to say that everything I've done is with this mission in mind. Women's health care is my job, and I'll keep doing it until I die." Lupin and his brothers, both also physicians, founded St. Charles General Hospital in Uptown New Orleans and when the building was sold to Tenet Healthcare in the 1980s, the proceeds helped form the Lupin Foundation, which has supported countless charities and causes over the years. One institution he supported as a lifetime board member, the New Orleans Ballet Association, said the family name is "synonymous with the arts." "Ralph understood and knew the power of the arts to make a difference for a child and he worked tirelessly for NOBA's education programs," said the association's board chair, Charlotte Bollinger. "With integrity, compassion, honor, and love, Ralph served to enrich the lives of others each and every day, and he will be forever missed in this community." Among the many causes Dr. Lupin, his wife Pam, and their family's Lupin Foundation were most committed to were: the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, the New Orleans Ballet Association, New Orleans Opera Association, Louisiana Museum Foundation, and National World War II Museum and Rotary Club. Other institutions to benefit from the foundation, both financially and in volunteer hours donated by Dr. Lupin and his late wife Freda, who died in 2004, included Newman School, Tulane and Loyola Universities, WYES-TV and Audubon Park. Dr. Lupin was also a retired member of the Louisiana National Guard. He retired from military service at the age of 65, but he received his last mission in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. As many were evacuating New Orleans, 75-year-old Lupin stayed in the city, and he was reactivated and assigned to the Superdome as the chief medical officer for a total of 60 days. He was a graduate of LSU and Loyola University New Orleans. In addition to his wife Pam, Dr. Lupin is survived by a son and two grandchildren, as well as a stepdaughter and stepgrandchild, two brothers, two sisters, and numerous nieces and nephews. Dr. Lupin was preceded in death by a son, Michael, who is remembered at Newman School, which is home to Michael Lupin Stadium. Dr. E. Ralph Lupin, philanthropist and Vieux Carre Commission chair, dies
I had the privilege of calling Ralph my friend for more than 30 years.
In addition to embracing countless civic and charitable causes, Ralph had an infectious, passionate love for New Orleans and a wonderful sense of humor. I can't recall a single conversation that I ever had with him that didn't end with both of us smiling. Ralph and his brothers, Dr. Arnold Lupin and Dr. Sam Lupin, founded and operated St. Charles General Hospital in New Orleans and successfully operated the facility until its sale to Tenet Healthcare Corp. in 1985. Mayor Mitch Landrieu described Ralph as "a great friend and one-of-a-kind person. More than once, I saw tears in Ralph's eyes when he spoke about NOCCA and the work that students and faculty do here. Museum director Nick Mueller called Ralph "a major contributor, very generous supporter and dear friend of the museum." Ralph" was known in many families for having brought multiple generations into the world. He also was known throughout our community for the many projects and causes that he and The Lupin Foundation have supported. Ralph began his work as an OB-GYN in 1958 when he served as the chief of the OB-GYN Department at the 48th United States Air Force Hospital in Laken Heath, England. When his tour of duty ended, he returned to New Orleans and became a partner/co-founder and group organizer of the Women's Medical Center in Gretna. He held senior positions on the staffs of Meadowcrest and West Jefferson hospitals. He was one of the leaders in the Westbank Physicians Network (WPN) and remained an officer until the agency ceased to exist. He was an original board member of the state commission on home health care and joined the first Private Home Health Agency in Louisiana, which grew to 20 agencies nationwide. Most recently, Ralph served as chair of the Vieux Carré Commission. He served on the Louisiana State Museum Board for nearly four decades and twice served as chair. He also served on the boards of the Louisiana Museum Foundation, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Lupin Foundation, the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), the New Orleans Symphony, Children's Hospital of New Orleans, Jewish Family & Children's Services, the local chapter of the American Red Cross, the University of New Orleans Foundation, the Audubon Institute, the National World War II Museum, the Upper Pontalba Commission (which he chaired), the Sophie Gumbel Guild, the New Orleans Opera Association, the New Orleans Ballet Association, the Jewish Foundation, Young Audiences, Bridge House and many more organizations. Ralph was a lifelong supporter of the arts and contributed immensely to both performing and visual arts. He donated an extensive Amari porcelain collection to the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the collection was displayed in the Lupin Wing of the museum. He also was instrumental in bringing a number of collections to the museum. His community service often put him in the public eye, and he had many friends in the political arena. He ran for the City Council in 1990. Although not successful in that race, he continued to serve the city in a volunteer capacity on many levels. Ralph also continued to serve his country via his ongoing commitment to the military. He served in the United States Air Force from 1956 to 1963 and in the Louisiana Air National Guard from 1979 to 1997. He served as a consultant to the U.S. Surgeon General for Medical and Legal Affairs. When Hurricane Katrina ravaged his beloved city of New Orleans, Ralph refused to leave. Instead, he donned his military uniform and stepped in to serve at the Superdome during the storm and as a first responder by helping those in need - then in helping to rebuild. He received numerous honors and awards attesting to his years of public service and many private acts of kindness. Ralph also had a lifelong quest to learn and grow. In 1988 he obtained a law degree from Loyola Law School, where he started his higher education many years earlier. He obtained a B.S. in Pharmacy from Loyola in 1952, then a Medical Doctorate Degree from Louisiana State University in 1956, after which he served as a resident in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Touro Infirmary until 1958, when he served his tour of duty in England. Tags: Ralph Lupin, Image
Ralph Lupin, chairman of the Vieux Carre Commission, has opposed allowing the panels, which he said would compromise the building's historic integrity and could set a precedent for the entire neighborhood.
Ever since the development of new technologies such as central heating and air conditioning, preservationists have wrestled with the question of how to incorporate them into historic buildings. Many agree that such efforts should be considered on a case-by-case basis. Once past that, there are varying levels of support. Lupin, for his part, took a firm stand Thursday. "If you damage the integrity of the French Quarter by this intrusion into what was built there several hundred years ago," he warned the council, "you are asking for heartache." Lupin said the additional conditions imposed by Palmer didn't make him feel any better about the proposal, saying that any work that would jeopardize the integrity of the neighborhood could prove costly for a city whose economy depends in large part on tourism spurred by the Quarter's unique character. "I am extremely sensitive to what the French Quarter represents to this community," Lupin said. While council members were quick to say that their decision should not be taken as a precedent for other requests for solar panels in the Quarter, Lupin was not mollified. "I'm just concerned that whenever we see a movement that a lot of people would consider to be a movement forward, that at times in a very, very important historic district, if you aren't careful, that movement forward can ruin the district," he said after the meeting. Ralph Lupin, the chairman of the nine-member board, said he believed it would compromise the historic integrity of the building, and set a precedent for the neighborhood, opening the door for clusters of solar panels to start sprouting up throughout the French Quarter, according to a preliminary draft of the meeting minutes.
"This type of disrespectful name-calling has no place in government," Nagin said in a letter this week to Lupin. During a commission meeting last week, Lupin was among several members criticizing Sanitation Director Veronica White's insistence that French Quarter residents must begin putting out their trash in wheeled plastic bins that are designed to be lifted by mechanized arms on new garbage trucks. "I don't understand Ms. White's obstinance other than that she's a bitch," Lupin said.Lupin, a former member of the Human Relations Commission, has not apologized for his comment but has denied that it was either sexist or racist.Lupin is white; White is African-American. Nagin, who has strongly backed White on the issue of requiring use of the trash bins citywide, including in the Quarter, cannot simply fire Lupin as either a member or the chairman of the Vieux Carre Commission. Nagin said Lupin has "the right as a person to express disagreement with policies of city government.Lupin said Tuesday he regrets that the controversy over his comment has deflected attention away from the issue of the garbage bins. Lupin's comment about White drew exclamations of surprise and dismay from other commission members during last week's meeting, but no one called on him to withdraw it.The other members appeared all to side with him on the issue of the garbage bins. Lupin defended himself Tuesday against allegations that he is a sexist or a racist. "I'm a gynecologist," Lupin said."You can't be a sexist if you're a gynecologist." Further, he said, "to accuse me, given my history, of being a racist just angers me." During his 45 years as a doctor, he said, he has insisted on treating black and white patients equally, even when that was not common practice, and today most of his patients are black, including many who are unable to pay for his services. Lupin, who is also a lawyer and a brigadier general in the Louisiana National Guard, said he spent several days in the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina helping to provide medical care to New Orleanians, most of them poor and black, who had taken shelter there. Lupin, whose term on the Vieux Carre Commission has expired but who has continued to serve because no successor has been nominated and confirmed by the City Council, said he does not intend to resign and will remain an active member until a successor is chosen. The commission chooses its own chairman, and the other members could decide to replace Lupin in that role even if he remains a member.He has been the chairman since late 2001 and has a history of making blunt, forceful comments, particularly about people he thought were trying to damage historic buildings or to violate the commission's rules. Lupin said he attended a meeting Tuesday of the commission's Architectural Committee and read a statement about his position.He said he would release a copy of it, but it had not arrived several hours later.
It turned out the two bidders were James F. Sefcik , director of the Louisiana State Museum , and E. Ralph Lupin , chairman of the board of the Louisiana State Museum.