In Memory

Chris Soens

Chris Soens

A memory From Ned Dameron

I met Chris and Fred at their apartment hosting a knot of creative Tulane students gathered to create an "alternative" newspaper at Tulane.

The late 60's was an intense time and the newspaper responded to it with political critique, philosophies,theories, satire,and speculative ideas

for a better world. Chris was one of the featured writers for the paper, and quite a good one.  After a year's run the newspaper dissolved. A final

publication emerged, a booklet--a "review" edited by Chris. Most of the book was submitted poems Chris selected. Chris contributed a story --

an imaginative fantasy tale.  It was my good luck to do the illustrations for it.


All were lucky to know her.  Chris was a lovely person.


Ned Dameron

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02/18/17 03:00 PM #1    

Madeleine Fischer

Stephanie (Parker) McIver told me that Chris had written a book called Animal Friends.  I bought the last copy on Amazon.  But I'm going to try to paste a couple of pages of the book here to show what she did, and perhaps the publisher may still have a few copies if soomeone wants to try to order one.  The stories are beautifully written and so true to Chris's character and personality as I remember her from McMain and Franklin.

-- Nikko

02/19/17 09:05 PM #2    

Charles Suhor

Chris was a fine writer and a very interesting person. I was saddened to her of her passing.


02/22/17 01:05 AM #3    

Fred Laredo

At McMain.....I fell in love with her then.....

02/22/17 01:13 AM #4    

Fred Laredo

Photo I took at McMain...I fell in love with her there and finally married her at Tulane....fred


03/07/17 09:38 PM #5    

Michael Martin

I just fell in love with her. I never saw her after graduation, but I was smitten.  Chris had something that tugged at you, a beauty that encompassed all the meanings of beauty.  Thanks for the picture Fred.


10/23/17 03:50 AM #6    

Thomas Sancton





Chris was my first real girlfriend. She was a beautiful, wicked smart, fun-loving girl.I lost touch with her after we all went off to college in the fall of 1967. When I returned to New Orleans in 2007, I learned that she had ended her days the previous year. I wanted to know what had happened during the intervening 40 years to drive her to take her life. I contacted members of her family, who shared their information and some of her writings, and cruised the Internet for her posts or references to her. What I learned is a sad story indeed. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia, treated at McLeans mental hospital, and lived on her own on State Street after two divorces. Unable to work a regular job, she lived on a generous divorce settlement from her second husband. What precipitated her final act was the so-called Nigerian scam: a phony email claiming she had won $90,000 in a lottery that she never entered. She went for it and the scammers cleaned $400,000 from her bank account. Not wanting to be a burden on her family, and devastated by what had happened to her, she decided to end it on March 25, 2006. May she rest in peace.


Anyone interested in knowing more about this sad story can check these articles online:

Chris's half brother, filmmaker Francis James, made a documentary about his mother's end of life, entitled "A Gift of Time," in which Chris appears and speaks movingly about her experience:   

Chris was very interested in science fiction and wrote stories for several Si-Fi forums. Here's one I found online: 


Here is the succinct obit that appeared in the Times-Picayune on March 29, 2006:


Soens - Patricia Christine Soens, died at her home on Saturday, March 25, 2006.

Survived by her step parents Jill M. Soens and Francis G. James. Her siblings Peggy

Langenstein, Susan James, Mary Margaret Soens, Rebecca Woodworth, Anne James-Rosenberg,

Francis G. James, Jr., Ingrid W. Soens and A. Lewis Soens, Jr. Survived by 12 nieces

and nephews. Age 56 years. A longtime resident of New Orleans. The relatives and

friends of the family are invited to attend the Memorial Service at Christ Church

Cathedral, 2919 St. Charles Ave. on Thursday, March 30, 2006 at 5:00 PM. Reception to

follow. LEITZ-EAGAN in charge of arrangements. 











10/23/17 09:43 AM #7    

Briann Fisher (Shear)

Chris was very special. Physically beautiful, artistically talented, and really, really smart. In high school I certainly wanted to be more like her. I remember admiring her distinctive signature, a tall ascenders and an impressive curvey "S". She seemed to have it all. But with all the gifts we admired, I now know there were other less enviable pieces to her life. As I get older, there always seems to be more to add to a picture snapped in my youth, new lenses to look through, new filters to be applied.

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