Cynthia Sessum

Obituary of Cynthia Elena Sessum

Cynthia Elena Sessum, age 73, of Slidell, Louisiana, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, surrounded by her family. 

Ms. Sessum, known to her friends and family as “Cindy,” was born on April 7, 1948, in New Orleans, Louisiana, to the late John D. Sessum and Maria C. Sessum.  She was a long-time resident of New Orleans and Slidell.  Cindy graduated from St. Frances Cabrini Elementary School and John McDonogh High School in New Orleans. 


As young adults, Cindy and her former husband, Tommy Zanco, owned a great little restaurant in New Orleans called T & C’s.  Years later, she began a career in optometry for Pearle Vision Center in New Orleans East, but it was not until she left the optical industry that Cindy found her real passion, law!  She became a self-taught paralegal for Foley & Judell, LLP.  She worked there for over 25 years before retiring.  


Cindy had an innovative, creative, and playful disposition.  She excelled at writing and do-it-yourself projects.  She had an unparalleled drive, and there was nothing she could not accomplish once she put her mind to it.  She loved the hits of the ‘60s and ‘70s and could often be found singing and dancing up a storm to Earth, Wind and Fire, the Bee Gees, Chicago, and The Rolling Stones.  She loved New Orleans, its culture, its spirit, its music, and its food.  She was an avid Saints fan who proudly sported her black and gold attire, especially during the football season.  


(Written from the perspective of her daughter, Mary)


It is hard to capture the true heart and personality of someone in a few short paragraphs.  My mom was truly a beautiful person.  She had a closeness and a love for the Lord and her family that was clearly demonstrated in her willingness to serve others.  This fervent passion bled over to her affection for animals as well as nature.  My mom had several adopted cats throughout her life and could regularly be found spending countless hours in the backyard feeding the deer and the birds.  My mom was my driving force, my cheerleader, and my best friend.  She inspired me to take on new challenges and reach for what I believed was unattainable.  She had the warmest smile and an infectious laugh.  I am so honored and blessed to have called her mom.  

Cindy is survived by her two children, Christina Pepiton (Paul) and Mary Zanco-Grayson (Ben); her brother, John “Jay” Sessum (Brenda); two sisters, Mary Kimmitt (Mike) and Pat Cox (Bill); and the rest of her family including her cats, Angelique and Muffin. 

A private service will be held at Audubon Funeral Home, followed by a burial service at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Slidell, Louisiana.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in her memory to the Northshore Humane Society in honor of Cindy Sessum. 

Family and friends are encouraged to share their condolences, stories, and memories in Cindy’s online guestbook at



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