|George Dean Tessier, Sr.|
1948 – 1962
|Succeeded by||Charles Smither|
Louisiana State Senator
for Orleans Parish
|Preceded by||Robert A. Ainsworth, Jr.|
|Born|| May 7, 1912|
New Orleans, Louisiana
|Died|| September 27, 1967 (aged 55)|
New Orleans, Louisiana
|Resting place||Lake Lawn Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans|
|Spouse(s)||Althea Oma Lennox Tessier (married 1940-67, his death)|
|Children|| George Tessier, Jr.
Mark Andrew Tessier, Sr.
|Residence||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Alma mater||Woodberry Forest Prepatoy School (Orange, Virginia)|
George Dean Tessier, Sr. (May 7, 1912 – September 27, 1967), represented the 14th Ward of his native New Orleans in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1948 to 1962 and the state Senate from 1962 until his death.
The son of Charles Andrew Tessier, Jr. (1884-1933), and the former Ruth Ophelia Jurgens (1883-1948), he was married in 1940 to the former Althea Oma Lennox (1917-2014). The couple had two sons, George, Jr. (born 1943) and Mark Andrew, Sr. (1947- 2011).
Tessier was educated in New Orleans elementary schools until sent to Woodberry Forest Preparatory School in Orange, Virginia. He attended Tulane University and the Tulane Law School, was president of his freshman law class but soon forced by family financial difficulties to drop out of law school in 1936.
At the Woodberry School, he was an all-state football player in 1931, 1933, and 1934. He was the heavyweight wrestling champion in 1932 for the Southern Amateur Athletic Union. In 1934, he was named an All-American football player. He lettered in football, wrestling, and boxing at Tulane University; participated in the first Sugar Bowl game in New Orleans in 1935. He earned his livelihood as a notary public and insurance solicitor and was employed from 1936 to 1941 by the Gillis-Winkler Insurance Agency.
Called to military service in World War II, he served briefly as chief boatswain’s mate of the United States Coast Guard but then transferred to the United States Navy with the rank of ensign, with service from 1942 to 1945. He was overseas for one year and discharged with the rank of first lieutenant.
As a state representative, Tessier was a vocal opponent of his fellow Democrat, Governor Earl Kemp Long's populist legislative programs. In 1958, midway in Long's last term as governor, Tessier was named by the Capital Correspondents’ Association as "Louisiana’s Outstanding State Representative." He resigned from the House in 1962 to serve until 1968 in the state Senate. He was active in the environmentalist Sierra Club, the Pickwick Club, and the Southern Yacht Club. He was a member of the Roman Catholic men's organization the Knights of Columbus and a volunteer for United Way.
Tessier died in New Orleans at the age of fifty-five and is interred there at Lake Lawn Metairie Cemetery.
- Membership of the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2024 (Orleans Parish). Louisiana House of Representatives. Retrieved on May 8, 2020.
- Membership of the Louisiana Senate, 1880 - Present (Orleans Parish). Louisiana State Senate. Retrieved on May 8, 2020.
- Althea Tessier obituary. The New Orleans Advocate (May 9, 2014). Retrieved on May 8, 2020.
- Mark Tessier obituary. Legacy.com. Retrieved on May 8, 2020.
- Tessier, George Dean, Sr.. A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography: Louisiana Historical Association. Retrieved on May 8, 2020.
- George Dean Tessier. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on May 8, 2020.