Funeral arrangements set for philanthropist Matilda Gray Stream

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Published: Oct. 17, 2023 at 11:55 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 20, 2023 at 11:10 AM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Following the passing of Matilda Gray Stream at the age of 99, she is being remembered not only for her work as a philanthropist and preservationist but also for her sense of adventure.

Matilda’s grandson Gray Stream says his grandmother was the type of woman who left an impact wherever she went, “She had a wonderful sense of humor, a wild sense of adventure. She loved to travel all over the world...Most people know her for her support of the arts and culture and her work on historical preservation.”

Stream was well known for dedicating her life to preserving Louisiana naturally, architecturally, and artistically. Gray said that while his grandmother traveled all over the world, she always considered Lake Charles her home.

“She really got to watch a lot of far-flung places change a great deal over the one hundred years that she was alive. She told me over and over again that her favorite place was always Lake Charles it always felt like home to her,” said Stream.

After being born in Lake Charles and spending her early years in Louisiana, Matilda graduated from The Grier School in Tyrone, Pennsylvania, and later attended Vassar College, where she earned a degree in Geology. She would become the confidante and protégé of her aunt and namesake, Matilda Geddings Gray, who was known for her vast land holdings and extensive art and architecture collections.

She would be presented into New Orleans society at the Queen of the Osiris in 1946 and moved to Pasadena, CA where she raised three children with Harold Henry Stream, Jr. of New Orleans.

Matilda Gray Stream
Matilda Gray Stream(

Matilda later returned to Louisiana to manage the vast land, art, and architectural holdings of her aunt as the President of the Gray Estate in Lake Charles, and as Trustee of the Matilda Geddings Gray Foundation and the Stream Foundation in New Orleans. She also served on the boards of directors for The New York City Ballet and The World Trade Center in New Orleans.

Named a Louisiana Legend by Louisiana Public Broadcasting, and Preservationist of the Year by the Louisiana Preservation Society she would receive The Legacy Award from The Louisiana Museum Foundation, The Isaac Delgado Award from the New Orleans Museum of Art, The Founders’ Award from Save Our Cemeteries and many others. During this time she consistently credited the talent of her staff and their dedication to conservation for “making her look good.”

Funeral services have been announced for Louisiana philanthropist and preservationist Matilda Gray Stream who passed away peacefully in her home at the age of 99 on Oct. 14, 2023.

An adventurous world traveler, Matilda believed seeing the world was a necessary first step in being able to preserve its treasures - a passion she learned from her aunt and enthusiastically shared with her children and grandchildren.

Visitation be on Thursday, Nov. 16, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Hardner Hall at The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd at 715 Kirkman Street in Lake Charles, Louisiana. A memorial service will follow the visitation at 5 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for honorary contributions to be made to:

  • The Kent and Becky LeDoux Scholarship Fund c/o McNeese Foundation, Box 91989, Lake Charles, LA 70609
  • Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, 715 Kirkman Street, Lake Charles, LA 70601

Click HERE to plant a Memorial Tree in her memory.