71-Year-Old Alligator Victim Identified Amid Hurricane Ida Fallout as ‘Giving’ Grandfather, Volunteer

by Courtney Blackann

In a worst-case scenario, Hurricane Ida devastated New Orleans and surrounding areas as one of the deadliest storms in the state’s history. But worst-case turned somehow, well, even worse. Grappling with floodwaters filling his shed, a 71-year-old man then succumbed to an alligator attack.

Timothy Satterlee Sr. was identified as the victim. Having survived the worst of the storm, Satterlee waded through the murky flood to check on his shed in Slidell. That’s when his wife heard splashing. She quickly went to see if Satterlee had somehow fallen. But when she got closer to the scene, she saw a horrific sight. Satterlee was in the jaws of a 7-foot alligator as it forced him into a ‘death roll’. The man’s arm had been ripped from his body.

Satterlee’s wife quickly went for help. However, when she returned, there was no sign of her husband at all. His body still hasn’t been recovered.

While alligators don’t often attack, many county officials warned they could be an issue with the post-hurricane rescue efforts. Search and rescue teams are continuing to search “for as long as necessary” in the parts of the region hardest hit, according to Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Satterlee’s Legacy After Alligator Attack

Though Satterlee’s death is a tragic loss, community members are remembering him for his charitable contributions to his hometown. According to Nola.com, Satterlee volunteered at his grandchildren’s school Pope John Paul II, a Catholic high school.

“It’s such a devastating loss for our community,” said Robert Bywater, a member of the St. Margaret Mary Men’s Club. “People either knew him by name or by face.”

Satterlee was an active member of the club, which traveled to devastated areas to cook food. And not just any food, but a menu which is a perfect combination of Louisiana-style chicken, barbecue and sausage pastalaya.

The men’s club has now focused its efforts on providing meals to those who are struggling after Hurricane Ida put thousands of residents out of their homes. With power outages still looming after more than a week, thousands are without food and water. The volunteers are dedicating their work to Satterlee’s memory.

“This is a celebration of his life,” fellow volunteer David Huff said. “We’re all trying to come together to help. This is what he would’ve wanted. This is what he would’ve been doing. This is his legacy.”

Further, others who knew him are remembering Satterlee’s selflessness and good-natured humor.

“They ain’t got too many people walking around the world like that these days,” he said. “He was a rare gem. You need a friend, you need a favor, call Mr. Tim. He’ll be there with whatever you need and whatever he can give,” friend Erik Schneider said.