Beloved ‘Turtle Lady’ home for sale



Special to the PRESS

After over 50 years of being in the family, the home of the Turtle Lady of South Padre Island is up for sale. Before it officially goes on the market to the general public, Mary Ann Tous, member of the South Padre Island Historic Preservation Committee and niece of the famed “Turtle Lady,” is doing her best to find a new owner who intends to preserve the legacy left behind by her world famous aunt. Tous, who has cared for the home for almost 20 years said, “Since it’s part of the history, what I’m trying to do is see if we can preserve it as such.”

Ila Fox Loetscher made a name for herself even before finding her passion for saving sea turtles. As the first licensed female pilot in the state of Iowa in 1929, Loetscher was a pioneer in aviation joining the Ninety-Nines Flying Club with the likes of club president and friend, Amelia Earhart.

In 1959, just before the onset of development of South Padre Island, Loetscher decided to make the untouched paradise her home.  At that time, her home was one of few residences on the Island.

The 2,556 square foot historic home is located on gulf-side at 5805 Gulf Blvd. The two-story home consists of two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an attached two car garage. as well as additional land behind the building.

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1 comment

    • Pierre d'Hemecourt on November 29, 2018 at 8:57 pm
    • Reply

    HI Mary Ann, I knew Ila well as a young boy and visited her every Wednesday in the summer with my grandmother Mimi d’Hemecourt who was a great friend of hers. I spend a number of nights at her house and am interested to see this again and possibly buy and preserve that property. I have many happy memories there and even my wife spent the night playing card games and holding the injured turtles until sunrise.

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