Henry "Fazola" Prestopnik was born on Dec. 10, 1912. When he
died of a heart attack on March 20, 1949, he left behind a wife, Helen Rotis Prestopnik, but no children. His mother and father
-- Camille and Domingo -- also survived him. He also had a brother, Louis J. (Blue), who died 10 years later and a sister,
Delicia, who became Mrs. Frederick Lingner. Members of his local jazz band were pallbearers at his funeral, and he was buried
in St. Vincent's Cemetery Uptown on Soniat Street.
is very possible that his ancestors came from Slovenia because there were large numbers of Croats and Slovenes who settled
in New Orleans as far back as 200 years ago.
we knew him, studied clarinet with Jean Paquay, a conservatory-trained musician from Brussels. Paquay had come to New Orleans
in 1909 to play in the orchestra at the French Opera House. When he began to give music lessons, one of his students was Irving
Prestopnik. Some believe that Paquay's famous student got his nickname from being constantly told to play "Do-re-mi-fa-sol-la
..." Others claim that Irving was given his stage name by fellow New Orleanian Louis Prima.