DiVincenti, Irma Cospelich, “Tookie”, was born in New Orleans on August 30, 1937. She lived in New Orleans until 1969. She then moved to Gretna and lived there for the past 53 years. She was preceded in death by her parents, Irma Louise Destor Cospelich and Russell Cospelich. She graduated from F.T. Nicholls High School, where she met her best friend and life partner, Frank Charles DiVincenti, MD. They had a plan for their life together after high school. Their lives became a true love story.
Frank started Pre-Med and she went to work. They were married after Frank completed his first year at LSU. The first child was born two years later on the first month of Medical School, and the second child arrived four years later on the first month of his Surgical Residency. When Frank graduated he received his MD degree and she received a PHT, (Putting Hubby Through). Four more children were to arrive in the future. Following her husband’s surgical training, he was called to serve our country in the Vietnam War. She and the children followed Frank to San Antonio where she became an Army surgeon’s wife. The fifth child and only boy, was born the first week of Frank’s boot training at Camp Bullis, near San Antonio. After completing military duty Irma and Frank returned to Louisiana. They made their home in Gretna, LA and there raised their six children. Irma always said it was one of their best decisions. Tookie is survived by the love of her life and high school sweetheart, her husband Frank C. DiVincenti, MD, her five daughters: Lorna Musmanno (Daniel), Teresa Trahan (Paul), Amy Panepinto (Detsie), Maria Smith (Reggie), Victoria Guidry (Shawn), and her son Frank C. DiVincenti Jr. Tookie was blessed with twelve wonderful grandchildren which she dearly loved: Lindsey Honses (Joshua), Holly Ardoin (Jonathan) , Nicholas DiVincenti (Kallie), Elia Saravia, Dimitri Panepinto (Danica), Elania Panepinto, Julia Smith, Beau Smith, Elise DiVincenti, Amelia DiVincenti, Molly Guidry, and Justin Guidry. She is also survived by six beautiful great grandchildren which she treasured: Jack Honses, Evan Honses, Silas Ardoin, Sawyer Ardoin, Demi Panepinto, and Nash Panepinto. Great grandchild number 7, Baby Honses will be arriving soon. Tookie is also survived by her two sisters: Judy Cospelich Gadel (Richard) and Donna Cospelich Watts. She also had a very close relationship with her sisters-in-law: Carol Stiegler (Ed), Jean Shoop (Tim). Nancy Buckheister (Richard), and Janice DiVincenti (Carlo). Tookie was extremely intelligent and could master any project she undertook. She began her work in finance, then in the insurance business. She worked several years for the Catholic Council for interracial justice for the peaceful integration of the parochial school system. After her children were in school, she decided she wanted to try something different so she obtained her realtor license. She managed all the family real estate holdings and was very successful. With six children in school she was room mother so many times she thought she should retire the title. She carpooled for her children and grandchildren until she was in her 80’s. She served on several school boards and was president several times, (St. Rosalie and Archbishop Blenk High School). Tookie served on the board and was president of the Woman’s Auxiliary of the Jefferson Parish Medical Society. As President of the Auxiliary, she organized such events as private tours of the Vatican Exhibit at the Worlds Fair in New Orleans and the King Tut exhibit at NOMA for Jefferson Parish physicians and their families. Tookie also served for many years as a public member for the Louisiana Attorney’s Disciplinary Board.
Tookie and her family were members of St. Anthony Catholic Church in Gretna. The late Monsignor Gerard Poche’, former pastor of St. Anthony was a wonderful family friend who married their six children. She was also a lector for many years at St. Anthony Church. Tookie devolved a passion for sewing and early age. She made her own clothes, all of her children’s clothes, including swimsuits, costumes, evening gowns and prom dresses for her daughters. She also made curtains and drapes for our three homes and also for her children’s homes. Tookie designed three of her homes as well as her children’s homes, including decorating. Tookie was a fantastic chef and could prepare any type of meal. She learned all the old Sicilian recipes. During Thanksgiving and Christmas large dinners were a family tradition. She prepared holiday meals for our immediate family of over forty people. Tookie baked over a hundred pecan pies for family and physicians as a Thanksgiving tradition. Tookie’s daily meals were always exceptional. Every night the family had supper together and she made sure the meals were scheduled when her husband could be home to eat with the family. She loved planning weekend meals for the entire family. The family rarely ate at restaurants because Tookie’s meals were always much better. Tookie was an avid sportswoman. She loved going deer and turkey hunting at their place in West Texas (Junction) and duck hunting and fishing at their home in Barataria with her husband, children, grandchildren and sons-in-law. These outings were always a family affair. She and her husband also made fishing trips to Ketchikan, Alaska as well as making trips to remote and primitive areas in Alaska unknown to most tourists. Later in their years, Tookie and Frank loved their travels throughout Europe, the British Isles and Scotland as well as to Germany, Greece, Egypt, Turkey and Israel. Traveling to Italy and visiting with relatives in Sicily was always one of her favorite vacations along with cruising in Alaska, transiting the Panama Canal and Transatlantic cruises. In spite of her many medical and physical challenges in her later years, she never complained and always had a positive attitude. She continued to support and care for her husband and family. Tookie was a loving and caring wife, a devoted mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. She deeply loved her family and lived her life for them. She was kind, generous, selfless, and will be greatly missed by all who knew her. Tookie never lost her faith and kept God in her daily life. Our family was blessed to have her with us for 66 years. Her spirit will continue in her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. The family would like to express gratitude to the doctors, nursing staff, and the Executive Staff of West Jefferson Medical Hospital, LCMC, and the Fresenius Kidney Care Gretna. Through the years Tookie always received excellent medical care and was treated with dignity and respect. A special thank you to the following: Dr. Charles Thomas; Southern Surgical Specialist, Dr. J. Truit Balart; West Jefferson Radiology, Dr. Tim Irwin, Dr. Walker Jones, Dermatology, Dr. Leslie Levenson; Heart Clinic of Louisiana, Dr. Gabriel Rivera-Rodriguez and Dr. Hui Kim; New Orleans Nephrology Associates, Drs. Juan, Eugenio, Pablo Labadie, Dr. Steve Atkins, Dr. Kaveh Khooberi; Culicchia Neurological Clinic, Dr. Marideli Scanlan,;Family Doctors, Dr. R. Clay Gould; Oncologist, Dr. Malachi Sheahan and Dr. Robert Batson,; L.S.U. Vascular Surgery, Dr. Maria Cortez, W.J. Medical Staff, Dr. Mathur and Dr. Argote,; West Jefferson Hospitalist, Dr. Jamie Nguyen; Infectious Disease, Darla McBroom, LPN, CHPLN., and the West Jefferson Emergency Physicians Group. Donations in Tookie’s honor can be made to the following: West Jefferson Hospital Foundation, Catholic Charities and Children’s Hospital LCMC. Family and friends are invited to attend the Visitation at St. Anthony Catholic Church, 924 Monroe Street, Gretna, LA on Friday, October 7, 2022 from 10:30AM until 1PM. A Funeral Mass will take place at St. Anthony Catholic Church on Friday at 1PM. Interment will be privately held at a later date. MOTHE FUNERAL HOME is assisting the family during this difficult time. Family and friends may offer condolences at mothefunerals.com.