On Feb 9, 2023 at 11:47am, Rita Schmitt Roccaforte passed lovingly into the arms of her late husband, Francis Bevinetto Roccaforte. She is now perpetually causing shenanigans with her two dear friends, Sherry & Lynn, who went on before her to prepare for her homecoming dance.
Born on September 26, 1936 to the late Hildred "Deedee" Schmitt & the late John Schmitt, she is the older sister of Martin Schmitt (Lynn, deceased and Sayda) and Arthur Schmitt (Joan).
Rita grew up in the St Thomas housing projects and the Irish Channel of New Orleans and was proud of it! She graduated Redemptorist High School in 1954. After marrying Francis, they spent the next eight years having six children in Uptown New Orleans near Napoleon and Magazine Streets. Rita was a loving and devoted mother to Stephanie Margavio (Chuck); Frank Roccaforte (Judy); David Roccaforte; Alicia Hayward (Kenny, deceased and Jeff); Michele Roccaforte; and Andrew Roccaforte (Lisa) and grandmother to Wayne Margavio (Kerry); Jennifer Roccaforte Bruner (John); Johanna Lynn Roccaforte; Rebecca Upshaw; Adam Hayward; Ross Hayward (Christina); Robin Hayward (Laura); Kenny Hayward (Amy); Angela Hayward; and Ryan Roccaforte. She is also survived by 20 great grandchildren and many, many cousins, nieces, and nephews who all loved her dearly and will miss her immensely.
As her children grew, she joined the ranks of working mothers everywhere, juggling child rearing, bread winning and extracurricular activity scheduling, but the biggest problem to solve back then was who got the one car on Saturday night.
She wore many hats in her lifetime (both literally & metaphorically) that enabled her to touch the lives of many, many people. She had an open door in her house and in her heart for everyone. For almost two decades, she was the "heart and soul" of St Stephen's Catholic elementary school—officially as the secretary but practically as the unofficial vice principal.
She was an avid Saints and Tulane fan all her life. She enjoyed traveling, making friends with strangers, traumatizing her family with crazy hats, bunco and card games, and pretty much any socializing event possible. She was a member of Group Therapy and the now retired Drewgars.
In 2008, she moved to the Westbank and took up residence in old Gretna and added many more friends to her overflowing rolodex. She coordinated enrichment field trips for her and her friends (to the casinos) and managed a weekly football pool for the St Joseph's residents. She could often be found at garage sales and the dollar store. But most of all, she loved being with her family especially during the holidays.
In the end, we will all miss our mom, Mama Rock, Granny, Aunt, therapist, friend, godmother, bookie, life of the party and woman of the hour, our matriarch.
Come celebrate her life and pass a good time with us Monday the 13th of February from 6pm-9pm at MOTHE FUNERAL HOME, 2100 Westbank Expy in Harvey (all hats welcome) and Tuesday the 14th at St Mary's Assumption Church 923 Josephine St in New Orleans. Visitation on Tuesday starts at 9am with Mass at 11am and internment to follow at Greenwood Cemetery. Family and friends may offer condolences at mothefunerals.com