Shelly Rose Ditta Doucet lost her courageous battle with cancer on July 26th, 2022. She was born on July 7th, 1961 in New Orleans, Louisiana to the late Rose Mary Grilletta Ditta and the late Joseph Carlo Ditta. She has 3 siblings, Carlo Ditta, Nicole Ciaccio (Mike) and Joseph Ditta (Kolette) who she loved unconditionally. Her love extended her many nieces and nephews: Isabella, Christopher, John Paul, Sarah, Randi, Deon, Joseph, Mia, Magdalene, Mary Grace, and her many cousins.
She was married for 25 wonderful years to Todd Doucet, having met as a fellow graduate student at The University of Holy Cross. They had a daughter, Hannah Rose Doucet who would later adopt her material grandmother’s first name, Rose. Shelly and Rose shared an incredible bond rooted in compassion, spirituality, intellectual prowess, and enthusiasm for the arts. Their bond was forged in the kitchen where Shelly instilled the importance of culture and tradition in family cooking and fostered feelings of accomplishment while having fun.
Shelly was prideful of her many academic accomplishments, dating back to her 12 years at Ursuline Academy. She graduated from St Mary’s Dominican College in 1984, earning a BA in Psychology. Later, she would pursue her passion in architecture at Tulane University achieving a BA (1988) and later awarded a MA in 2004. After graduating from Tulane University, she worked for Broadmoor Design Group and was instrumental in the design of McFrugal’s warehouse and other commercial structures. Later, Shelly would become employed by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs in the Clinical Psychology Research Department under the leadership of renowned clinical researcher Patricia Sutker, PhD. During this employment period, Shelly excelled in diagnostics and treatment of psychopathology. She was recognized for her exceptional and skilled neuro-psychological testing abilities that culminated in publications in various psychology journals. Shelly’s commitment to the work of psychology and to her patients can never be overstated. Her positive influence on the most medically and cognitively challenged veteran populations is still noticed today as she encounters past veteran clients who often remark on her loving clinical skills and her specialty of conveying support and hope for the future. She was highly regarded at the VA, and greatly enjoyed her interactions with patients and staff. She was especially fond of the POW WWII population. Shelly had her favorites: Mr. Ugo (Death March of Bataan survivor) and Mr. McDuffy (USS Indianapolis shark attack survivor). She worked as an influential part of a multidisciplinary team that evaluated and debriefed Gulf War Veterans. She organized two trips to Puerto Rico to study the impact of grave registration duties among soldiers trained to move supplies. Later, she worked with her husband in clinical research, assessing Desert Storm Veterans for Gulf War Syndrome.
After the birth of their daughter, the care of her beloved ailing parents and their tragic passing, Shelly created SDittaDoucet, LLC specializing in architectural construction and design. She served as the Architectural Chairperson at Clipper Estates. Shelly was an amazing and talented architect, who uniquely matched vision and practicality for her clients, without squelching their ambitions. Often times, in the beginning phase of construction, she counseled clients on the mixing fiscal reality and their dreams. Shelly would remark, “Should I send them a therapy bill or an architectural invoice?” She also loved traveling. She toured Europe many times as a young girl with her family and later with friends. Shelly had a deep appreciation for Italian architecture and Renaissance Art. She was intrigued by the diverse regions of Italy, especially Positano where she traveled with her family.
In spite of chronic and debilitating medical conditions, Shelly loved spending time with family, cooking and gardening. She enjoyed special seasonal periods that meant the cooking of eggplant and cucuzza that were grown lovingly in her garden. Often times, the harvest was so large that many neighbors received fried eggplant, and close cousins enjoyed their share of cucuzza and shrimp. In addition to family members, Shelly had a close circle of friends who she loved from Ursuline Academy: Charlene, Alice, Sidney, and Michelle.
Personally, Shelly was beautiful, engaging, and intelligent. She was known for her charm, courage, and perfectionism. She was a true friend, devoted mother, wife and an incomparable loving and kind woman of poise and generosity.
Through this most difficult and tragic time, the immediate family would like to thank the Ochsner Department of Oncology Nursing and Clinical Staff, Dr Patricia Sutker, and all other close friends and family members for their unyielding compassion, guidance and care.
Services will be held August 1st, 2022 at 8:30am to 9:00am for immediate family members,9:00 am to 10:30 am for public visitation and mass at St Joseph Church, 610 Sixth St in Gretna for 10:30 am followed by a burial ceremony at Westlawn Cemeteries.
Mothe Funeral Home is assisting the family during this difficult time. Family and friends are encouraged to share their condolences, stories and memories by visiting: