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We are sad to announce the passing of Mary Jane LaRussa of Houma, Louisiana on Thursday March 23, 2023. Mary Jane passed away surrounded by her loved ones after her challenges with pulmonary fibrosis. She was 76 years old.
Mary Jane graduated from St. Francis de Sales Catholic High School in 1964 and received her Bachelor of Arts in Education from Nicholls State University. After graduation, she taught first grade for over 25 years with the Terrebonne Parish School District. She did her student teaching at Elysian Fields Elementary School, and afterwards taught at East Houma Elementary School and Acadian Elementary School. She loved caring for and teaching children and would spend her summers making costumes and gifts for her future students to make their holidays special. In year 2000, Mary Jane was a recipient of Teacher of the Year award by the Terrebonne Parish School District. Teaching, as well as mentoring, was her passion.
In addition to teaching, Mary Jane was also talented in retail sales. She owned and operated The Classy Coop Gift Shop, was the retail manager for Mignon Faget in New Orleans, and later had a boutique kiosk for Mignon Faget at Earl Williams Clothing Store.
Mary Jane was a member of the Krewe of Hyacinthians and was Queen Hyacinthian XXVII in 1978. She was a Maid in the Krewe of Houmas in 1965. She was a founding member of the Krewes of Aphrodite and Cleopatra, where she also served as first Krewe Captain.
Mary Jane’s life revolved around her son Michael and her grandchildren, Olivia and Joseph. Her family meant everything to her, she supported and attended as many events as she could for them. She was known for her wonderful cooking skills, and she treasured holidays. A holiday at her home was always filled with delicious food, friends, and laughter. Whether it was a Thanksgiving or Christmas gathering or a Good Friday crawfish boil, she enjoyed creating happy memories for all. Friends and family also enjoyed her hospitality while spending time in Grand Isle during spring breaks and summers.
She is survived by her husband of 53 years, S.P. LaRussa and her son Michael Paul LaRussa, and two grandchildren Olivia Claire and Joseph Paul, her brothers, Daniel J. Rome Jr. (Ginny), Steven H. Rome (Cindy), nephews, Jacob Rome and Matthew Rome, grand-nephew Skyler Rome, Godchildren Anne Detiveaux Matis and Matthew Detiveaux. She was preceded in death by her parents Daniel Joseph Rome, Sr. and Jane Lee Hannah Rome.
Relatives and friends of the family are invited to attend the memorial Wednesday, April 5, 2023 at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral from 8:00 AM until service time at 10:30 AM. Burial will follow at St. Francis Cemetery #1 directly behind the church.
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