Mary Desiree “Des” Williamson Raffo

Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 16, 2020

May 8, 2020

Mary Desiree “Des” Williamson Raffo, age 83, passed away peacefully on Friday, May 8, 2020, at St. Tammany Parish Hospital. She was born on April 5, 1937 in New Orleans, LA, to the late William and Lucille (Decuir) Williamson of New Iberia, Louisiana. She was an only child, yet had two cousins, Ernest and the late Max Gibbs, whom she loved as brothers.
She enrolled in Hotel Dieu’s School of Nursing and graduated in 1957 as a registered nurse.

It was while in school that she met the love of her life, Edmond J. Raffo, Jr. They were married for 53 years, until his passing in December of 2010. Together they had four children, Susan Villarrubia (Don), Jennie Voivedich (Richard), Kelly Bouche’ (Mike) and Chris Raffo (Nancy). She was so proud of her nine grandchildren, Christopher Raffo, Jr., Chad Raffo, Brittany Hesch, Michael Bouche’, Lindsey Bonura, Noel Warren, Paige Voivedich, Amanda Sciortino and Abby Schaefer. She had twelve great-grandchildren, one on the way and one angel in heaven.

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Besides her love for her patients as a nurse and raising her family, she made time to participate in many clubs and organizations. She was a Girl Scout leader for many years and held the office as President of the St. Bernard Homemaker’s Society. Anyone who knew Des, knew she had a way with words, whether in written format or through the gift of gab. She could tell a story like no other. She loved to cook and was a great one. She read a cookbook as though it were a novel. She was known for many recipes, but many knew her best for her finger-lickin’ peanut butter fudge. She loved to share her homemade dishes with those she loved. Lately, she relished her novels, but has always been an avid reader. She loved playing games and truly enjoyed the Pokeno and Bunko gatherings.

She loved meeting new people…she never met a stranger. She had many other loves such as her African violets, lately her orchids, crocheting, using her iPad to stay connected with close friends and family on Facebook and the many games she loved to play. Her love for her family was always at the top of her list. She was so proud of her legacy by having eight nurses in her family. She had a strong catholic faith and a strong devotion to the Blessed Mother. She was dedicated to praying the Holy Rosary.

The family would like to thank the staff at Forest Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, as well as St. Tammany Parish Hospital’s ICU staff and Dr. David Cressy for their care, love and support. In lieu of flowers, the family ask that donations be made in memory of Mary Desiree Raffo to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

The phone number for donations is 1-800-822-6344 and the link:
She has greatly missed her husband for nearly ten years, but her grandson, Christopher said it best, “Maw Maw may you fly high on the wings of a cardinal.”

A Celebration of Life will be held at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church and Interment at Memorial Gardens Cemetery following a later date due to the current COVID-19 conditions.
Arrangements are under the direction of Picayune Funeral Home. Please visit our website, for the obituary where you may leave an online condolence or share photos and memories.