September 17, 1940- November 3, 2022
Our beautiful mother, Denise Parra Bostic, passed away peacefully on November 3, 2022 at the age of 82 after a heroic, two-year battle with colon cancer.
Denise was born to the late Milton and Catherine “Kitty” Parra on September 17, 1940 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She attended St. Raphael Grammar School and graduated from St. Mary’s Dominican High School in 1958, where she was affectionately known to everyone as “Denny.” Denise loved New Orleans, and in particular, St. Mary’s Dominican High School. She always spoke fondly of her childhood days growing up on Baccich Street in Gentilly and spending the summers at her grandmother’s sugarcane farm in Franklin. After high school, Denise briefly attended LSUNO, then left to teach a class of 62 first graders at St. Raphael’s. After a yearlong stint, Denise left her teaching job and started working for Gulf Oil Company where she met her husband of 60 years, Jerry Bostic. At the age of 21, Denise married Jerry and the couple lived in Houston, TX and Alexandria, LA before making their home in Morgan City where they had six children.
For many years, Denise dedicated her life to her family as a stay-at-home mother and was actively involved in all six of her children’s extracurricular activities. She spent countless hours volunteering at school functions at Holy Cross Elementary and Central Catholic High School. She would often retell the story of Saturdays and how she’d spend her entire day in the car, from sunrise to sunset, transporting numerous kids from one activity to the next. In 1980, with all six of her children still under one roof, Denise made the decision to go back to college. She did not want to be the only one in her family without a college degree. While parenting full time, Denise attended Nicholls State University as a part time student and graduated Magna Cum Laude five years later in 1985. After graduation, Denise began her teaching career at Nicholls State University and later at Fletcher Community College where she taught developmental English for 30 years and retired in 2015. Denise thoroughly enjoyed her days in Thibodaux with her many friends and colleagues at NSU.
Denise was a devout Catholic and a member of Holy Cross Catholic Church where she attended Mass every Sunday. Even when traveling, she would find the nearest Catholic church and attend Mass. She was extremely proud of her Catholic faith and was a strong believer in the power of prayer. In the early 1990’s, Denise started a Tuesday night Rosary group hosting friends weekly at her kitchen table. Her group would take prayer requests and pray for those in need and were praised in several incidents for prayers being answered.
For fifty years, she was a member of the Board of Directors for the Krewe of Hephaestus and for 30 of those years, Denise served as Chairman of the Board and was the Queen of Mardi Gras secrets- nothing was getting out of the vault. By leading a group to sponsor a parade and ball for the community, she made an invaluable contribution to the local spirit.
Denise was an avid reader and devoured books of all types. She belonged to an East St. Mary Book Club which met monthly to discuss a book selected by a member. Denise felt that reading and discussing themes and characters added an enriching dimension; her book club members became dear friends. In addition to book club, Denise enjoyed monthly gatherings with her beloved Dominican High School classmates. During her illness, she made those gatherings a priority in her life.
Denise loved politics and loved traveling to Washington, DC. She valued patriotism and service to her country and spoke clearly of that fact. She followed national and local races with an intense interest.
Denise had an outgoing personality and enjoyed striking up conversations with others, always trying to connect the dots. She loved a good small world story and if she talked to someone long enough, nine out of ten times would make a connection. She was a woman always on the go and never turned down an invitation to any event.
She loved traditions and spending time with her family and close friends. Gatherings when all her children and grandchildren were together were her favorite and most memorable of all. Denise viewed her family as her greatest achievement and was proud of each and every one of her children and grandchildren. She was a strong, remarkably brave woman and truly one of a kind, a beautiful person inside and out, and an inspiration to all those who knew her.
Denise was preceded in death by her parents, Milton and Catherine Parra; her mother and father-in-law, Crawford and Rose Bostic; and granddaughter, Grace Marie Wilson. She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Jerry Bostic and their six children, William “Billy” (Sharion) Bostic of Fort Worth, Texas; Donna (Jeff) Wilson of Atlanta, Georgia; Robert “Bobby” (Natalie) Bostic of New Orleans; Dana (Walt) Lukken of Washington, D.C.; Diana (Michael) Vining of Houston, Texas; Brian (Julie) Bostic of Charlotte, North Carolina, her grandchildren, Lainey Bostic Economides (Costa), Katie and Grace Bostic, Savannah, Kyle, and Cydney Wilson, Brett and Belle Bostic, Will, Genevieve and Crawford Lukken, Vivienne and Oliver Vining, and Ruby and Charles Bostic; one brother Milton (Diane) Parra of Charlotte, North Carolina, sister in law, Betty Bostic Cook of Rosebud, Texas and many nieces and nephews. She leaves behind many dear friends and her “magical and magnificent” cat, Baby.
The family would like to extend their sincere gratitude and appreciation for all the love and care that they received from so many through meals, phone calls, texts and visits. We are grateful to all the close friends who were like family to Denise over the years, those near and far, whose support she cherished.
Visitation will be held at Holy Cross Catholic Church on Wednesday, November 9 from 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Mass at 12:00 p.m. and burial in Morgan City Cemetery following services.
Personal condolences can be left for the family at www.hargravefuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Denise’s name to Holy Cross Catholic Church.