Cover photo for Catherine Ferrara DeStefano's Obituary
Catherine Ferrara DeStefano Profile Photo

Catherine Ferrara DeStefano

November 27, 1920 — May 4, 2024

Catherine Ferrara DeStefano

The life Catherine Destefano lived was as rich and admirable as it was long.  

Born to Rose and Russell Ferrara in Tickfaw, Louisiana, in 1920, she grew up on the family’s strawberry farm.  That family was part of a proud community of Sicilian immigrants, of which her father was one of the first generation.  Catherine and her five siblings were involved in the production, packing, and shipping of the family’s highly prized and delicate Louisiana Klondyke berries. Her skill and meticulous care in everything she created for the rest of her life found its origin there.

Catherine accomplished some things we would consider today to be extraordinary.  

She was happily married to the same man for fifty years.  Sam DeStefano, another second-generation Sicilian, brought her home to his cotton farm in Hearne, Texas, right after their marriage in 1940, and there they stayed.  They reared their two daughters there and Catherine maintained a close and loving relationship with Andrea and Deborah throughout their lives.  She lived in Hearne until it became necessary to move in with Deborah in Austin.   

Catherine was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, a daily worshiper at mass, and a member of the Altar Society from the time she arrived.  She regularly contributed to the fall church festivals, St. Joseph’s Altars, and family Christmas celebrations, where she was renowned for her traditional cookies and pastries.  Sam and Catherine had lost a baby boy, Charles Ray, one day old, before Andrea was born.  For years thereafter, Catherine crocheted hundreds of tiny pastel infant caps that she carefully wrapped in deep, tissue-filled boxes and donated to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bryan as gifts to comfort the newborns.

Along the way, Catherine helped to rear her two granddaughters, Stefani and Dina, and great grandchildren Lily, Jackson, and Hudson and took pride in her son-in-law Pete and grandson-in-law Warren. In the 1980’s the whole family traveled to Sicily to visit their homeland while Sam stayed home.  The warmth of that homecoming stayed with them for years.

Catherine made lifelong friends in Hearne and colonized countless other enclaves of devoted family and friends in Louisiana, Virginia, Austin, and wherever she visited. She was gentle, beautiful, and game for just about anything. Her caregivers over these last years adored her and the rest of us would follow her trail of cookie crumbs wherever it led.

She was often heard to say, “I’ve had a beautiful life.  I loved everyone.”

Deborah Destefano and Andrea Scamardo appreciate your presence and your esteem for Catherine.

Survived by daughters Andrea Scamardo of Virginia and Deborah DeStefano of Austin, granddaughters Stefani Haynes (Warren) of New York and Dina Mackney of Virginia, and great grandchildren Lily Mackney, Jackson Mackney, and Hudson Haynes.


Please make donations to "Hospice Austin" 4107 Spicewood Springs Rd. Austin, TX 78759
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Catherine Ferrara DeStefano, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Mass

Saturday, May 11, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

St Mary's Catholic Church

402 W 1st St, Hearne, TX 77859

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Lunch Gathering After The Mass

Saturday, May 11, 2024

12:15 - 1:15 pm (Central time)

St Mary's Catholic Church

402 W 1st St, Hearne, TX 77859

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Interment

Saturday, May 11, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

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