Josephine Barras was born in Orange on March 23, 1913 to Joe and Frances LaRussia. Her parents immigrated to the US around the year 1900 from Sicily Italy. Poppa Joe came to the U.S. first and landed in New York and made his way to Orange. Once settled, he sent for his family, and they entered the U.S. through New Orleans.
The couple had five children that passed as infants in Sicily and one passed on the voyage over. The surviving three traveled with their mother to Texas, and the couple went on to have four more children in America. Josephine was the 12th child of the 13 children, and the last of her siblings to be reunited in Heaven. Her father earned his living by running The All Night Cafe near the Navy Base, and eventually started selling hot tamales. He taught the trade of making hot tamales to his children, and Josephine and her sister Lena Ragusa continued this tradition for many years out of Ragusa’s “Little Green Store” that was located near Roselawn. The sisters spent hours visiting with their customers every week.
Josephine married Perry Barras early in life, and the two were married for over fifty years. She stayed devoted to him until he went home in 1993. Perry and Josephine had one son, Joseph. Joseph was the missing link that completed their family, and she dedicated her life to him. Mrs. Barras was a lifelong member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, and she was devoted to our Heavenly Father. She spent many years cooking her famous Italian lunch every Sunday that many have shared. She always tried to feed visitors one of her famous meatballs, and everyone was welcomed in her home.
Josephine is survived by her son Joseph Barras and wife Lin Barras of Orange; grandchildren, Jason Barras of Orange, and Kim Barras Rutledge and husband Oliver Rutledge of Orange; great grandchildren, Joshua Whipkey, Austin Rutledge and Chase Rutledge of Orange, and many nieces and nephews.
Josephine left this world as she lived for 100 years….peacefully. She will be missed by many.
Friends are invited to join the family for a funeral mass to be held at 10:00 Wednesday, Jan. 29, at St. Mary Catholic Church in Orange with the Rev. Joseph P. Daleo officiating. Burial will follow at St. Mary Cemetery in Orange. Serving as Pallbearers will be Joshua Whipkey, Chase Rutledge, Austin Rutledge, Michael Ragusa, Charlie Ragusa and Van Choate.
There will be no visitation. Arrangements are under the direction of Claybar Funeral Home in Orange.