Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Phyllis Joan Mayhall Barraco, 71, gently passed on April 21, 2011, after a brief and courageous battle with cancer. Her final days were spent peacefully, surrounded by her family.

A pillar of strength, she loved life and especially enjoyed being with her children and grandchildren. She was a treasure hunter, and some of her favorite pastimes were garage sales and encouraging the tiniest of seedlings and flora to thrive with her notorious green thumb and nurturing spirit. Abundantly creative, she was a multi-talented artist and served as illustrator for the book “Past Masters,” a story of Destrehan Plantation, where she was manager of the gift shop for many years. She loved to sing and dance and belonged to the Oldies But Goodies Dance Club.

A native of Good Hope and long time resident of Destrehan, she was the second born of four children and preceded in death by her parents Carney Allen “C.A.” Mayhall Jr. and Mamie A. Louviere Mayhall, her brother Robert A. Mayhall and niece Armande E. Richoux.

She was the beloved wife of 53 years of Peter R. Barraco Sr. and devoted mother of one daughter and son-in-law, Patricia J. and Barry Bourgeois and five sons and two daughters-in-law, Peter R. Jr., Phillip M. and Dawn Rulapaugh, Preston M. and Paul C. and Patrick and Allison Hebert. She was the adored grandmother of seven grandchildren and their spouses: Phillip M. “Mikie” Jr. and Jennifer Mire, Courtney Bourgeois and husband Chris Plauché, Amber L. Bourgeois and Gabrielle C., Grayson P., Gabe M. and Gianna R. Barraco, and one great grandchild, Dane M. Barraco. She is also survived by two sisters and brothers-in-law, Marilyn and Ralph Richoux and Elizabeth and Ferol Simoneaux, best friend Shirley Dupépé Durabb, two very special uncles, Lynn “Tony” Louviere Sr. and Col. Van R. Mayhall Sr., and a host of loving cousins and friends.

The family would like to express their gratitude to her gentle caregivers from Odyssey Hospice, Father Harry Bugler, Dr. Sujata Chava and H.C. Alexander Funeral Home and for the many prayers offered in her name. Relatives and friends may attend a memorial Mass at 11 a.m on Friday, May 13, 2011, at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Destrehan. Visitation will be from 10 to 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society. Condolences may be offered online at