Loretto Richards O'Reilly
Loretto Richards O'Reilly
  • January 6, 1924 - February 20, 2017
  • Covington, Louisiana

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Loretto Richards O’Reilly, our 93-year-old Mom, died on Monday, February 20, 2017, very peacefully at her home in Covington. She left behind a hell of a lot of stuff to her daughter and three sons who don’t know what to do with it. So, if you're looking for 2 extremely large and heavy TV's from the 90s, a 2007 Infinity with the big engine and speed kit (she was not shy about speeding), with only 38,000 miles and lots of kitchen stuff that we aren't sure what they're used for, just wait the appropriate amount of time and get in touch. Tomorrow would be fine.

She was not a master cook, but loved to have others cooking for her. She believed in eating and drinking but not cooking. When there was no choice, she could make toast and peanut butter or cheese sandwiches with ease. All four of us learned strict etiquette and table manners. We all know which fork and glass goes where and how to use a napkin. When she cooked, we would pretend to cough, spit the food into it and give it to the ever present dogs hanging around under the big table. If anyone would like a copy of her recipes, we would suggest you forget it and use the River Road Cook Book instead.

Despite her culinary misadventures, Mom loved entertaining and shopping. Christmas was her favorite time of year, and she always gave us way too much! She always had a big food spread at our huge dining room table. She liked to dress elegantly and wore three-inch stiletto heels, sometimes even to lunch. Mom greatly enjoyed her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She also loved to impart important life lessons and encouraged us to try everything. It didn’t matter, even if you failed — she would blame the program and make excuses for us and then say things like you’ll be OK! Sometimes you have to fail to learn! When the news covered the Catholic Church’s search for a Pope, she asked if any of us heard from Rome. As we got older, we knew we could do anything. She taught us to be fearless.

When she thought about downsizing, we assumed that meant moving into a smaller house, but no….our mom would not consider anything smaller, ever. She insisted that she buy the entire block or at least the houses on both sides; she needed room and lots of space to keep all her stuff. She also liked four letter words and jokes as much as she loved her family, friends and pets.

Mom was born on January 6, 1924 in New Orleans, Louisiana to Ernest V Richards and Loretto McKenna. She was the seventh of nine children, She had 7 brothers (Ernest, John, James, Horace, Julian, Billy and Bobby and 1 sister that every one called Sis. Throughout her life she maintained a sweet demeanor that won the trust and hearts of many. Her signature gift of joy, shown through her constant smiling, laughter, and joking around, will never be forgotten.

She married our father, John Devereux O’Reilly Jr. on March 31, 1946 and they were married for 39 years until his death in 1985.

Her surviving family members are numerous, but mainly include:

Mother of 4 Children: Dev (Debbie), Patrick, Loretto Jr. and Michael. Grandmother to 8: Jamie (Robert), JD (Tricia), Katie (Doug), SR. Elizabeth Ann, O.P. (Carey), David, Colleen (Joseph), Aragon (Jessica) and Nic. Great grandmother to Jena, Robert, Nicholas, Abagail, Gabrielle, David, JP, Nevaeh, Theresa, Vivian, Daniel, Bernadette, Aiden, Liam and Odin.

Other family members: Unfortunately too many beloved cousins, nieces, nephews, and God-children to list or even count and beloved friends too numerous to mention.

Visitation information for friends and family: There will be visitation at Lakelawn on Ponchatrain Blvd on March 3, 2017 from 11-12a, followed by a service at noon. Internment in the O’Reilly family tomb and a reception following at Lakelawn.