Peter Anthony Ferrara, Sr., 91, a resident of Baton Rouge, LA, for over 65 years passed away peacefully on March 31, 2020. Born April 17, 1928, in Hammond, LA, the first of three children to Tony and Mary P. Ferrara, Peter graduated from Hammond High School in 1946. Peter joined the US Navy in 1948 and was assigned to the USS Valley Forge (CV-45) for four years earning the rank of Radioman 1st Class along with seeing active engagement in combat operations during the Korean War. After Naval service, Peter would return to Hammond and marry former high school classmate Vera Pizzolato in 1953. Moving to Baton Rouge in 1954, first child Julianne was born followed by siblings Susan, Peter Jr. and Ricky. Peter became a sales leader for Metropolitan and State Farm insurance companies and later moved into sales/management roles within the transportation sector. His part-time TV repair business, Pete's TV Service, would become his full-time occupation while caring for wife of 24 years, Vera, until her untimely passing at age 49 in 1978. Thereafter, Peter would meet and marry Marilyn "Sue" Frank Knight in 1981, a schoolteacher at Lanier Elementary. During their over 39 years together, Peter would retire at age 59 in 1987 and would begin his RV travels while reconnecting with his younger brother Vic "Butsie" Ferrara and wife Ida, as well as several Navy buddies and local friends. They would make months-long excursions to the Florida Keys, East Coast, Canada, the Midwest, West Coast, Alaska, and nearly annual attendance at Veteran's Day week celebrations in Branson, MO. Peter and Sue became fond of cats and carried their feline pets with them on their RV travels. Peter loved his weekly buffets at the Casino, fishing, camping, and the outdoors but a simple park bench on his front porch became all that was needed in his final years. Peter was extremely proud of his LSU Tigers but held the Midshipmen of NAVY as a close second. He loved his Navy shipmates Spike Dammer, Sam Werner, and Fred Eargle, and many others that served but had gone before them. He especially loved his family, wives Vera and Sue respectively, his children, stepchildren, and spouses, his grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and close friends. Peter was a member of St. Thomas More Catholic Church, Veterans of Foreign Wars and past member of Parents without Partners, Single Adults of Baton Rouge, The Grand Squares, Cruising Cajuns, Good Sam, and Coast to Coast. Peter is survived by wife, Marilyn "Sue" Frank Ferrara; daughter, Julianne F. Mautner and husband Thomas; daughter, Susan F. Reed and husband Brent; son, Peter A. Ferrara, Jr. and wife Cindy; son, Ricky J. Ferrara and wife Karen; step-daughter, Shari K. Ferrara and companion Phillip Moore; step-daughter Kara K. Barger and husband Barry; step-son Charles "Chuck" Knight and wife Stacey; 13 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law Ida Monistere Ferrara; numerous Nieces and Nephews; long-time neighbor Cherry McCullough, dear friends Bill and Bernie Mills and Mary Anne Conley. Peter was preceded in death by parents Anthony "Tony" Ferrara and Mary Ann Pecoraro Ferrara, first wife Vera Pizzolato Ferrara, brother Victor "Butsie" J. Ferrara, sister Marie Antionette Ferrara Peco, brother-in-law Salvador Peco, and great-niece Madison Peco. Our family has lost our Patriarch and Hero, a kind, gentle and loving soul who never put himself first even in his final hours. We will forever miss our Husband, Father, Stepfather, Grandfather, Great-Grandfather, Brother-in-Law, Uncle, Cousin, Neighbor, Shipmate, and Friend but all look forward to being with him and our Heavenly family in another life. May brisk winds fill your sails forever - Anchors away Dad! Special thanks to Dr. Gerald Barber, Dr. Harold Helmke; @OLOL: Dr. Brian Gouri, Dr. Ziv Zukier; @OJCCC: Dr. Elizabeth Curtis, Howard Sadler III; @Promise Hospital: Dr. Karthik Reddy, Dr. Vasudev Tati; Father Michael Alello, and private CNA caregivers Katina Johnson and Latrice Young. A private graveside ceremony will be held for immediate family members only. Future plans for a Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made in his name to the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Association, or Cat Haven in BR. Please visit www.greenoaksfuneralhome.com or www.dignitymemorial.com to leave a memory, tell a favorite story, or to view his abbreviated Life Story.
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Published in The Advocate from Apr. 5 to Apr. 6, 2020.