Mercedes Lorraine Cambas Reilly Barbay was welcomed into the open arms of our merciful and loving Heavenly Father on Sunday, August 11, 2019 at the age of 98. Mercy was born in New Orleans on January 17, 1921, to the parents she lost as a child, the late Lydia and Charles Cambas. Her late Aunt Laura and Uncle Arthur Guillot became her loving guardians. Mercy was also preceded in death by her first husband, the late A.J. Reilly who was killed in WWII; her second husband, the late Roland E. Barbay; her brother, the late Charles Cambas; and her sister and best friend, the late Althea Roberson.
Mercy was the loving, devoted wife of the late Roland E. Barbay for 40 years, and the "wind beneath the wings" of their children: Roland A. Barbay (Margie), Maureen Reilly-Barbay Moser (the late Bill), Bonnie Barbay Griffin (the late Daryl), Brenda "Bootsy" Barbay Roniger (Johnny), Peggy Barbay Toner (the late Pat), Susan Barbay Bullington (Jim), Patricia "Paddy" Barbay Lee (Steve), Charles "Rusty" A. Barbay (Shawn), and Kenneth "Skip" J. Barbay (Pam). Mamaw was the "apple of their eyes" to her 20 grandchildren: Margie Bowles, Roland Barbay, Mitzi Fernandez, Melissa Gaye, Bobby and Kevin Moser, Craig and Kirk Griffin, Kimmie Griffin Nowak, Dawn Roniger and Aimie Roniger Saucier, Amanda Toner Lindsey and Ryan Toner, James Bullington, Christopher Lee and Brooke Lee Marshall, Derek and Justin Barbay, Lindsay Barbay Meyeux and Hannah Barbay. Mamaw also welcomed 27 great-grandchildren to the Barbay family and eight great-great-grandchildren.
Mercy lived in Arabi until Hurricane Katrina. There she was a devoted Catholic and active parishioner of St. Maurice Church. She served as a Eucharistic Minister visiting local nursing homes and many homebound bringing them the Real Presence of Jesus. The St. Louis Medallion was presented to her for her commitment to church activities. Mercy later attended Sunday Mass at St. Louise in Arabi until Hurricane Katrina ushered her to Baton Rouge and then to Prairieville. She also spent time in Ponchatoula and Picayune.
Mercy defined volunteerism by her involvement in St. Cecilia, St. Maurice, and Holy Angels Parent Clubs, her role as den mother to the scouts, room mother to numerous classes, Night Out Against Crime hostess, and more. WDSU awarded her with the "Making a Difference" plaque for touching the lives of so many. With family and friends, Mercy was a member of the Daughters of Eve and Jubilee carnival clubs, AARP, Singing for Fun, ceramic classes, and line dancing lessons. She was the "hostess with the mostest" to card playing groups, backyard picnics, barbecues, seafood boils, and Girls' Night Out. She was the "life of the party" and created many fond memories especially during family vacations to camps in Little Woods and on numerous cruises she booked. The Saints, her Cubbies, QVC, and the cooks will miss her presence via TV.
Family and friends are invited to attend a visitation to be held at Holy Ghost Catholic Church 600 N Oak St, Hammond, LA 70401, on Saturday, August 17, 2019, from 9:00 am until 12:00 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 12:00 pm at Holy Ghost Catholic Church.
Interment will follow in St. Bernard Memorial Gardens 701 W Virtue St, Chalmette, LA 70043 at 2:30 pm.
Please consider Mass enrollments or a donation to her beloved Marianites of Holy Cross 21388 Smith Rd. Covington, LA 70435.
To view and sign the family guestbook, please visit www.harrymckneely.com.