Bridgett Beatrice (Bea) DiGiglia Fertitta, 96, of Lake Charles, LA passed away at 11:47 a.m. Tuesday, June 20, 2023. Bridgett was born April 1, 1927, in Lake Charles to Sam and Mary Timpa DiGiglia. She attended Lake Charles High School and graduated from St. Charles Academy. Other than spending her first year of marriage in Beaumont, TX, she was a life-long resident of Lake Charles.
Bridgett was a devout Roman Catholic. She was a St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church parishioner since 2003 and, prior to that, was a parishioner of St. Margaret Catholic Church for 40 years where she served as Eucharistic minister.
Bridgett was a woman of faith and family, modeling her own family around her devotion to the Holy Family. In fact, Bridgett met her soul mate, Anthony Donald Fertitta, Sr., through family connections. One November weekend in 1945, Anthony stopped in Lake Charles on his way from Beaumont to an LSU vs. Notre Dame football game to meet Bridgett where she worked as administrative assistant for her cousin Dr. Luke DiGiglia’s medical practice. Bridgett’s parents invited Anthony to dinner, and he never made it to the game. Six months later, in May 1946, they married after a whirlwind courtship of weekly visits. They were married for 65 years until Anthony’s passing in July 2011.
Bridgett loved to entertain, laugh, and have fun. She and Anthony loved to dance and were members of the Merry Mates and Le Bon Temps Dance Clubs. They loved to play bridge and spent many Friday nights hosting bridge parties for their friends. Christmas Eve was a favorite celebration for Bridgett when she prepared Italian sausage for family and friends before attending Midnight Mass. She delighted in staying up until the wee hours of the morning stuffing stockings. This tradition continued with her sister, Josie, well into her children’s adult lives.
Bridgett thrived as a full-time mother and home maker and was an excellent cook. She took great pride in her work. She was active in her husband’s and children’s lives outside the home as well. She was always volunteering as room mother, making home-made treats for birthdays and school events. She sewed costumes and participated in set design and creation for school plays. She enjoyed volunteering with the YMBC Ladies’ Auxiliary and at the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Center. Bridgett enjoyed spending lots of time with her grandsons and great grandchildren and was a surrogate mother to several family members and family friends who had lost their own mothers.
Bridgett was an artist and enjoyed painting in oils. She exhibited and sold her art locally. Many of her works are in the homes of family and friends.
Those left to cherish her memory are her children, Barbara Ann Fertitta Diamond (Pat), Donna Marie Fertitta, Anthony Donald Fertitta, Jr. (Sandra), all of Lake Charles, and Michael Jude Fertitta of Houston, TX; grandsons, Patrick Diamond of Kingwood, TX, and Sean Diamond (Jodi) of Porter, TX; great grandchildren, Libby, Hayden, and Joseph Diamond; and many nieces and nephews. Bridgett was preceded in death by husband, Anthony Donald Fertitta, Sr.; parents, Sam and Mary DiGiglia; sisters, Mrs. Luke Marcello and Josie DiGiglia; and nephews, Dr. Leo Luke Marcello and Sam Marcello. Pallbearers are Patrick, Sean, Hayden, and Joseph Diamond, Chris Marcello, and David Nixon.
Visitation for Bea will be Tuesday, June 27, 2023, from 4:00PM until 8:00PM, with a Rosary to be recited at 6:00PM at Johnson Funeral Home, 4321 Lake St., Lake Charles, LA. 70605. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30AM, Wednesday, June 28, 2023, at St. Martin De Porres Catholic Church, 5495 Elliott Rd, Lake Charles, LA 70605. Burial will follow the Mass at Prien Memorial Park Cemetery.
The family wishes to thank the angels who helped care for “Ms. Bea”: longtime family friend Gustavia Lavergne; devoted sitters Leigh Ann Thibodeaux, Pat Guillory, Josephine Celestine, and Bernadette Billings; and Amedisys Hospice nurse Katherine DeVillier and aides Kay and Chelsea.
Anyone wishing to make a memorial contribution may donate to St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church Capital Building Fund