May Navarra Mancuso

January 31, 1918 ~ March 1, 2011

A mass of Christian burial will be held at 10:00 AM on Monday, March 7, 2011 for Mrs. May Navarra Mancuso, 93. Mrs. Mancuso died Tuesday, March 1, 2011, in the comfort of her home.

A lifelong resident of Lake Charles, Mrs. Mancuso was born on January 31, 1918 to the late Thomas Navarra and Mary Terranova Navarra. She was the oldest of four children. She graduated from St. Charles Academy and for many years she worked with her father in his business, Swift Service Auto Supply. May was a gifted pianist, and in 1955 she enrolled in McNeese State University and earned her baccalaureate degree in music in 1962. She taught music in Calcasieu Parish Schools for several years and taught private piano lessons in her home to many students.

She was a member of the Lake Charles Piano Teachers Association, National Music Teachers Association, Mid-City Lioness Club, and participated in the Messiah Chorus for over 30 years. May was an active bridge player and participated in the Book Review Club for many years and enjoyed travelling extensively through Europe, Canada, and North America, especially the beauty of the outdoors of Sam Houston State Park.

She was a member of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and a member of the Court Lady of the Lake #695 Catholic Daughters of the Americas for more than 74 years.

May was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Tinel G. Mancuso; her parents; her sisters, Josie Navarra East and Rose Navarra Wilson; and her brother, Samuel "Sammy" Navarra.

Mrs. Mancuso is survived by three daughters, Margarita Mancuso Falconer of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Donna Mancuso and Tinnelle Mancuso Dingler, both of Lake Charles; six grandchildren, Sara Falconer of Tucson, AZ, Erin Falconer Stritzinger and husband Phil of Sparta, Michigan, Dr. Brock Falconer and wife Sherri of Evansville, Indiana, Cassie Dingler Gage and husband Billy and Dana Dingler Hebert and husband Corey, all of Lake Charles, and Beau Dingler and wife Alice of Baton Rouge; twelve great-grandchildren; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and special friends, Lee Foley and Candace Townsend.

The family would like to thank her special caregivers, Carol Williams, Terronda Gibbs, Chastidy Williams, Odyssey Hospice, and to Dr. Edward Hebert and staff.

Visitation will be Sunday at Johnson Funeral Home from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM with a rosary at 6:30 PM and on Monday from 8:00 AM until 9:30 AM. Her funeral mass will be officiated by Father Keith Pellerin in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

May will be laid to rest next to her husband Tinel, and near her parents, in Orange Grove Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Tinel and May Mancuso Scholarship at the McNeese State University Foundation, Box 91989, Lake Charles, LA 70609.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Dear Tinnelle and family,I am so sorry for your loss. She was a special lady. Our prayers are with you and your family at this very sad time.Much love,Karen and Stanley

  2. I will prayfully remember May along with all the other members of the Class of '35 who celebrated birthdays together as Golden Girls. They were wonderful women of faith…..

  3. I wish to send a message to Mrs. Mancuso's family. I took piano lessons from her for 9 years. Mrs. Mancuso was such an inspiration to my family and me. I am currently a piano teacher and appreciate everything she ever taught me. She was a very special woman who spent her life helping others. She certainly will be missed.

  4. The family of the late, Stanley Olivier, would like to extend our deepest sympathy. May God continue to bless your family as we know May will surely be missed.

  5. The world has indeed lost a jewel in Aunt May. We had a lovely visit with her just after Christmas, when we were passing through Lake Charles. She gave Rosemary a family history lesson that we will always cherish.

  6. Tinelle, I just heard about your Mom from my sister who lives in Lake Charles. Just wanted to express my condolences. My prayers are with you and your family at this time.

  7. We are so sorry of your loss. May was so a special lady. Momma and I are have lots of special memories of your Mom and the class of 1935. I always enjoyed the luncheons that the Golden Girls had at Pat's of Henderson to celebrate their birthday.May will always have a special place in our hearts.

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