Monetta Coccaro Clark passed away peacefully on July 10, 2022, surrounded by her family at the age of 82. Daughter of the late Raymond Barton Coccaro and Rita Salles Coccaro, she was predeceased by her husband, Philip Sack Clark, Jr. Together they had a large close-knit family comprised of 5 children, Catherine McMullen (Joel), Susan Veters (Patrick), Philip S. Clark III (Janie), Nancy Mangold (Mike), and Gary Clark (Leslie). She is survived by her 17 grandchildren, Kyle (Elise) and Sean (Savanna) McMullen, Caitlyn (Patrick) Arkwright, Christopher (Kristina), Ryan (Michelle) and Michael Veters, Madeline, Philip, Tanner and Bennett Clark, Jenna, Joshua and Joseph Mangold, and James, Caroline, Rachel and Adam Clark as well as 7 great grandchildren, Audrey, Clark, Lillian, and Juliette McMullen, Cole and Callie Arkwright, and Collins McMullen. Monetta was the sister of Barton (Cecile – dec.) Coccaro, Marsha (Tommy - dec.) Buell and Joe (Janice) Coccaro.
Monetta was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and was a graduate of Saint Francis Xavier Academy. She moved to New Orleans in 1958 to attend nursing school. It was in New Orleans where she met her husband of almost 59 years. She graduated from Mercy Hospital School of Nursing, married, raised her family, and later returned to her nursing career. Her entire life was a testament to her deep faith. She was a life-long Catholic and a member of Resurrection of Our Lord Church and, later, St. Angela Merici Church.
Nothing mattered more to Monetta than her family and friends. She cherished her role as the matriarch of a large family. Being a devoted and loving wife, mother, mother-in-law and grandmother (NeeNee) were her greatest achievements. She was also devoted to her big Italian family in Vicksburg. She never lost touch with them even though her adult years were spent in New Orleans. Monetta also cherished her friendships, particularly those from nursing school, Resurrection and work.
The other great joy of her life was her work with Catholic Charities’ Ciara House. For over 30 years, Monetta was the executive director of Ciara House which provided housing and other services to the chronically mentally ill. Thousands of residents were served during Monetta’s tenure. Ciara House was successful and unique because Monetta and her colleagues created a compassionate model of care for those suffering with mental illness, and often homelessness, where people were treated with love and dignity, and afforded the opportunity to participate in their own care so they could regain their independence and self-respect. Residents were supported and taught to live with and manage their own illness and to care for themselves. She approached her job with the same compassion and love as she did her own family. She taught residents the importance of being a contributing part of the community and encouraged them to help each other in moments of crisis. Even though it was not required by her job description, Monetta considered herself on-call 24/7. She supported and counseled her colleagues, Ciara House residents, former residents and residents’ family members whenever they needed her. Even years after residents left the program, they, or their family members would often call her when they needed a “pep talk.” Monetta was the utmost example of selfless service and loving devotion in all aspects of her life.
Family and friends are invited to the funeral services on Saturday, July 16, 2022, at Saint Angela Merici Catholic Church in Metairie, Louisiana. Visitation will be held from 11:00 am to 1:30 pm with Mass to follow at 1:30 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Saint Angela Merici Catholic Church, 901 Beverly Garden Dr, Metairie, LA 70002.