Philomena (Pat) Mary Barber Boulette died February 4 in the company of beloved family with a heart open to the coming embrace of the Risen Lord Jesus.Philomena was born on January 22, 1921, at home in Whitehall, New York, on 46 Queen Street, where everyone on the both sides of the neighborhood were immigrants from Southern Italy and Sicily. Her parents were the late Carmelo (Charles) and Janet (Chieffo) Barbitta. When Carmelo was naturalized as a citizen, the judge unilaterally changed the family name to Barber.Our Lady of the Angles Roman Catholic Church was down the hill at the end of the block, and it was there she was baptized into the Body of Christ seven days after her birth. The family worshiped in this parish with faith and constancy for decades. The priests and people of this ethnic Italian Catholic parish guided and strengthened her in good and difficult times, reflecting the Gospel service Pat lived throughout her life.Pat was sister to four older siblings and four younger ones, being the middle of nine children: Mary, Joseph, Dominic, Concetta, Rita, Charles, Frank and Anthony, all who, except Tony, have preceded her in death. She was proud of their military service to this country, and often told stories of their childhood adventures in the Adirondack region of New York.
She is survived by her brother Anthony Barber and his wife Jean. She delighted in the families of her siblings as they developed and the nieces and nephews they provided.Pat attended Whitehall High School but left early on to work and assist the large family. At one of those jobs she met her husband-to-be, Ernest J. Boulette, Jr. Typical of the times, she waited faithfully for five years for him to return home from World War II. They were married on April 20, 1947, at Our Lady of the Angels Church by Father McBride. They established a home in Hudson Falls, New York. There were two children born to them: Ernest Peter III and Michael. In August 1959, Pat followed her husband to Fredericksburg, Texas, where he had taken employment.
Pat took owner-management of a Texas ice house – South Heights Service Station – and after separation from her husband, she built a community of friends at the station and raised her children in faith and service, worshiping at St. Mary Catholic Church and sending them to St. Mary Catholic School. She never drove a car, but she was never late for work or for Mass, making sure that her boys were never late for Mass or missed an assignment at school.
Pat is remembered as a warm and loving Mother and friend, always willing to assist anyone who needed a meal or a listening ear. She saw her boys become established in their vocations, taking great pride in their work and progress. She loved the grandchildren and great-grandchildren that were given to her son, Ernest Peter. She was joyful at the ordinations of Michael as priest and bishop. Because of those rites she became the “mother” of all of the other priests and bishops of the Archdiocese of San Antonio and a few beyond.Pat retired in 1993. Immediately, however, she was welcomed to the “Monday group” serving the poor through the St. Vincent de Paul Society. There are so many good friends at the Center who laughed and served together. The family offers great love and thanks to John and Gladys Edwards for the countless hours they spent with Mom after work, at Mass, enjoying meals, and in conversation.
In 2017, Pat moved from Fredericksburg to Temple, Texas, to the home of Ernest Peter and his wife Linda, where she was loved, protected, cared for and shared with until her death.Pat is survived by her son, Ernest Peter, III, and his wife, Linda, of Temple and their children Stephanie Boulette and friend Leroy Flores; Clinton Boulette, and his children Brittany Boulette and her daughter, Hailey Boulette, and Christopher Boulette; Robert Boulette; and Robin and her husband Jeff Barron and children, Layne Wiedl, Kohl Wiedl, and Lawson Barron; and numerous nephews and nieces in upstate New York.
Pat is also survived by her son, the Most Reverend Michael Boulette, D. Min., Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of San Antonio, and all of the priests who have entered her life of grace.
Funeral Mass will be held at Notre Dame Catholic Church in Kerrville on Friday, February 12, at 10 a.m., with Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, MSpS, as the presider and Bishop Boulette will be the homilist. The parish is located at 909 Main Street. Due to COVID-19 safety and social distancing protocols, reservations to the liturgy will need to be made with the church either by phone at (830) 257-5961 or by a reservation page on the website of the parish at www.notredamechurch.cc. Internment will be held at Holy Cross Cemetery in San Antonio that afternoon in a private ceremony. Pallbearers will be Father Scott Janysek, Father Brian Garcia, Father John Nolan, Father Victor Valdez, Father Juan Carlos Tejada, Father Ricardo Ramirez, and priests of the Archdiocese of San Antonio.A vigil service and rosary will not be held prior to the funeral, but Bishop Boulette requests that the faithful pray a rosary sometime during the week in his mother’s memory.Memorial contributions in memory of Pat Boulette can be made to St. Peter Upon the Water: A Center for Spiritual Direction and Formation, P.O. Box 509, Ingram, Texas 78025; Notre Dame Catholic School, 907 Main Street, Kerrville, Texas 78028; or to St. Mary’s Catholic School, 202 S. Orange, Fredericksburg, Texas 78624.