Josephine “Josie” (Raffa) Allen, 79, of Newport, RI, passed away peacefully at the home of her mother Lillian on Friday, May 21, 2021, with her family by her side.
Born in Tripoli, Libya during WWII. Josephine was raised by her grandmother in the town of Buscemi on the island of Sicily. She was the daughter of Lillian (Maggio) Raffa of Newport and the late Sebastian Raffa. As the war intensified, Sebastian moved his family back to Siracusa on the island of Sicily.
In 1952 they immigrated to America settling in Newport, Rhode Island. Josie along with her brother Tony entered the public school system, graduating from Rogers in 1960. Josie always credited the Newport public school teachers as having the patience to teach her fluent English.
In 1970 she became a server at Salas’ Family Restaurant. Josie became a close friend of Maria and Francisco Salas and their extended family She leaves behind her closest friends Dolores Cleary and Julia Mahoney. Josie loved having dinner parties and cookouts at her home for family and friends.
After retiring from Salas’ Josie opened a small Bed & Breakfast in her home. She was known for her sumptuous breakfasts and had guests return year after year.
In her in spare time, she loved taking care of her grandchildren. Her greatest pastime was her weekly of poker and pitch with her friends.
Josie is pre-deceased by her father Sebastian, her brother Anthony and her Godson Michael F. Cleary. In addition to her mother Lillian Cammarata, she leaves her sister Marcella Young, and nephew Graham Young of Santa Barbara, California.
Josie leaves behind her beloved daughter, Melissa Simmons and her fiancée Theodore Croy of Newport, her beloved grandchildren Michael George Simmons of Portsmouth, RI and Gabrielle Lilliana Simmons of St. Augustine, Florida.
Josie also leaves behind her beloved son, Scott Lorn Allen, his fiancée Ashley Barham and her beloved grandsons, Easton, Brayden and Landen of Cleveland, Tennessee.
She survived by her sister – in- law Maria Raffa, and her nephew Robert, (Zoe Michael) Christina Elshant (Gregory) and their children, Carmen and Sebastian Elshant. She also leaves behind Ricky Raffa and his fiancée Laurie Warner.
Calling hours will be held, Thursday, May 27,2021 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm in the Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway, Newport. Her prayer service will follow at 6:00 pm in the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers donations to St Jude Children’s Hospital www.stjude.org/donate 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105