Lorraine lost her 30 year battle with a disease/illness noone understood. She was predeceased by her father, Jenro. He once remarked to her future husband, “ Don’t let her think too much.” She is survived by her mother, Evelyn; brothers, Jenro Jr. of Florida, and Michael of Virginia Beach, her husband Frank Heath, and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Lorraine was a self-titled Cradle Catholic. She grew up in Virginia Beach, attending Christ the King Elementary School and later Norfolk Catholic. She liked her teachers, but she recalled their strictness with less fond memories.
Her parents owned a bar, The Village Inn, and Jenro’s Coffee Shop. Lorraine remembered well folding pizza boxes with brother Jenro, talking to mostly Navy retirees, and waiting tables. She enjoyed, for the most part, sailing with her father and brothers on the Chesapeake Bay. She taught Frank the meaning of squall. Jenro Jr. taught her to drive a stick shift in his Triumph. She babysat Michael after school. Lorraine’s father offered to buy her into a bar or restaurant business, but she kindly declined. Her time with her parents and brothers taught her many things, but she wanted more. Her sharp mind needed it.
Lorraine graduated from Old Dominion University, with a BA in English and Journalism. She could answer any Shakespeare question her husband tossed at her from his crossword puzzles. She taught school in Surry Co., on Navy ships, Lake Taylor High, and Campostella Middle Schools. Her student newspapers won awards. Lorraine met Frank on a blind date arranged by her college roommate, Kathleen, the wife of his cousin, Jimmy Heath. While dating, a student told Frankthat Miss BayBay actually tried to teach him something.
Six months later, after attending pre-Cana classes, Lorraine and Frank were married July 18, 1983. She had the inside of his ring engraved, “God, Frank, Lorraine.” When mama Evelyn saw it, she said, “G-O-D; who’s that?” Not having children of their own, they took care of and nurtured the daughter of an ODU professor, Dr. Johnson, Jenro Jr’s sons – Brody, Brandon, Corby, and Carson, as well as Michael’s twins, Aleigha and Mitchell. She’d cook for the boys when their mom was away and vacationed at Disney one hot August in Florida. Aleigh just had to have that squirt gun. They were, like her students, her pride and joy.
Like the good Catholic Family they were, Lorraine and Frank continued to try hard to go forth and multiple. It didn’t happen, and God had another plan. With the proverbial biological clock stopped, Lorraine bought herself a baby doll; but, her dad had a different idea.
That same passion Lorraine had forAunt Gilda and Uncle Sal’s Boudoir was born again in her own toy poodle, a gift from Jenro Sr. Aptly named, Chocolate Sundae ruled Lorraine’s Chesapeake home. She was joined by a brother when kids down the street showed up at the door with a hairless, runt of the litter Yarkie puppy. $40, what a deal. He quickly became child #2, and was Christened Seven Upton Heath. Lorraine adored her real babiesas any mother would, and they lived with health and affection beyon their expected years.
A move from Chesapeake, VA, to Elizabeth City, NC, happened in 2000. The only question Lorraine asked asked Frank was, “Do they have a Catholic Church?” After renting in town, they built a house in Camp Perry in Hertford. Lorraine, with a little help from mama Evelyn, quickly made it her home. She did volunteer work in the schools and COA, and she helped clean, garden, and sing in the choir of Holy Family.
Lorraine’s love of animals continued with no end in sight. Her dogs were followed by birds, after her cousin’s ex’s fondness for parrots. Of all the animals Lorraine chose to follow birds with, it had to be cats. Well, they do say opposites attract. It should have been birds, cats, and then dogs, preferably in rapid succession, but that’s her husband talking. The cats grew in number each time kittens would appear on the back porch on an extra cold or hot night. Sweet Lorraine happily cleaned litter boxes and mixed cans of pate’ with dry cat food, all while watching every episode of EWTN and Bible TV. She looked forward to and never missed a blessing of the animals.
Lorraine had an ongoing outreach ministry with not only pets, but those people less fortunate than her. She loved to cook, take food to the homeless and migrant workers, and attended Hispanic mass to better speak Spanish. Lorraine loved and was loved, especially by her husband the last 4 years while retired. She was his sweetheart. She cherished rekindled friendships with grade and college schoolmates, and a special teacher firend, Margaret Masinchuck. Sweet Lorraine will be missed.
In lieu of flowers, Lorraine’s husband asks you to considermaking a donation to the mental health charity of your choice. A funeral mass will be offered by Nick Cottrill, Priest at Holy Family Catholic Church, at 11:00, Friday, June 25, 2021.
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