Hurricane Katrina

Rosemary DeCorte, 73, Pass Christian

Rosemary DeCorte loved the porch on her daughter Janice Smith's house.

DeCorte, 73, would spend hours out there telling stories, reading magazines and listening to music, said Michael Ramirez, who was taken in by Smith after having family troubles because he was good friends with Smith's son, Jeremy.

DeCorte would always beg Ramirez and Jeremy to sit by her side and tell her about their day. When she was in a lighter mood, which she often was, she would either be dancing or would ask the two boys to dance for her, Ramirez said. While it may have been a little embarrassing, the boys were always happy to oblige.

Tom Jones was one of her favorite singers, Ramirez said, so he and Jeremy had saved up money to take her and Smith to an upcoming concert.

DeCorte kept up a sunny disposition despite several bumps in her road of life. When her husband died several years ago, a bank mixup caused her to lose her house, Ramirez said, and money was generally tight.

Regardless, her warmth and welcoming nature will always live as a strong impression in Ramirez's mind.

"She was pretty much my grandmother," Ramirez said.