|Maria Judith Moniz|
Written by: Cousin Carol and Aunty Judy herself.
Maria Judith Moniz was born on April 18, 1926. She is the legitimate daughter of Rufino Moniz and Maria Natalia Moniz. She was baptized in the Immaculate Conception Church, New Bedford, Massachusetts. She is 86 years old. Judith is their sixth child and third daughter.
When I was 6 years old, I attended school in Santa Clara, California. I was taught by nuns. Being quite the feisty one, I was always in trouble and spent a good amount of time in the corner. The nuns certainly earned their reputation! I will always remember the time when I was playing at the railroad tracks with my sisters. My sister Gloria put me in a tire and was rolling me in it. All of a sudden she saw a Hobo. She got so scared. She rolled me down the hill and ran home. Needless to say, she got in big trouble with my parents for leaving me there, crying. This is certainly an event in my life that I will never forget!
When I returned to New Bedford, Massachusetts I attended Sarah D.Ottiwell School. I had to repeat a grade because the school system here was more advanced. (Later, I caught up with a double promotion.) I attended Phillips Avenue School for 4th and 5th grade and Lincoln School for 6th and 7th grade. It wasn’t until I attended Normandin Jr, High School, that I began really liking school. I wanted to continue my education and graduate from high school, but my parents refused to allow me to. They needed the money, so I had to quit school and go to work to help them. I was very sad because I wanted to finish school and really make something of myself.
A person that stands out in my mind that would have an influence in my life later on was Mr. Motta. He owned a lot of houses in the city. When I was growing up, I use to see him going up and down the street, going to houses, and collecting rent. He was considered quite wealthy at the time, ate very well, and dressed very nicely. I knew someday that I would like to get into real estate. This seemed like a good way to make money. After all, he was very successful, why couldn’t I be? When I met my first husband, John Raffa, I told him that someday I was going into real estate and maybe buy and sell houses. I wanted to make money and live the life like Mr. Motta did. This man would never know the positive influence that he had in my life.
After leaving school I went to work at the Aerovox in New Bedford. I married my first husband John Raffa. We lived with my sister Alice and her husband Joe for a few months. There was a housing shortage after the war. Apartments were hard to come by. We eventually moved to Howland Avenue in New Bedford, Massachusetts, a house owned by my mother-in-law and father-in-law. We later moved to Timothy Street in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, across the street from my sister Gloria and her family.
When I lived on Timothy Street, I decided to study for my real estate license, a desire I always longed for. I finally obtained my dream! While living on Timothy Street my husband and I got divorced after 15 years of marriage. I started to go to Jan’s Hair Salon. It was here that I really got my start with real estate. I worked here part time as a manicurist. This is the place where I met so many nice people and got so many leads. Jan became my very good friend and has remained my best friend. She is like my guardian angel. Jan is very religious and she told me that if I prayed hard enough for something, I would get what I wanted. Truer words were never spoken. It proved to be so true. I’ll always remember my first real sale. It was to a woman that I met there at Jan’s salon. I sold her house and another on the same day. (The one that she was buying) I began to work at Robin Realty. One month I received a plaque for selling the most houses. I also sold a house to my sister Vera and her husband Alfred in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts. They still live there today.
Another memorable time in my life was when I met my second husband Arthur Davis. One night I went to Meiling’s Restaurant in Mattapoisett, MA for dinner to celebrate my friend Jan’s birthday. While at the bar, I met Arthur, It was “love at first sight”! I thoroughly enjoyed talking with him. He was so smart and so well dressed. He certainly made an impression on me. We continued the birthday celebration at my friend’s house. He told me that he was in real estate---and that’s when it all began. It was all just meant to be. We talked a lot about real estate. We started dating, going out to lunch and dinner constantly. We went out together for 9 years before we got married. We lived in New Bedford for a short while and then decided to move to Florida. My daughter Susan was married with a daughter. My son Paul was living in Florida with his father John Raffa and my son Peter was in the U.S. Navy, stationed in Jacksonville, Florida.
Arthur was in the Baton Death March. He was a POW for 4 ½ years in the Japanese Prison Camp. He made many friends while he was in the service. We travelled extensively to conventions several times a year, making many friends along the way. Some of the places that we travelled to were Boston, San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and many many more, too numerous to mention. We had a wonderful life together. We had so much in common. When I turned 64 and he was 68, he passed away from heart trouble. He was buried at the Veteran’s Cemetery in Bourne, Ma. I have so many fond memories of the active life that we shared together. I returned to Florida for a short while, but then returned to New Bedford to be with my family.
I have three children. My daughter, Susan Anne Aillery, was born on October 31, 1949. She lives in New Bedford, MA. She is divorced with one daughter, Dawn Aillery, born on August 15, 1974. My son, Paul Donald Raffa, was born on February 23, 1954. He is married to Deirdre and they have one son, Nathanael Jacksyn Raffa, born on March 31, 2008. They live in Naples, Florida. My youngest son is Peter Francis Raffa. He was born on June 15, 1955. He is widowed and lives in New Bedford, Ma.
Niece Rosemary writes: "Aunty Judy now resides in New Bedford, Massachusetts with her daughter Susan and son Peter. She remains very active. Aunty always has a smile along with a great story or memory!" I always remember visiting her house in New Bedford as a small child, it was across the street from Brooklawn Park and near St. Theresa/ St. Joseph's Church. She later moved to Fairhaven, MA across the street from my parents. It was always fun playing with my cousins. Although I was a little older, my younger siblings always enjoyed their company.