Rita Mae Cahillane
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Rita Mae (Menard) Cahillane, 84, passed away peacefully on Friday, March 19, 2021. A Northampton native, Rita graduated from Northampton High School in 1954, married her high school sweetheart, Stephen P. Cahillane, in 1956, raised six children and graduated with honors from Greenfield Community College in 1988 with an Associate in Arts degree. A devout Catholic for many years, Rita lived her Christian values by opening her home and heart to others. She enjoyed many activities with her family including summering in Sunapee, NH, downhill skiing at Snow Basin and Burke Mountain, and vacationing in Aruba. She and Steve lived in Naples, Florida for twenty years, enjoying visits from family and friends from the north and spending time with new friends. Rita was an avid reader and tennis player, loved art, playing Scrabble and watching The Voice. She especially enjoyed visiting art galleries with her daughters, Linda and Lisa, and attending the Smith College bulb show and the Northampton Garden tours with her daughter, Deborah.
She was a hands-on grandmother and spent many hours with her grandchildren, which brought her a tremendous amount of joy. She is survived by her beloved husband of 64 years, Stephen P. Cahillane, her devoted children, Deborah (B.J. Church), Linda C. Smith (Eugene), Sandra, Lisa C. Siddall (Michael). Stephen (Jennifer) and James (JoAnn), her cherished grandchildren, Amelia, Jordan, Thomas, J.J., Charlotte and Sophia, her sister, Arlene Heroux (Ron), her brothers-in-law, James (Maureen), Robert, and Michael (Florence) and her sister-in-law, Maureen Lee. She was predeceased by her brother-in-law and sisters-in-law, Jack, Mary and Michaela. Rita will be remembered for her joyous laughter, formidable game skills, and passionate care of her family and her love of Bart's chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting and Kahlua Sombrero ice cream.
Funeral services will be Thursday 10 am at the St Elizabeth Ann Seton's Annunciation Parish on Beacon Street in Florence. Calling Hours will be Wednesday from 4 to 6 pm at the CZELUSNIAK FUNERAL HOME, 173 North St. Northampton, MA 01060. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Lilly Library in Florence, MA or Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice, Northampton, MA. For online condolences please go to CZELUSNIAKFUNERALHOME.COM
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