Rita G. Croteau, 92, born in Berlin NH, on November 3, 1929, daughter of Emile and Aldea (Therrien) Labranche, passed away on November 5, 2021, at her home surrounded by her family. She attended Angel Guardian Catholic School and Notre Dame High School. Rita married the love of her life, Robert J. Croteau, on January 31, 1948, and raised three daughters. They celebrated their 46th anniversary prior to her husband’s passing in 1994. Together Rita and Bob bought fixer uppers and together they remodeled the houses to give them new life. She was an employee of Brown Company for several years. She and Bob owned and operated the Umbagog Restaurant in Errol NH from 1967 to 1972. Long hours, hard work but together they could do everything and anything.
Rita enjoyed her time with family and friends, especially the family time at her Akers Pond camp where she spent her summers. She always looked forward to visits with her girls, their spouses, grandchildren and great grandchildren, sitting by the fireplace, going for boat rides and making and sharing memories. Rita spent time with her Akers Pond friends playing cards, sharing stories and laughing. These friends became part of her family. Rita enjoyed going to country music concerts in the U.S. and Canada with her daughter Elaine and friends. Rita was in her late 60’s when she went to her first concert and continued to travel well into her late 70’s.When by herself, Rita spent her time reading, making puzzles, playing Solitaire, and pickling beets and making bread and butter pickles. She also managed to write over 150 black and white notebooks detailing each day’s activities until she lost her vision. As much as she enjoyed spending time at camp, she loved her home. On many occasions, one would hear her say “I love my home.”
Faith was an important part of Rita’s life. She belonged to Ste. Anne Church, Good Shepherd Parish. When she was no longer able to attend weekly Masses, she would watch daily Masses on TV. Her prayer beads always in her hands, saying the Rosary two to three times a day and saying Novenas whenever asked to pray for a special intention. Her faith is what kept her going as her health declined.
She leaves behind her three daughters, Lucille (Steve) Michaud, Dot (Geno) Lawrence and Elaine Croteau and Karen KilKenny, her sister-in-law and good friend, Claire Riendeau, six grandchildren, Reggie Coulombe, Matthew Michaud, Jessica Cunningham, Scott Lawrence, Thomas Lawrence and Katie Payne and their spouses, 14 great grandchildren, brother-in-law, Fred Greene, many nieces and nephews. She was an integral part of four generations who all have memories of their time with her which they will treasure forever. She was predeceased by her husband, her parents and her sisters, Pauline Riendeau and Louise Greene, and several brothers-in-law, and sisters-in-law. Rita was our Angel on Earth and is now our Angel in Heaven. She may be gone but she will live on in our hearts forever.
There will be a funeral Mass on Saturday, November 13, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. at Ste. Anne Church, Pleasant St., Berlin NH. Followed by interment at Mt. Calvary Cemetery. Relatives and friends are invited to a walk-through visitation on November 13, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at Bryant & Fleury-Patry Funeral Home, 180 Hillside Ave., Berlin NH. Masks and social distancing required. In lieu of flowers, donations in Rita’s memory may be made to a charity of one’s choice. Online guestbook at www.bryantfuneralhome.net.