Rita M. O'Connor
On June 26, 2019, after a very full life of 99 years, Rita M. (Williams) O’Connor died peacefully in the loving embrace of her children. She will be terribly missed by all who knew her, but we take comfort in knowing that she is watching over us and dancing again in heaven.
Born and raised in Cambridge Massachusetts the only child of George Williams and Catherine Anshelm-Williams. As a child she loved gymnastics, roller skating, trips to the beach and the penny candy store. Rita attended Cambridge Public Schools and graduated from Cambridge High School. Miss Williams married Mr. John H. O’Connor in 1940 enjoying 32 years of marriage before he passed in 1972. She worked for many years in banking at the South Shore Bank in Quincy before retiring in 1992. Rita and her husband John were longtime members of the Neighborhood Club in Milton.
Rita was a wonderful cook and homemaker, often filling the kitchen with the familiar aroma of home-cooked meals. Her favorite lifetime activity was ballroom dancing - dancing well into her 90s; still drawing crowds to watch her float across the dance floor with the same grace and elegance as in her youth. She was admired for her ability to intuitively follow every dancer’s lead. She also enjoyed golfing and tennis. She loved the sun and enjoyed summers on the lake with her husband and children, water skiing, swimming, and boating. Rita loved birds, and watched for the first robin to return each year as a sign of spring. She never let her bird feeders stay empty. Rita loved all animals, especially dogs. One of her favorite events at the Queen Anne Nursing Home was when families brought their dogs in and stopped by to pay a visit to her. She had a radiant smile, a witty sense of humor, and she lit up every room she entered.
Highly devoted to her catholic faith, Rita, never missing a weekly Mass, she often prayed to St. Anthony and St. Theresa. If family or friends faced a challenge in life, they could count on her to pray a Novena for them. She always received her sign of the rose shortly thereafter, ensuring that her prayers were heard. She was charitable, often sending donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and various animal rescues.
Loving and protecting mother to 4 children, Rita is survived by her son; John T. O’Connor of Norwell, her daughters; Gail M. O’Connor of Plymouth, and Ritamarie Benoit and her husband Tom of Duxbury, she was predeceased by her daughter; Janice T. O’Connor-Rink. She devoted her life to loving, caring for, and supporting her children. Also survived by family friend, Paul B. Carroll of Canton. “Nana” is also survived by two grandchildren; Zachary Thomas Benoit, 27, of Boston and Madison Janice Benoit, 20, of Duxbury. She loved spending time with them, always attending their ball games, concerts, plays, celebrations, and dance recitals. They were blessed to shine in the light of her pride and joy.
At Rita’s request, a private funeral has been held. If desired, donations in her memory may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 Saint Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, 800-805-5856 or online at www.stjude.org.
St. Jude’s Hospital