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Rita D. Harressey
November 10, 2022


Rita D. Harressey, 94, died November 10, 2022 at Villa Crest Retirement Community following a lengthy illness.

As a “professional mom” there were none better. I say professional, because though she was never paid for her service with anything other than hugs, she always did the budget in French, so that dad couldn’t figure it out. Oddly, though we were never wealthy, there was always money left to do the fun things. “Mrs. H” as she was known by our friends as kids was the cool mom & you never left her table hungry.

She always had a smile and found humor in nearly everything to the very end. Mom moved from Manchester to Hooksett with us in 2004 where she spent the next 14 years living with her grandchildren, Alicia & I until her health demanded 24/7, 365 care. During that decade plus living with us she would always have a tasty confection to offer her grandkids. They were too little to pronounce “cookie” and thus Mom became known as “Grandma-Coo-coo” & it stuck.

Mom had a penchant for growing things. A green thumb one might say. Roses, ferns, sunflowers she had an equal love for all. One day I gave her a hand full of interesting looking seeds to sew. It mattered not to her what they would become, tree nor flower she obliged & with her usual gusto she unwittingly grew one of the fullest most beautiful Cannabis plants north of Mexico, placing it proudly on the window ledge for all to admire including my policeman friend who explained to her what it was she had grown. Horrified, she immediately burned the budding beauty which had been my plan all along as we all stood around … very closely …. She baked us all brownies afterwards and we never even asked!

As our children grew & became more adventurous grandma became “The Thing Beneath The Stairs” Grandma would hear them coming down the stairs and if she wasn’t in the mood for company (which was seldom) she would scratch on her door and make a growling noise. Kids would scream & come running up the stairwell proclaiming “The Thing Beneath The Stairs” had grandma. I would reply “poor thing”!!

Every day started with the best percolated coffee, thick sliced bacon & eggs as she had no use for drip machines nor the Dunkin’s she referred to as “ toilet water” !

Fiercely competitive , strongly conservative, deeply independent she could just as easily hitch-hike from Manchester to Chicago, manufacture bombs for the Navy during WWII or bake an apple pie. The lady had skills & grit!

She was born in Biddeford ME., on November 28, 1927 the daughter of Leo Turgeon and Marie Dandino-Turgeon. She held a Doctorate of Life from the school of hard knocks for all intents and purpose having been orphaned at the age of 7 due to the bitter divorce of her parents. Orphanage after orphanage is where she spent the better part of her childhood and was only reacquainted with her father when she turned 18.

Her love, laughter selfless devotion to her family will be sorely missed. Oh and her coffee too!

Rita was predeceased by her husband, Joseph F. Harressey on May 18, 1985.
Family members include her two sons, Wayne J. Harressey and his wife, Colleen of Bedford, Shawn J. Harressey and his wife, Alicia of Hooksett, two grandchildren; Madison - Jo Harressey and Travis Michael Harressey, both of Hooksett.
J.N. Boufford & Sons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
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J. N. Boufford & Sons Funeral Home
110 Bridge Street
Manchester, NH 03101
603-625-6436 / 603-625-8234