Rita Ann Gannam
Born on September 18, 1947 in Evansville, Indiana as the first of 8 children to Joseph and Rita P. Smith, she succumbed to a fatal stroke on July 1, 2013 after her valiant one year battle with cancer had taken its toll. By profession, Rita was a registered nurse. It was God who intervened and introduced her to her loving husband, Phil. His first wife died in childbirth with twins Austin and Cara on September 10, 1977. Rita was the special care nurse who helped the premature twins overcome their early struggles. A mutual friend, also a nurse, helped Rita and Phil become a couple who wed and raised his 4 young children. Rita became their mother and the pair has been blessed with 6 beautiful grandchildren. Rita is predeceased by her father, while mother and 7 siblings survive; Ron (Lynn), Gerry (Linda), Ken (Carol), Robert (Cindy), Tom (Terri), Kathy (Gus) Spranaitis and Steve (Missy) as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Loving their mother were; Nathan, Travis, Austin (Rachel) and Cara (Colin) Dunn and grandchildren; Jay, Sean, Susie, Genevieve, Jonah and Drew. Rita will be remembered as giving of herself to family and friends cheerfully and without hesitation even if it detrimentally affected her health. Services are to be held on Saturday July 6, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Lawrence Martyr Parish Church in Redondo Beach with reception immediately following. In lieu of flowers the family asks that any donations be sent to Sisters of Charity of Rolling Hills, 28600 Palos Verdes Drive East, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275.
Published in Daily Breeze from July 4 to July 6, 2013