Rita H. Rathburn, 86, of Harrisville, died early Sunday morning, May 5, 2013, at the Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, following a period of declining health.
She was born in Harrisville on November 22, 1926 to Wilfred and Lavina (McDonald) Cloutier. A 1944 graduate of Marlborough High School and lifelong area resident, Mrs. Rathburn was employed with Cheshire Woolen Mills in Harrisville for over 20 years prior to working for NHBB in Peterborough until her retirement in 1991.
On June 20, 1944 she married Lawrence W. Rathburn in a ceremony held in South Carolina prior to his deployment to serve in the Europe arena. They celebrated 57 years of marriage together.
She was an auxiliary member of the Tri State Battle of the Bulge, an auxiliary member of the North Shore Yankee Division and an avid supporter of the Marl-Harris Ambulance Squad.
Mrs. Rathburn had a fondness for bird-watching and wildlife, once caring for a wounded fawn in her basement and an orphaned raccoon for more than a decade. She enjoyed candlepin bowling, cribbage and Bingo and in her earlier years, snowmobiling with the Harrisville Hummers. She was gardener, enjoyed travelling with family and friends, many times heading on vacation to Bermuda. She was also known to be a great cook.
She is survived by her children: Laureen Blanchard, Lee Rathburn and Timothy Rathburn all of Harrisville, Wayne Rathburn and his wife Sandy of Ithaca, NY; seven grandchildren: Davina, Andrea, Ryan, Larae, Luke, Samuel and Angeni as well as six great grandchildren, many nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her husband: Lawrence W Rathburn in 2002, a son: Ernest L. Rathburn and his wife Veronica "Fred" Rathburn, a grandson Arthur Miller, III and her two siblings, Ernest and Clifford Cloutier.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date, with no public calling hours scheduled at this time.
In Lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made in Mrs. Rita Rathburn's name to the Harrisville Volunteer Fire Department, 699 Chesham Road, Harrisville, NH 03450 or to the Marl-Harris Ambulance Service, PO Box 399, Marlborough, NH 03455.
Fletcher Funeral Home & Cremation Services (www.fletcherfuneralhome.com
), 33 Marlboro St, Keene has been entrusted with the arrangements.