BARASCH--Rita Gewant, passed away, peacefully at home on September 24, 2013 at 80 years of age. She was a loving wife to the Honorable Melvin Barasch, her husband of 53 years, a beloved mother to daughters, Susan, Patricia and Abby, mother-in-law to David, Paul and Wendy and proud 'Nana' to Rachel, Emily, Jessica, Cassidy, Matthew and Kieran as well as a cherished aunt and cousin. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Rita graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Brooklyn College with a BA in history. She taught Social Studies at Midwood High School before becoming a guidance counselor at Sheepshead Bay High School. Committed to helping students, she became a guidance counselor to struggling teens at the alternative high school, City-as-School in Manhattan. An outspoken, champion of equal rights; Rita was an inspiration to .many, a loyal friend and truly, "a woman ahead of her time." She was a 33 year survivor of breast cancer, but succumbed after a nearly 10 year battle to the ravages of Alzheimer's disease. She will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing her. Funeral Services will be held on Friday, September 27 at 11:30am at Riverside Memorial Chapel, 180 W. 76th St., New York, NY, followed by interment at Beth David Cemetery, 300 Elmont Rd., Elmont, NY. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer's organization of New York City Chapter or the Breast Cancer Research Fund (BCRF).
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Published in The New York Times on Sept. 26, 2013