GALLIENNE, Rita Bernadette - Our mother, grandmother and great-grandmother passed away on August 28, 2011. She left us while surrounded by the love and support of her family. She returned that love to each of us during her last days. Rita was born in Toronto in 1922. She passed along to all of us her childhood memories of The Great Depression, turning her experiences of poverty, family loss and the simple joys of nature while wandering Sherwood Park, into constructive life lessons for her children. She grew up to face a world war and recounted fondly and with great personal pride her contribution to the war effort while working in Washington during that period. When her family needed her, she left what was promising to be an exciting and rewarding career and returned home to care for her ailing mother. With her family, she mourned the loss of her brother Bill (RCAF) over Germany. After the war she married her childhood friend, her beloved Bert. Together, they raised seven children: Bill (Mary Lynn), Tom (Joanna), Anne (deceased) (Jerry Lomoro), Cathy (Karl King), Pat (Bill Overell), Laura (Mike Gilston) and Steve (Jennifer). Utilising the skills of her wartime working experience, she became one of the first working mothers of her generation, helping to support her brood while employed by the Jesuits at Regis College and finally the Ontario Municipal Board. She and Bert retired to their cottage and enjoyed many years of travel and family get togethers as they watched their grandchildren (Aimee, Sarah, Jessica, Emily, Leslie (deceased), Eryn, Courtney, Christian, Meghann, Jonathan, Lydia and Elyse) and great- grandchildren (Jack, Oliver, Brandon, Riley, Nathan (deceased), Meadow and Makayla) come into this world. Rita lost Bert in 2004. That was followed by the loss of a child, a grandchild and a great-grandchild. After each tragedy she turned her personal grief into support and concern for the other members of the family. She drew strength from her strong faith. She maintained a fierce pride in the accomplishments of her family but never let us get away with anything. She had a wonderful sense of humour that she maintained to the end. She loved a party and a little sip of scotch - neat. She was, after all, the child of Harry Jones, 48th Highlander and Lizzie Higgins, Matron of nurses, WWI. Along with her immediate family, she leaves her sister Norma (Howard Lamb); her brother-in-law Tom (Christine) and several nieces and nephews to mourn a great lady. Rita is resting at Penetanguishene Funeral Home, 155 Main St., Penetanguishene, Ontario, L9M 1L7. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Thursday, September 1st at 11 a.m. at St. Florence Chapel, Thunder Beach, Lafontaine, Ontario. A reception for family and friends will follow. In lieu of flowers, donations to the CNIB Library or TVO would be appreciated. Special thanks to the staff of the Ajax Pickering Hospital.
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Penetanguishene Funeral Home
155 Main St
Penetanguishene, ON L9M 1L7
Published in the Toronto Star on Aug. 31, 2011