CANAAN - Rita Bellavance Conley, 54, died peacefully while surrounded by her family after a long and courageous battle with multiple myeloma on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon.
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She was born Aug. 10, 1958, in Lebanon a daughter of John Paul and Joanne (Pinard) Bellavance. She grew up in Lebanon and attended Sacred Heart School before graduating from Lebanon High School, class of 1976. Rita received her certificate in Medical Coding and went to work as a medical coder at DHMC from 2003 until 2008. She then became a coding advisor at DHMC from 2008 until 2010, at which time she left to take the same position at Alice Peck Day Hospital in Lebanon from 2010, on.
Rita will be remembered as a spitfire, someone who loved to ride her motorcycle, gardening, camping, becoming a mother to anyone she met. She was known for her infectious laugh, and as someone that put her needs aside and worried more for others, even in the depths of her illness. One of Rita's biggest joys was caring for her father, John Paul, during his illness.
She was predeceased by her father, John Paul Bellavance, in 2011.
Rita is survived by her husband of 10 years, David G. Conley of Canaan; her mother, Joanne Bellavance of Lebanon; her two children, April Stone and her husband William of Lebanon, and Christopher Harlow and his wife Teresa of Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Va.; two stepchildren, Shannon Conley of Bealton, Va., and Jon Conley of Canaan; a sister, Mary Blain and her husband Stuart of Canaan; two brothers, John Bellavance and his wife Brenna of Lebanon and James Bellavance of Los Angeles, as well as many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.
services: Family and friends are invited to call at the Ricker Funeral Home in Lebanon on Wednesday, Feb. 27, from 1 to 3 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian burial will be held at Sacred Heart Church in Lebanon on Thursday, Feb. 28, at 11 a.m., with a reception to follow in the fellowship hall of the church. A burial will take place on Friday, March 1, at 11 a.m. in the Sacred Heart Cemetery in Lebanon. Messages of sympathy for the family can be left at www.rickerfuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Norris Cotton Cancer Center Multiple Myeloma Research, c/o Dr. Lowrey, 1 Medical Center Drive, Lebanon, 03756.
Ricker Funeral Homes & Crematory
56 School Street P.O. Box 549
Lebanon, NH 03766
Published in Union Leader on Feb. 26, 2013