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Rita Theresa MARROCCO
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RITA THERESA MARROCCO(nee Larsen) Ninety-six years don't fit into a few paragraphs, and especially not Rita Marrocco's. She was a woman of deep Christian piety, and boundless love. Thus, her unshakeable commitment to her husband Dominic and their eight inimitable children. (Eight!) Her values and outlook were forged on the Saskatchewan prairie of the Depression, from her birth in Saskatoon through her childhood in Blaine Lake and Leask. She was a pure alloy of the devotion and sensibility of her parents - Louis Larsen (Danish-Lutheran), and Florence Gillies (Scots-Catholic) - which was also true of her siblings Ingrid, Ole, and Eileen. Rita was a 'Gillies woman' to the core: loyal, inquisitive, steadfast, tough, hard-working, creative, and wise. She was formed by the nuns at the convent school of the Sisters of Sion in Prince Albert. Before she was twenty she was serving 'overseas' in Newfoundland during World War Two as a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force. After the war, she studied philosophy at the University of Saskatchewan. On graduation, she was offered jobs in Ottawa with the federal government and the Catholic Church. The government was the realm of her father, a Saskatchewan MLA, and the Church that of her mother. Torn, she opted for the Church and advancing its social teachings with Father Frank Marrocco, which included studying the new 'cooperative movement' at Saint Francis Xavier in Antigonish. Coincidentally, the future Bishop Frank's brother was also a student there, and Dominic and Rita married in 1951. They both taught for many years at CDCI West in Cobourg, where she found time to produce a school newspaper ("I'm a journalist"), and eventually write a biography of the Bishop, The Light from One Candle, and her own memoir, Prairie Forged. Rita's life can be summed in these Bible verses, Luke 3:11 and Matthew 22:36-39. Thank you, Rita. Visitation at MacCoubrey Funeral Home 30 King St. E., Cobourg on Saturday, October 10th, from 12-1 and 1-2 p.m., and Sunday 6-7 and 7-8 p.m. Her funeral Mass will be held at St. Michael's Church 379 Division St., Cobourg, on Monday, October 12 at 2 p.m. Anyone wishing to attend one of the visitation periods and/or the Mass, must RSVP the Funeral Home at 905-372-5132 during business hours (9 a.m. - 5 p.m.). Prayers for the repose of her soul are requested by Rita's children (Pete/Christine McCleary, Mary/Roberto Ubertino, Bernard/Debbie Quinn, Frank/Alex Ruszkowski, John/Catherine Gerth, Nancy, Paul/Mary Lane, Terry), and by her many wholeheartedly-loved grandchildren, including great- grandchildren. Thanks to the many people who cared for Rita, including her dedicated group of in-home caregivers, NHH staff, physicians, and Catholic clergy. Donations in Rita's name can be made to St. Mary of Egypt Refuge (www.stmarysrefuge.org). Condolences received at www.MacCoubrey.com

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Published in The Globe and Mail from Oct. 12 to Oct. 16, 2020.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
OCT
12
Funeral Mass
02:00 PM
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