ST. AGATHA - On January 18, 2023, we bid farewell to our beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Rita Collins. Rita was born on March 12, 1923 in St. David, ME, the daughter of Xavier and Annie (Picard) Dufour.
Rita’s passion in life was teaching. She started her teaching career in 1940 at the age of 17, after graduating from the Madawaska Training School. She continued to pursue her education throughout her teaching career and obtained her Bachelor’s of Science Degree from UMFK in 1968. During her 26 year teaching career, she taught in Putnam, CT, the Madawaska School District and MSAD #33. She instilled a love of learning in all her students.
Rita had a remarkable spiritual faith and traveled to the Holy Land, Rome, Medjugorie, the Shrines of Lourdes and Lisieux, and attended the Passion Play in Germany. She was a communicant of Our Lady of the Valley in St. Agatha; a member of the St. Agatha Historical Society, Cyr-Plourde Post 145 Ladies Auxiliaries, a life-member of the Ladies of St. Anne, and a member of Aroostook Retired Educators Association. In May 2012 Rita was honored by the Ladies of St. Anne as “Mother of the Year”. She was presented the “Golden Cane”, the most Senior citizen award, by the St. Agatha Historical Society in 2021.
She will forever be deeply loved and remembered by her son, Mark and his wife Therese of Bradenton, FL; daughters Elaine Cyr and her husband Philip of St. Agatha, and Patrice Jalbert and her husband Michael of St. Agatha; 10 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren; one sister, Bernadette Hein of Bellevue, WA; several nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, Rita was predeceased by her son Paul in June 2019, her husband Bertrand in 1994; 5 sisters, Marie Louise Gagnon, Ann Marie Malloy, Therese Albert, Simone Gagnon, and Cecile Pozzuto; 2 brothers, Claude and Jean Paul Dufour.
Relatives and friends are welcomed to recite the rosary at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 28 at our Lady of the Valley in St. Agatha followed by a funeral mass at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Rita Collins’ memory may be made to Our Lady of the Valley Memorial Fund, Long Lake Public Library, or the St. Agatha Historical Society.
May the soul of Rita Collins through the mercy of God rest in peace.
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