Rita Louise Beaulieu (Baglioni), 93, of Mansfield Place, Essex Junction, Vermont, passed away on November 25, 2022, after a lengthy illness with heart and kidney disease, surrounded by her loving family.
Born to the late Virginio and Giovanna Baglioni (Costanzi) on June 6, 1929, in Southbridge, Massachusetts, Rita was named after Saint Rita. As a member of the St. Rita’s Society in Southbridge she played the role of St. Rita in a play portraying her life. Rita spent her youth as a Brownie and Girl Scout. During WWII she proudly volunteered to watch for enemy planes at the fire station tower and sold war coupons at the local movie theatre to support the war effort. She was still in contact, via Facebook, with her 1st Grade best friend, Pauline Roy Rowett.
In 1947, she graduated from Mary E. Wells High School in Southbridge. She married her high school sweetheart, the love of her life, Dona A. Beaulieu, on February 28, 1948. Married for 64 years, he passed away on November 28, 2012, after a prolonged battle with Alzheimer’s disease. They moved away from Southbridge in 1972 and lived in Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and then back to Vermont in 1981 where they built a home in Underhill.
Alongside her husband, Rita ran a restaurant owned by Dona’s father. After the restaurant closed, she worked in the credit department at Sears & Roebuck, followed by several credit bureaus before retiring in 1992 from the credit department at Bombardier Financial Group in Burlington, VT.
She was a dedicated supporter of her community in Vermont. She volunteered with the Special Olympics of Vermont and especially enjoyed being a hugger at events. She was also a volunteer at St. Thomas Church in Underhill Center and was the Funeral Dinner Coordinator for some time. Rita enjoyed playing cards and was an avid football fan especially rooting for the Cowboys and the Patriots. She was incredibly involved in politics and could put up a good argument on the topics she was passionate about.
In 1993, at the age of sixty-four, using a recipe passed down from her mother, she started selling homemade biscotti. Mamma’s Biscotti of Vermont was sold in many local stores and restaurants. Her husband took care of sales and delivery, and they made a wonderful team selling a delicious product. Rita loved cooking for her family and friends; so much so that she wrote a cookbook while living at Town Meadow Independent Living that she shared with them.
Her immigrant parents brought their Italian traditions and culture when they came to America years ago. Most important to Rita were the many gatherings with family and close friends held over her lifetime. Rita passed the traditions on to her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Rita is survived by her six children and their spouses: Donna Kelley (Patrick), Alfred “Fred” Beaulieu (Lynn), Natalie Aiuto (Francesco), Susan Lassiter (Craig), Ann Horning (George), and Jonathan Beaulieu (Elizabeth). Rita was blessed with 18 grandchildren; Jeremy, Wesley and Dawn, Emily and Derek, Francesca, Alessandro “Alex” and Suzanne, Smylin and David, Cody and Jayla, Chelsea and Jon, Shawn and Hannah, Lane, Kate, and further blessed with eight great grandchildren; Isaiah, Aiden, Connor, Emily, Blaise, Emma, George and Keira and many nieces and nephews. Her legacy will live on in the love she had for all of them.
She is predeceased by her husband Dona A. Beaulieu, brothers Augusto and Fernando Baglioni, and her sisters, Elda Fantaroni and Anna Baglioni.
The family would like to thank UVM Home Health & Hospice, all the nurses and staff at Mansfield Place Assisted Living, Rita’s friends at Town Meadow Senior Housing with special thanks to MJ and Nancy, and Monica Morano at Happy to Help Caregivers & Services, LLC. We are forever grateful for the loving care that Rita received from all who participated in her health care over the years.
Visitation will be at A.W. Rich Funeral Home in Essex Junction, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. on Sunday December 4, 2022. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Thomas Church in Underhill Center on December 5, 2022, at 11:00 am, officiated by Reverend Richard Calapan.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to UVM Health Network Home Health & Hospice, 1110 Prim Road, Colchester, VT 05446, and Alzheimer’s Association-Vermont Chapter, 75 Talcott Road STE 40, Williston, VT 05495 or Essex Rescue, Inc , and the address is 1 Educational Drive, Essex Jct, VT 05452.