Cover photo for Rita Catherine McGarrity's Obituary
Rita Catherine McGarrity Profile Photo

Rita Catherine McGarrity

October 31, 1916 — July 12, 2016

Rita Catherine McGarrity

Rita Catherine McGarrity died Tuesday, July 12, 2016, in her 100th year of life, surrounded by her children, in Bellingham, WA, where she has lived since 1977. Rita was born in Amsterdam, NY, of an Irish Roman Catholic mother, Julia Alice Farrell, and an English Presbyterian father, John Jasper Horton. At the age of 14 she began working at the Karagheusian Rug Mill, in Freehold, NJ, where she worked from 1931 to 1946. The family moved from Freehold to Pensacola, FL, in 1961, and to Bellingham, WA, in 1977. Rita is survived by her six children: Michael Thomas (Dr. Alice Harper), John Jasper (Emily Weiner), Therese Ann McCully (Jesse), David Gerard, Mark James (Kathy), and Thomas Michael (Sunni). She is also survived by twelve grandchildren: Katie Söderlind (Forrest), James (Jennifer), Kimberly Larsen (Doug), Patrick, Sarah McCully, Robert, Julia, Linda (Addy), Jennifer (Corn),  Brenda,  Duane (Bryant) and Justin; and by four great-grandchildren: Dillen Larsen, Brooks, Bankston, and Banner, Monica Thomas Carter family, Arline & Greg Thomas family, Charles Thomas.    Her husband, Thomas Michael McGarrity, preceded her in death, as did his sister Helen, her brother-in-law Niilo Untinen, her brother John, and her sister Monica. Rita was very active in the American Legion and the Silver Bells. In Bellingham she also volunteered many hours at St. Luke’s Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital, Bellingham Senior Center, and Assumption Catholic Church. In Pensacola, she volunteered at the Baptist Hospital and St. Mary's Catholic Church. We would like to thank the wonderful care from Mt. Baker Care Center's staff, doctors, and inter-generational programs. Rita was also well cared for by Dr. Robert Sperry and his staff for over two decades. Rita loved to dance, sing, and play the piano, she worked hard to better lives of her family and her community. A Funeral Mass will be offered by Father Mark Villano, Saturday, July 23, 2016, 10:30 AM at the Church Of The Assumption Catholic Church, 2116 Cornwall AV, Bellingham, WA 98225 with Burial following at Bayview Cemetery in Bellingham.  Reception following at Bloedel Donovan Park Multipurpose Facility, 2214 Electric AV, Bellingham, WA 98226.    The McGarrity family suggests memorial donations to the Bellingham Senior Center.  Please share your thoughts and memories of Rita on-line at www.sigsfuneralservices.com 

 

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