Rita Ann (Fiorillo) Ponte, long-time Needham, MA resident, passed away peacefully following a long illness, on April 11, 2011 in Danbury, CT
The widow of Alfred A. Ponte, Rita is survived by her three children, Charles Ponte and his wife Rhonda (Mullins) of Coco, FL., Robert Ponte and his wife Sheila (Winn) of Needham, MA., and Maribeth (Ponte) Ross and her husband Lawrence of Wilton, CT., and her six grandchildren, Madison, Alec and Ian Ross, Luke and Ross Ponte and Nicholas Ponte.
Rita was born in East Boston, MA on August 22, 1927 to Paul and Mary Fiorillo. An only child, Rita grew up on Haynes Street in East Boston, where she attended
elementary school and Fitton High School. Rita graduated as the valedictorian of her high school class and went on to study Math at Emmanuel College on a 4-year full scholarship.
After graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1948, she worked as a statistician, a rare accomplishment for a woman in the 1940’s.
On June 11, 1949, Rita married Alfred A. Ponte of Cambridge, MA. at St. Peter’s Church in Dorchester.
Rita raised her family in Needham, MA, where she worked in a variety of jobs, including time as a Nursery School teacher, CCD instructor and medical secretary.
Rita also volunteered as an assistant to the visually impaired.
She was devoutly religious, and a founding member of St. Bartholomew Parish in Needham.
Rita is fondly remembered by her family and friends as a profoundly warm, generous and giving woman, always willing to consider the needs of those around her before her own. She will be deeply missed.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Bartholomew Church 1180 Greendale Avenue Needham on Saturday, April 16 at 10AM. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend. Visiting hours will be held in the Eaton Funeral home 1351 Highland Avenue Needham on Friday from 4-8 PM. Interment will take place at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge. In lieu of flowers donations in Rita’s name may be made to Emmanuel College c/o Office of Development & Alumni Relations, 400 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115.
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