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NORTH READING: A. Rita (Gorman) McKendry, 98, of North Reading, and formerly of Wakefield, died Sunday, January 11, 2015, at Wingate of Andover. She was the wife of the late William S. McKendry Jr., who died in 1989.

Born in Charlestown, Mass., on July 16, 1916, she was the daughter of the late Samuel and Mary E. (Miller) Gorman. She was a graduate of Wakefield High School and attended the School of Interior Design in New York City City.

Before her marriage, she was employed by the John James Design firm in Boston. She had been a resident of North Reading for the past 70 years, and a member of St. Theresa’s Church. She was a member of North Reading Garden Club, North Reading Band Boosters, Past Master of the North Reading Grange No. 239, and Past Master of the Pomona Grange.

Rita was an avid gardener, and an excellent seamstress that made most of her children’s clothes growing up. She could knit and crochet anything, including numerous afghans. As a high school student, she swam the length of Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield, and was a Life Guard at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester. She played the Hawaiian guitar and the harmonica. Rita also loved to fish.

Family members include her loving daughters, Ellen A. Zipeto and her husband, John F., of Andover and Rhonda A. Waskiewicz and her husband, Peter, of Bear Creek, Pa.; her son, James J. McKendry and his wife, Deborah Stewart-McKendry of Renton, Wash.; four grandchildren, Matthew D. and Diana E. Zipeto, Jennifer Elliott and Peter Waskiewicz Jr.

Memorial donations may be made in her memory to the charity of one’s choice.

Her funeral will be held from the Croswell Funeral Home, 19 Bow Street, North Reading, on Friday, January 16th, at 9:15 a.m., followed by a 10:30 a.m. funeral Mass at St. Theresa’s Church, 63 Winter Street, Route 62, North Reading. Calling hours will be held on Thursday, from 4 to 8 p.m. Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery in North Reading.
Published on  January 13, 2015
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