1917 – 2015
LEWISTON — Rita F. Beliveau, 98, of Lewiston died Friday, Aug. 21, at d’Youville Pavilion, surrounded by her family.
She was born in Lewiston on June 12, 1917, the first of three children of Albert and Louise Fortier. Rita grew up in Auburn and attended Edward Little High School, graduating with the Class of 1935. She later studied nursing at St. Mary’s Hospital School of Nursing, and received her registered nurse certification with the Class of 1939. She worked as a nurse at St. Mary’s until her marriage to Bertrand A. Beliveau, MD. Upon their marriage in 1940, Rita immediately became a stepmother to Bertrand’s son, John, whose mother, Mary Twomey Beliveau, died in February 1937. Rita and Bertrand soon completed their family by adding two daughters, Patricia and Gilda.
After her marriage to Bertrand Beliveau in January 1940, Rita worked in his medical office as a nurse, a position she held until her husband’s death on July 15, 1976.
Rita was an enthusiastic supporter of St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, particularly as a member of that hospital’s patroness association. Upon her husband’s death, Rita established an endowment fund, the Bertrand A. Beliveau Heart Fund, administered by St. Mary’s Health Systems.
She is survived by her daughters, Patricia Thomas and husband, Jack, of Colorado, and Gilda Dick and husband, Edward, of Arizona; and stepson, John Beliveau Sr. of Lewiston. Rita is also survived by grandchildren, Julie Doody and husband, Peter, Carter Thomas and wife, Micki, and Brian Thomas and wife, Trista, all children of Patricia and Jack Thomas; Sara Beliveau and EJ Dick, children of Gilda, and husband, Edward Dick; Julie Lamond and husband, John, Kathy Cole and husband, Ken, and John B. Beliveau Jr., children of John Beliveau Sr. She is also survived by several great-grandchildren.
Rita was predeceased by her husband, Bertrand A. Beliveau, MD; sisters, Pauline Wise and Claire Spugnardi; and parents, Albert and Louise Fortier. She lived with Pauline Wise after her husband died.
For more than 30 years, Rita and her husband ran a solo medical practice in Lewiston and were extremely attentive and dedicated to their patients. During many of those years, the practice of medicine was a 24/7 occupation, but in their later years, they were able to travel extensively and spend summers at their cottage on Sabbathday Lake in New Gloucester.
At home and at the lake, Rita and her husband spent time with their good friends. Some of these special friends were Liane and Ross Nolin, Vincent and Geraldine Beeaker, Frank and Cecile Methot and Bill and Martine Begert, all of whom have predeceased her. In addition, Rita was attentive over the years to all of her nieces and nephews from the Wise and Spugnardi families.
Special thanks to her niece, Carole Wise, who helped care for Rita, and the staff at d’Youville Pavilion and Androscoggin Hospice, who were very attentive and caring toward Rita.
Donations, condolences and a video tribute may be accessed online at www.albert-burpee.com.