Rita C. Eldredge
1926 – 2009
YARMOUTH — Rita C. Eldredge, 83, of Foreside Road, Topsham was taken by the angels on Thursday, Aug. 20, at Brentwood Rehab & Nursing Center after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease and reunited with her Heavenly Father.
She was born in Lewiston, June 15, 1926, a daughter of Vital and Camille Cyr. She was raised on the family farm in Caribou, before relocating to Lewiston at an early age. Her mother died when she was 13 necessitating her attendance at the Ave Maria Convent in Sabattus. She was a boarding student until her high school graduation.
She worked at Bates Manufacturing before marrying Rene Bernier of Lewiston. The couple lived in Los Angeles and Hartford, Conn., before settling in Auburn to raise six children. They moved to St. Petersburg, Fla., and ultimately divorced. She worked at area resorts as a dining room manager to support her family and eventually returned to Maine. In 1974, she married R. Cecil Eldredge, her loving husband of 35 years.
After remarrying, she worked at Happy Jack’s and Marco’s restaurants in Lewiston before moving to the Rockland area where she worked at the Samoset resort. She retired in 1989 and did volunteer work at a Bangor hospital until the disease made it impossible for her to continue.
She had an excellent singing voice and sang at weddings, in churches and other engagements. She loved life and her family. She was a devoted wife, loving mother and a friend to many. She was religious and often helped the less fortunate by stepping in to assist. She was a beacon of generosity, strength, goodness and grace. She was a communicant at St. John’s Catholic Church in Brunswick.
She enjoyed golf, nature and travel. She was very adept at crafts and worked with ceramics, quilting, knitting and needlepoint. She was an inveterate crossword puzzle solver and liked flower and vegetable gardening. Her two favorite things, however, were cooking for large family gatherings in “her kitchen” and small children, especially grandchildren.
Survivors include her husband, R. Cecil Eldredge of Topsham; 10 children and stepchildren, Cynthia Faulk of Mars Hill, Marc Bernier of Auburn, Tina Bisson and her husband, Andre, of Topsham, Robert Eldredge of Bruceton, Tenn., Robert Bernier and his wife, Diana, of Auburn, Renae Dixon and her husband, Donald, of Central Point, Ore., Patricia Bolduc and her husband, Robert, of Wales, Ann Young and her husband, Christopher, of Wilsonville, Ore., Roberta Croly and her husband, Richard, of Issaquah, Wash., and Paul Bernier and his wife, Denise, of Colorado Springs, Colo.; two sisters, Theresa Bell of Lewiston and Nancy Bellegarde and her husband, Charles, of The Villages, Fla.; 24 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
She was predeceased by a brother, Roland Cyr.

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