NEWBURY, Mass. — Rita Alice Dwyer, nee Fournier, was a loving mother and grandmother, a devoted wife, a wonderful big sister and aunt, and a loyal friend. Rita brought joy to life with her laughter, spirit, and mischief. She was her own best audience too. She was always positive and was known to often say, “This was a good day.” Rita valued her family and creating a warm and loving home for them. She was very happy and proud to stay at home and raise her children.

Rita was born on Feb. 20, 1940, to Bertha (Lassonde) and Albert Fournier, in Lewiston, Maine, where she grew up. Rita graduated in 1959 from St. Dominic’s High School before moving to Danvers, Mass., to live with her aunt and uncle, Frances and Eugene Fournier. While working at Bomac Labs, Inc., Rita met her future husband James Dwyer. They were married in 1961, at Immaculate Conception in Danvers, MA. Jim and Rita raised their family in Salem and West Newbury, MA.

Rita’s children can always hold in their hearts fond memories of their mother teaching them to ice skate, playing with them, Christmas presents that were wrapped in tissue paper with their names written in glitter, birthday parties for their dolls/stuffed animals, the music she played through the house, and most importantly the fact that her kitchen was always open when family or friends needed someone to talk to. Rita’s husband Jim (James “Teddy”) Dwyer can look back on a devoted wife, who supported him, danced with him in the kitchen, and brought joy to him. Rita’s friends can hold the memories of her laughter, and good times shared, whether they were eating pizza or volunteering for Band Parents at Pentucket High School.

Rita passed away peacefully on Oct. 26, with her husband, James, by her side. Besides her husband, she leaves behind six children, Kathleen Cail (Jeff), Steven, Brian (Teri), Denise (Ed Dixon), Christine Forisso (Eric), and Michael (Emily); and 10 grandchildren, whom she loved dearly, Benjamin and Grace Cail, Reese and Austin Dwyer, Andrew and Matthew Dixon, Eric and Brianna Forisso, and William and Spencer Dwyer. She also leaves behind two brothers, three sisters, four brothers-in-law, four sisters-in-law and many nieces and nephews, whom she always cherished. Rita is now in the arms of God and with many of her favorite people: her mother, Bertha; her uncle and aunt, Eugene and Frances; her sisters, Pat, Del, and Kathy and brother Albert; her mother-in-law, Marguerite; brother-in-law, Frank; and her infant son, James.

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