Rita Theresa Marrocco

This obituary is protected by copyright by MacCoubrey Funeral Home Limited. Proudly serving Northumberland County in the province of Ontario, Canada. All rights reserved.

Rita Theresa Marrocco

February 21, 1924 - October 8, 2020

Ninety-six years don’t fit into a few paragraphs, and especially not Rita Marrocco’s.

She was a woman of deep Christian piety, and boundless love. Thus, her unshakeable commitment to her husband Dominic and their eight inimitable children. (Eight!) Her values and outlook were forged on the Saskatchewan prairie of the Depression, from her birth in Saskatoon through her childhood in Blaine Lake and Leask. She was a pure alloy of the devotion and sensibility of her parents – Louis Larsen (Danish-Lutheran), and Florence Gillies (Scots-Catholic) – which was also true of her siblings Ingrid, Ole, and Eileen. Rita was a ‘Gillies woman’ to the core: loyal, inquisitive, steadfast, tough, hard-working, creative, and wise.

She was formed by the nuns at the convent school of the Sisters of Sion in Prince Albert. Before she was twenty she was serving ‘overseas’ in Newfoundland during World War Two as a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force. After the war, she studied philosophy at the University of Saskatchewan. On graduation, she was offered jobs in Ottawa with the federal government and the Catholic Church. The government was the realm of her father, a Saskatchewan MLA, and the Church that of her mother. Torn, she opted for the Church and advancing its social teachings with Father Frank Marrocco, which included studying the new ‘cooperative movement’ at Saint Francis Xavier in Antigonish. Coincidentally, the future Bishop Frank’s brother was also a student there, and Dominic and Rita married in 1951. They both taught for many years at CDCI West in Cobourg, where she found time to produce a school newspaper (“I’m a journalist”), and eventually write a biography of the Bishop, The Light from One Candle, and her own memoir, Prairie Forged.

Rita’s life can be summed in these Bible verses, Luke 3:11 and Matthew 22:36–39. Thank you, Rita.

Visitation at MacCoubrey Funeral Home 30 King St. E., Cobourg on Saturday, October 10, from 12–1 & 1-2 p.m., and Sunday 6–7 & 7-8 p.m. Her funeral Mass will be held at St. Michael’s Church 379 Division St., Cobourg, on Monday, October 12 at 2 p.m. Anyone wishing to attend one of the visitation periods and/or the Mass, must RSVP the Funeral Home at 905-372-5132 during business hours (9 am - 5 pm). Prayers for the repose of her soul are requested by Rita’s children (Pete/Christine McCleary, Mary/Roberto Ubertino, Bernard/Debbie Quinn, Frank/Alex Ruszkowski, John/Catherine Gerth, Nancy, Paul/Mary Lane, Terry), and by her many wholeheartedly-loved grandchildren, including great- grandchildren.

Anyone wishing to view the service through live stream, may do so at https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/423758405

Thanks to the many people who cared for Rita, including her dedicated group of in-home caregivers, NHH staff, physicians, and Catholic clergy.

Donations in Rita’s name can be made to St. Mary of Egypt Refuge (www.stmarysrefuge.org).

Message Of Condolence

Note: Your message of condolence will appear at the bottom of the page.
MacCoubrey Funeral Home Ltd. reserve the right to delete or remove any comments we find inappropriate or offensive


Tony Weatherby - November 5, 2020

Rita was a fine mentor to me as a new, young teacher. Her expertise and precise skills stayed with me my entire career! She was most definitely a fine lady! My thanks to her in my prayers. My condolences to the family.

Shannon Sheehy - October 25, 2020

My sincere condolences to the Morocco family. Rita was such a bright light and I learned a lot from her during our time together. She will be resting peacefully now. God Bless you all in this time.

Margot Holmes - October 24, 2020 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

St. Mary of Egypt Refuge

Katika - October 22, 2020

ps. Your Parents, Rita and Dominic have been subscribed to the Fraternité spirituelle de Montligeon in France, a sanctuaire dedicated to the souls in Purgatory. They both receive the graces of perpetual masses. Of course ( and as I am most sure) they are probably both already in heaven so I am sure that some other soul more in need will receive these graces

Katika and Olivier Blardone - October 22, 2020

Dear Mary and all the Marrocco family, Your mother Rita has had for a long time a place deep on my heart. I remember fondly praying with her and Mary when we were students together.She has always been for me an example of deep faith and of motherhood. I did not know her history, that she was in the air force, that she was a great writer and teacher… I understand better now where Mary’s talents come from and the deep wisdom that I found in your mother’s eyes and words. You have been blessed with a saintly mother ( and father). May they watch over us all and help us on our maths and those of our children. Much love and my prayers for you all in this time of separation. Katika with Olivier

betty calberry - October 21, 2020

our sincere thoughts to the entire family of Rita. We remember both Rita and her husband when they taught our 3 children at high school wonderful memories. God bless

Patricia Partridge - October 20, 2020 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

St. Mary of Egypt Refuge

Nicole CORBEIL - October 17, 2020

Dear Terry, It was with sadness that I read of your mother's passing. I now wish I had spent more time talking to you when our paths crossed recently. Please accept my sincere condolences.

Howard and Jean Lander - October 17, 2020

We were so sorry to hear about the passing of your mother. Although she lived a long and fullfilling life it does not diminish the loss one suffers when they person in longer part of your lives. May God support you all in your grief.

Shannon Rouble - October 16, 2020 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

St. Mary of Egypt Refuge

Shannon Rouble - October 16, 2020

Nancy: My deepest condolences to you and the rest of your family, her friends and her church community. As one of her past in-home caregivers, I was fortunate enough to had the opportunity to spend time with Rita. Her special presence will be missed.

Sr. Lucy Thorson, Sister of Our Lady of Sion - October 15, 2020

Dearest Mary and all your family, I just returned from Saskatchewan today - the birthplace of your wonderful mother, Rita Theresa. I give thanks to God for the wonderful witness of faith and courage of your dear mother. It is a great honour for us that your mom was a student at our Sisters of Sion convent in Prince Albert. May she now rest in Peace in her eternal home.

Geoffrey Honey - October 15, 2020

Terry, Nancy & Mary, What an amazing life, fully lived and long your mother had! You are held in our thoughts and hearts during this time. All love Geoffrey (& Brigitte)

Bernadette and Fr. Eugene - October 14, 2020

A beautiful woman and mother. Condolences to the family🙏❤

Petra Hartwig - October 14, 2020

My sincere condolences to Terry and Nancy and their families on the loss of a wonderful person and mother. I recall Mrs Marrocco in high school and remember her being a fine teacher and person. May her soul rest in peace.

Bob and Catherine Robertson - October 13, 2020

Our sincerest condolences on Rita's parting from this life. She was a wise, gentle and caring women always with a gleam in her eyes. Your Dad and her made a great team and leave behind an amazing legacy in the family they raised, their Parish community, as well as the community at large. I know each of you will feel the void from her parting. We made a donation in her memory to the Peterborough Pregnancy and Support Services and we will keep Rita and you her family in our prayers. Catherine and Bob

Alyson Barnett-Cowan - October 13, 2020

What a remarkable and blessed life! She and all her family, especially Mary, are certainly in my prayers. Deo gratias. Alyson

Jonathan Mitchell - October 13, 2020

sincere condolences to the Marrocco on the passing of your mom. Mrs. Marrocco was my grade 9 typing teacher and i fondly remember her as a very kind and patient person. May she rest in eternal peace,

Lynn and Joe Poirier - October 13, 2020

Nancy and family, Please accept our sincerest condolences. Your mom was indeed a very special lady and a wonderful teacher as well. I (Lynn) had the pleasure of being in her class in high school, as well as in your father’s. I held both in high regard. Our prayers are with you during this time of transition.

Jenny Bryans - October 13, 2020

Terry, Madeline and I are so sorry to hear about your mother. She sounds like an incredible woman, and you and your family are in our thoughts. Jenny Bryans

Patricia Partridge - October 13, 2020

My condolences to all the Marrocco family on the loss of Rita. I am thankful for the years I spent with her, the friendship that grew and the wonderful memories. Thank you Rita for being a apart of my life. I will always remember you and your family in my prayers. Pat Partridge

Haim Behar - October 13, 2020

Our deepest condolences to the Marrocco Family. Peter, Nancy and Terry, watching you care for your mother in her last years was truly an inspiring sight of devotion to a woman who was clearly very special. May she Rest In Peace. Haim and Regan

Cynthia Crowley - October 13, 2020

My sympathies to the Marrocco family upon the passing of an intelligent and caring person. Mrs. Marrocco taught me in high school and she encouraged every student in my class. Looking back, I realize what a class act she was and how she influenced me in my life! Thank you, Rita, for sharing your talents with us! Thank you, God, for sending her to us! Sincere condolences.

Pablo - October 13, 2020

Dear Mary, I am so sorry to hear about your mother. I am thinking and praying for you and your families. The picture of your mother shows that she had a bright smile, full of energy and life. May her life, stories, and memories last long and touch the hearts of many. Peace and love.

Pat Lovell - October 13, 2020

Dear Mary and family, What a wonderful life well lived! Your mom sounds an incredible woman and I am certain she will be missed by many. My sincere condolences on the passing of your mother. Pat Lovell

Len & Cindy Murphy - October 13, 2020

Nancy & family, we are very sorry to her of your Mom's passing, she was a wonderful Lady, our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Len & Cindy Murphy

Roddy Turpin - October 12, 2020

Dear Mrs. Marrocco. Reading this from heaven. You taught the class I was in how to type as you did so many others. First week, it was a normal typewriter. Ahh keys. Second week and onward, unnumbered and no letters on the keys. Eventually you taught us typing and wpm. Never did master that. Years later, I am the editor of The Westerly, the school newspaper. You, the staff advisor. How many times did you go to bat for me to save me from getting kicked out of school. "He has his sources..." or "As editor he can .... only if more teachers cared as much as you. "Enjoy your rest good and faithful servant... you raised a wonderful Catholic family. Your prayers are answered..." Thank you God for Rita.

Joanne Dillon- McKay - October 12, 2020

Our condolences to all the Marrocco Family on the loss of Mrs. Marrocco. Our parents were very fond of her and Mr.Marrocco in a friendship that lasted for years. What a beautiful life lived! We are thinking of all the Marrocco Family and send our sympathy for you loss. Joanne Dillon- McKay and family

The Butler family - October 12, 2020

So sorry to hear of the loss of Rita. Lots of great memories from our time on Sinclair st. She was a great woman, mother ,teacher and Christian. Will sadly be missed.

Diana Storen - October 12, 2020

My condolences to all family members. I taught with Rita at CDCI West for many years, until her retirement. Rita looked after the school newspaper, the Westerly. It was her idea - a brilliant one! - to publicize my campaign to collect money to buy underwear for children in Honduras, a country I had recently visited. Rita came up with the idea of a contest to see which homeroom could collect the most money. The Westerly published pictures of three pair of underwear, representing first, second and third prize. It was a fun and clever way to get our students motivated. Rita's involvement made it a successful campaign. Thank you, Rita!

Carole Lussier - October 12, 2020

Dearest friend Terry You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers as you grieve the loss of your mother. Our paths have never crossed, yet I read what a meaningful life your mom lived, and what a lovely woman and beautiful presence she was. She will be dearly missed. My deepest & warmest sympathies to you. All my Love

Dale Randall - October 12, 2020

Dear Marrocco Family, My deepest condolences on your Mom’s passing. I remember her as a kind and patient teacher. Sincerely, Dale Randall

Michal (House) Loeprich - October 12, 2020

Marrocco family, I am so sorry for your loss of Rita. As a new teacher of secretarial studies at CDCI West in 1979 I was fortunate to have been warmly welcomed by Rita. She opened her heart and the drawers of her filing cabinets to me. I couldn't have had a better role model than this caring, creative, wickedly witty and energetic woman who added so much fun to every day we taught typing in Room 315.

Michelle Verbeem - October 12, 2020

Pete, Christine and families. Condolences to you all. Keep the memories close in your hearts. Al and Michelle Verbeem

Bob and Ann Scott - October 12, 2020

Thinking of you at this sad time Bob and Ann

Flavio and Manuela - October 12, 2020

Memory Eternal. In our prayers we are with you.

Dianne Collins - October 11, 2020

Sending our deepest sympathy, love & prayers to Paul, Terry, Nancy, Frank, John, Bernard, Pete, Mary and your families! Aunt Rita was a beautiful, wonderful, Christian, loving, incredibly knowledgeable, an author, special mother, teacher and no words can describe enough what an amazing person she was! Sending love, prayers and hugs to all of you! Dianne, Dan, Christina, Katie, Mike & family

Anne Marie Rodrigue - October 11, 2020

My heartfelt condolences to the whole family on the passing of your wonderful mother. I had the immense privilege of knowing both your dad and your mom and was touched by their kindness and strong Christian values. I know your mom will be sadly missed by all who knew her but also know that she will live on forever in their hearts. Requiestcat in Pace.

Peter and Suzanne Delanty - October 11, 2020

A life well lived filled with giving to all and being a model we can all try to emulate . I enjoyed having your mom a teacher at the WEST . She was very professional and set high standards for her students and her fellow staff members . May she Rest In Peace . Peter Delanty .

Ted Bartley - October 11, 2020

Aunt Rita will be missed - deepest sympathy and warmest regards to the family Yo & Ted Bartley

Donna Jacobs-McCourt - October 11, 2020

Dear Nancy and family, I extend my sincere condolences to all of you on the moving of your mother ... dear, dear Rita ... to her Heavenly Home. Rita was such a special neighbour and “true” friend to me, as she lived 3 houses away here at Ryerson Commons. Her ever-present smile, her unbelievable energy (even when medical issues tried to hold her back), her amazingly vast knowledge, her compassionate conversations with me ... whether in person, or via extensive emailed conversations ....all were SO special to me! Ironically, last year when I myself was a patient at NHH for several weeks, I was aware that Rita was just at the other end of the hall, since I often saw from a distance, several of her family make visits. Unfortunately, I was not able to also visit my dear friend, but oh how I prayed for her to be comfortable. Rita was obviously an angel here on earth. She now has gained her everlasting wings to watch over all of you, and has reunited with her dear Nick. Lovingly, Donna Jacobs-McCourt

Bob and Linda Marr - October 11, 2020

Dear Terry and Family; Thinking of you at this sad news. Your parents were so well thought of; so respected. May you find strength in knowing that many hold them in great esteem. Regards...Bob and Linda Marr

Roberto and Abramo Mosole - October 11, 2020

Mrs. Marrocco was the voice of calm, a person of wisdom and a teacher whom we always respected. Rita and her husband, Dominic, were an inspiration for all their students and helped them achieve their goals in life. Mrs. Marrocco was strong in her faith and her love of God and neighbour. Please accept our deepest sympathy in your loss. Bert and Abe Mosole

Jessica perryman-wood - October 11, 2020

Thank you for being part of my life and now a wonderfull memory.

Joan and Don Diminie and family - October 11, 2020

We were sorry to learn of Rita passing on, she was a lovely lady and certainly lived her life to the fullest. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.

Rosalind Mitchell - October 10, 2020

My sincere condolences to the Marrocco family on your loss. As a former student at CDCI West I learned to type in Mrs. Marrocco’s class. I remember her as a kind and patient teacher. I feel fortunate to have had her as a teacher. Rosalind Mitchell

Anne Jones - October 10, 2020

My condolences for your mother. She was a lovely person to know. I remember your Mother and Father from many years ago.

Karen Davidson - October 10, 2020

To all the Marrocco family, and in particular, Frank, a highschool classmate: my heartfelt condolences on the passing of your inspiring mother. She taught me how to type, one of the most enduring skills of my journalism career. Karen Davidson

Carroll Kennedy - October 10, 2020

My very deepest sympathies for the loss of a truly wonderful woman.

Mary Skibinski - October 10, 2020

Mrs. Marrocco helped guide me through my life. She made it difficult to leave high school, over fifty years ago. I will always be thankful. My condolences to the family.

Lori Pratt - October 10, 2020 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

St. Mary of Egypt Refuge

Christopher & Marie Forster - October 10, 2020

Our sympathies & prayers to all the Marrocco family on your loss. We remember Rita well. She was the same age as our mother, Bernadette, who died in 2017. May both of these loving, faith-filled mothers/grandmothers rest in peace now with God. Chris & Marie, Kingston Ontario

Jayne - October 10, 2020

Nancy and family ... Condolences and virtual hugs. Godspeed to Rita ...a wonderful lady and great story teller. Jayne Psw

Sheri Miller - October 10, 2020

I'm so sorry for your loss...Rita was a pleasure to know and work for...she touched a piece of my heart ❤

Family Arguimbau Ubertino - October 10, 2020

Our sincere sympathies to you Mary and your family. We pray the love of God enfolds yous during this difficult time.❤

Carol Ann Heffernan - October 10, 2020

Frank & John and all the family, Please accept our condolences for the loss of your mother. Truly a life well lived! She was a beautiful person. Sincerely, Tom & Carol Ann Heffernan

Jan E Bangs - October 10, 2020

Dear family, many memories begin to fill my mind (orange juice for the thirsty tennis players, encouragement for the next Westerly edition, support with typing skills, a friendly smile in the hallway and being welcomed into the Marrocco's home). The memories are all good and I know that this is true for many, many others who were fortunate to know and cross paths with your mother, a kind, gentle and caring person who has left a wonderful legacy. Please accept our family's deepest condolences. We will being keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.

Kathy Sandham - October 10, 2020

My thoughts are with Rita's family and friends, at this difficult time. I admired her strength and dedication, as I taught along side her for one year at CDCI West. I was a new teacher and she set an excellent example for all, as I came into the field.

Rebecca Wood - October 10, 2020

Mrs. Rita Marrocco, You are so loved. I will cherish our “R&R time” Rita and Rebecca time. I will miss our morning coffee together, and our daily devotion. I will always have a special place in my heart for you. You are so beautiful on the inside and the outside, your friend Rebecca.

Pat Guay - October 9, 2020

Through my friendship with Terry, I met Rita a few times. She always impressed me on those occasions with her warmth, intelligence and wide range of interests. Those wonderful qualities live on in her eight children. Know that I hold your whole family in my thoughts and prayers this Thanksgiving weekend....thankful for her life and influence here on earth and now fully alive and still connected to each of you in the same love. "Well done My good and faithful servant."

Brenda Everitt - October 9, 2020

Condolences to the entire family. I’m certain your Mother was very special to you but she was also very special to those of us whom she taught at CDCI West. She was probably disappointed that I never heeded her encouragement to become a teacher. However, my business career led me to become a mentor. Every time someone told me I was a good role model and teacher, I remembered your Mom and it made me smile.

Shelley Klintworth - October 9, 2020

My favourite teacher of life, hands down. Rest in paradise.

Louise Baxter - October 9, 2020

My sincere sympathy. Bryan and I had the greatest respect for your Mom and Dad. We got to know them through your Dad's involvement with the town council. We were fortunate to share several meals with your parents. It is certainly a loss to the community now that your Mom and Dad are no longer with us. Again I send my deepest sympathy to the whole family.

Melissa Stephenson - October 9, 2020

Debbie and Bernard. John and Catherine everyone in the Marrocco family. So sad to hear of Mrs. Marrocco's passing. Such a lovely and kind woman. I hope you will take some comfort in your memories. My deepest condolences. Kindest Regards, Melissa Stephenson (Cobourg)

Katalin Futo - October 9, 2020

Dear Nancy, My deepest sympathy to you and your family during this time. “If the people we love are taken from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them” - James O’Barr Kind regards, Katalin

Jane Harren Colbary - October 9, 2020

I am really sorry to hear mrs marraco has passed away she was such a kind person I did not know her well but she was always so kind RIP

Mary Mouse Checkley Ainsworth - October 9, 2020

Frank, Paul, and families please accept my condolences on the loss of your beloved mother. I had Mrs. Marrocco in 1970 9A typing class. I will always remember her telling me that I would become a great secretary someday. Well after a few different turns in the road I was for the KPR district school board for 30+ years. She knew what she talked about and was a great lady and teacher.