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Rita May Gardner

August 10, 1937 ~ October 6, 2019 (age 82)


Rita May (Piper) Gardner, 82, of Lawrence, MA, passed away peacefully on Sunday, October 6, 2019, after a period of declining health, with her loving family at her side.

Born and raised in Lawrence, Rita was the daughter of the late George and Edna (Denoncourt) Piper, and graduated from Lawrence High School, class of 1955.

While it was always evident that her family was most important to her and making sure that her family was not in need of anything so that their attention was on school, Rita also found time to work as a certified nursing assistant, dedicating many years to Colonial Heights Care and Nursing Facility in Lawrence until her retirement. Before long, Rita was looking for ways to keep busy and so she returned to work helping the elderly at Royal Meadow View Nursing Facility in North Reading, MA where she enjoyed working with and making so many friends. She will be remembered by her family and friends for her care and compassion and her support will be greatly missed.

While not at work or helping her family, Rita enjoyed crocheting, taking rides to the beach and visiting her son and daughter-in-law in New Hampshire. She was always in attendance at mass on Sundays at Saint Patrick Church in Lawrence.

Rita is survived by her children: Mitchell Gardner and his wife Beverly of Northwood, NH, Lance Gardner and his wife Denise of Groveland, and Michelle Gardner of Lawrence; grandchildren: Laurie Ann Fithian, Koren Gibson, and Kyle Gardner; great-grandchildren: Kaitlyn, Raul, Leah, Sophia, Savannah, Hannah, Ben, and Julia. She was predeceased by one son, Joseph John Gardner, and one grandson, Mitchell John Gardner.

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend a funeral mass being celebrated for Rita at 9:00 AM on Saturday, October 12, 2019, at St. Patrick Church, 118 South Broadway, Lawrence. Burial will follow at St. Mary – Immaculate Conception Cemetery, Lawrence.

In lieu of flowers consider making a donation in Rita’s memory to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.


October 12, 2019

9:00 AM
St. Patrick Parish
118 South Broadway
Lawrence, MA 01843


St. Mary's Cemetery-Lawrence, MA
29 Barker Street
Lawrence, MA 01841

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