Rita's Story

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Rita A. Drake, 85, died Sept. 6, 2017. A native of Chicago - which she always remembered fondly, she married John Drake on Nov. 22, 1951, a union that only ended with his death in February 2007. Most of her adult life was spent in California, where all four of her children (Janeen, Richard, Robert and Joanna) were born and where the latter three still live.
She was primarily a housewife and mother who, as long as she was able, remained active in her church as a lector, Eucharistic Minister, and a dab hand at decorating the church. One of her favorite hobbies was sewing. Others in her younger years included ironing (!) and rearranging furniture (?) much to the bafflement of her family.
She and John moved to New York when aging and medical problems became too cumbersome without assistance. Janeen and her family - husband, Maurice (Nick) Guay, and their children David, Rebecca and Theresa especially offered that assistance until the very end.
The disease of Alzheimer's has been called a cruel, cruel disease and that is evident every single day. Our mother did not forget her family, but she became untethered from reality. Places, events in our lives, imagined slights all mixed in her mind; it was heartbreaking to see.
Rita is survived by her children: Janeen and her family, Richard and his wife Toni, Bob and his wife Kate Adams, and Joanna and her husband Rob and sons Connor and Dillon. A special friend to the family, especially towards the end, was Dr. Billur Tanalp.
Calling hours will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, September 12, at the Brown Funeral Home, 29 Broad St. in Plattsburgh. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, September 13, from St. Louis de France Church in Sciota. Interment will follow in the parish cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations to an Alzheimer's research organization or a local animal shelter are requested.
Arrangements are entrusted to Brown Funeral Home, 29 Broad Street, Plattsburgh, N.Y. 12901. (518) 561-3980. Online condolences may be made and memorial candles lit at www.brownfuneralhomeinc.com.
Published on September 8, 2017
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