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Rita Joan Loughrey Lennon



Rita Joan Loughrey Lennon, age 79, of Wayne, passed away peacefully at home on Monday, February 6, 2017 with her dear daughter Marianne and her dear dog Sean by her bedside.

Born in Passaic, she was a graduate of St. Mary’s High School in Rutherford with the Class of 1955. As a teenager in high school, Rita loved to go to her school’s pep rallies and, although the rallies were always done way before she had to be home, Rita had a penchant for breaking her 10:00 PM curfew. Trying to typically sneak in about 11:00 PM, her mom would sometimes wait behind the door and surprise her.

Rita began working at the tender age of sixteen as a clerk in Woolworth’s Department Store. After completing high school, she began a job as an administrative secretary with Flinkote Roofing Company in East Rutherford. She transitioned for a good number of years into full-time work as a mother and homemaker for her four children, but then, she returned to work outside of the home, taking a job with Prudential Life Insurance Company in Parsippany for the next fifteen years. After that, she spent ten years working as an administrative secretary for Dr. Michael Biehl in the St. Joseph Hospital Electro Physiology Department in Paterson. Prior to complete retirement she served as one of the people that safely got your children across the street on their way to school in Wayne Township for five years. Throughout her many years in the workplace Rita was always a hard worker with a strong work ethic, often working 60 hour per week to help her daughter Marianne get ahead in life.

Rita loved to shop at the Christmas Tree Shop and Yankee Candle Store in Nanuet, NY. Always out for a bargain but never wanting to confront anyone herself, she would have her daughter Marianne bargain with the retail merchant to get a better price. Rita also loved to watch those home improvement programs on cable television, like This Old House, The New Yankee Workshop, and other similar shows on the HGTV channel. She was an excellent seamstress who made a lot of her own clothing and who loved to make Halloween costumes for Marianne. So great was Rita’s love for Halloween, she would frequently do silly things like dress up in a costume she made and go un-announced to her neighbor friends who would have no idea that it was her. She also loved the smell of freshly cut Christmas trees which she and Marianne would decorate for Christmas.

A feisty Irish woman who always expressed pride in her heritage, Rita faced obstacles, like fighting and overcoming breast cancer, with tenacity and courage. She could be tough when she had to be but deep inside her heart, she was a caring, devoted soul who was always putting other’s needs and desires ahead of her own. She would give the shirt off of her back if it would bless someone else’s life. For many years, Rita enjoyed serving others as a Eucharistic Minister at the Chapel in St. Joseph’s Hospital in Paterson. She also volunteered one Halloween at the Wayne First Aid Squad Fundraiser - Haunted Halloween Ride at the farm on Black Oak Ridge Road. Even in the passing of her own life it was her desire to be an organ donor. She tried but, due to her Alzheimer’s condition, she was not a candidate. In honor of her effort to donate, the NJ Sharing Network still bestowed her with the honorary title of Donor of Desire.

Rita was a devoted “Grammy” to Shamrock and Sean – her two Coton De Teulear breed dogs. She referred to them as “The Boys” and her love for them was so great that everything revolved around what was going on in their lives. It seemed that Sean was always glued to Rita’s side and both dogs loved to cuddle with her on the couch for a night of watching television. As Rita lay in bed the last few hours of her own life, her dear Shamrock laid in bed with her by her side and passed away approximately four hours before Rita did.

Rita is survived by three daughters: Marianne Lennon, Diane Lennon, Nancy Lennon; one son: Robert and wife Diane Lennon; her sister Mary Frances Houghton; numerous nieces and nephews; and her dog Sean. She was predeceased by her parents Anne (nee Conway) and Michael Loughrey and her brother Michael Loughrey.

A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 4:30 PM on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at the Chapel of Saint Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, 703 Main Street, Paterson. Please meet directly at the hospital’s chapel.

In lieu of flowers, those planning an expression of sympathy in Rita’s name are asked to consider Compassionate Care Hospice 1373 Broad Street, Clifton, NJ 07013, or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memorial Processing, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-9959 (

Guest Book


I am very sorry to read of the loss of your mom. With all her love and joys, I know she was an amazing woman. I won't pretend to know what you're going through, but what has helped me deal with the loss of those I love is turning to the Scriptures, something that has been a real source of comfort. One Scripture that gives me hope is John 11:25, which says, " Jesus said to her: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who exercises faith in me, even though he dies, will come to life." I hope that this verse will also comfort you and, I hope you and your family can get through this difficult time. Please accept my condolences for the loss of your beloved mother and friend. Sincerely, Meryl,



So sorry for your loss. It is never easy but time has a way of healing. I will miss her at the corner.

Judith A Corvino


Dear Mair my deepest sympathy for the death of your mom. when you told me that her beloved "boy" Sean was with her to go on that journey to heaven just brought tears. You were a great daughter and she will surely be watching over you and helping. Love and and prayers for your strength during these difficult days. Judy

judy ventrella


Dear Marianne , I was saddened when I heard that your mom had passed away . She was a unique lady and your special mom and friend.I know that she will be missed deeply by you .May our God grant you His peace and surround you in His love ??. I wrote this poem , may it comfort you in this time and in days to come. A sleep in heavenly peace Went a special soul today . Well done are her earthly things Now in heaven , joy to bring To those who passed before Angels met her at heavens door. Welcome home , dear friend Now with the past to meet All now rest in heavenly peace. Times and sorrow to past For those , who remain to live Memories and life to contend Until one's earthly life is passed Then to remain in heaven at last. Know who served the One Who gave everlasting life for mom Remember her , who passed today ForeverAsleep in heavenly peace ...awaiting for you someday. Lovingly , Melody

Melody Jane Vanderwal


Dear Marianne I am so sorry for your loss I remembered you and your mom as very close and you both took care of one another. I know you dedicated your life helping your mom And that shows loyality and love Stay strong like you have always been God Bless you and may Rita rest in peace



Stay strong and know you are loved by many Todd Gillson NYC

Todd Gillson

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