Rita D. (Collard) Sawyer, age 97, passed away on Friday, April 21, 2023, at her daughter's Plainville, Massachusetts home, surrounded by her loving family. Born in Fall River, Massachusetts on November 4, 1925, she was the daughter of the late Ovila and Mariane (Levesque) Collard. Rita spent her early years in Fall River before her family settled in North Attleborough when she was six years old. As a young girl, Rita began her education at the Sacred Heart Catholic School in North Attleborough, completing grades one through eight. After eighth grade, Rita left her formal education, taking a job with Evans Case in North Attleborough, working in the assembly department.
After Rita met her husband to be, Henry J. Sawyer, at the Lake Pearl Ballroom, they were married on October 18, 1947, in her hometown of North Attleborough. Together, they made their home for a short time in the Sheldonville neighborhood of Wrentham, before settling on Allen Street in Walpole. As the young couple began welcoming their children, Rita left her position at Evans Case, taking on the role of a homemaker, raising and caring for her family. Once her youngest was enrolled in school, it was time for Rita to return to the workforce and she took a position with Kendall Mills in Walpole. She was assigned to the sterile packaging machine, ensuring all of the prepackaged medical supplies were up to the company's standards. Rita remained with Kendall Mills through the Colgate-Palmolive buyout and continued her career until the company closed its doors in the early 1990s. Following the closure of the Walpole factory, Rita assisted Tyco International, working in the office to compile many documents from Kendall's into binders, offering better organization.
Back at home, Rita prided herself on keeping a tidy and organized house. She ensured the outside was just as well kept as the inside, spending countless hours tending to her flower gardens throughout her yard. Rita was incredibly crafty, making many quilts for her family and friends over the years. She looked forward to some quiet time too, completing one of many crossword puzzles found in the daily newspaper. Most of all, Rita was devoted to her family, opening her house to her children and grandchildren for the holidays that always centered around a home cooked meal from her kitchen.
Beloved wife of the late Henry J. Sawyer.
Loving mother of Jacqueline R. Kiley and her husband, Harold, of Mansfield, Robert H. Sawyer of Brownfield, ME, Russell J. Sawyer and his wife, Diane, of Attleboro, Joanne M. Sawyer of Plainville, and the late James D. Sawyer and his surviving wife, Mildred, of Attleboro.
Cherished grandmother of Rebecca Cooney and her husband, Stephen, Nicholas Kiley, Megin Scottin and her husband, Michael, and the late Scott Sawyer; and great grandmother of Harrison Cooney, Sawyer Cooney, Samuel Cooney, Amber Scottin, Kaylene Scottin, and Michael Scottin.
Sister of Cecile Ferro of Harrisville, Rhode Island, the late Robert Collard, the late Jeanette Brousseau, the late Lucille McCarthy, the late Paul Collard, and the late Louis Collard.
Also survived by many loving nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend Rita's Life Celebration on Tuesday, April 25, 2023, from 4 to 7 PM in the James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, 48 Common Street, Walpole.
A Funeral Home Service will be held on Wednesday, April 26, 2023, at 11:00 AM and interment will follow at Saint Francis Cemetery in Walpole.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Rita's name may be made to: HopeHealth Hospice and Palliative Care 1085 North Main Street, Providence, RI 02904 or at https://www.hopehealthco.org/ways-to-give/donatenow/donate-to-hopehealth-hospice-palliative-care/