Manville- After 95 wonderful years, Rita (Hand) Salemi, died Wednesday, January 16, 2019, at home, surrounded by her loving family. She was the beloved wife of the late Joseph Salemi.
Born in Woonsocket, a daughter of the late, Lawrence and Anna (Grenon) Hand, she had lived in Manville for over 65 years. She is survived by her sister, Sister Laurita Hand, PBVM, of Leominster, Massachusetts. She was predeceased by her sisters Doris Benoit, Edna McCarty, Muriel Muscatelli, Irene LeMunyon, and her brother Lawrence Hand.
Rita worked in her father’s drug store during high school, and volunteered with the Army Draft Board and the American Red Cross during World War II. She worked as a buyer for the former McCarthy’s Department Store, Woonsocket.
She faced every challenge with dignity and wit, right to the end. Rita was an inspiration to many, the way she stayed so active and looked so young. She loved to square dance, exercise, bowl and play bocce; was a member of the Woonsocket YMCA and the Lincoln Senior Center; and was a faithful member of Saint James Church.
Rita was the loving mother of three daughters, Louise Hannam of Maryland, Lucille McNeal of Cumberland, and Janet Malenfant of Manville; four sons, Paul Salemi of Quincy Massachusetts, John Salemi of Uxbridge, Massachusetts, Alan Salemi of Manville, and James Salemi of Cumberland. She was the beloved grandmother of Karen, Kathryn, Erin, Andrew, Charles, Lauren, Jacob, Brian, Megan and Matthew; and 5 great grandchildren Alex, Kate, Jackson, Zoey and Emma.
Her funeral will be held Tuesday, January 22, 2019, at 9:00 a.m. from Bellows Funeral Chapel, 160 River Road, Lincoln, with the celebration of a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m. in Saint James Church, 33 Division Street, Manville. Burial will follow in Saint James Cemetery, Manville. Relatives and friends are invited Monday, from 4:00-7:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to the American Cancer Society.
American Cancer Society
931 Jefferson Boulevard, Suite 3004, Warwick, RI 02886