Beautiful Rita slipped the surly bonds of earth on March 3rd, with her loving family by her side. Rita was born in 1925 to Frank and Anna (Raihenberg) Kasper in Springfield, Massachusetts. She attended Commerce High School, graduating in 1943. Rita worked for Liberty Mutual Insurance Company in Springfield, where she met her husband Maurice through his brother Horace. Rita was predeceased by her husband and her sister Patricia (Kasper) Smail. She is survived by her adoring children Janet Laprade, Daniel Laprade and Carla Calabrese Dawson, and Nancy Laprade and Gert Mitchell, her loving nieces Katherine Phillips and Laureen Ciccaglione, her nephew James Smail, her great nieces and nephews, and many caring Laprade-side family members. Rita was dedicated to her work in the Springfield District Court Probation Department from 1970 to 1991. An avid reader, she often claimed that her exercise was turning the pages of her newest novel. Rita loved to dance and swim, yet perhaps her biggest joy was planes. Rita said that if women had been allowed to fly when she was young, she would have been a pilot. Rita was a devoted mother and wife who adored her kitties and dogs - she would proudly say that all her grandchildren had 4 legs! Rita’s heaven on earth was ‘Windy Hill’, the family camp, where her cherished daily ritual was sitting on the stone wall watching the sun set over the western hills. ‘Three minutes from the time it touches the mountains!’ she would exclaim, beaming. May she enjoy those hills and sunsets forever. The family extends thankful gratitude to those at the Loomis Community and Western and Central Mass Hospice, whose kindness and caring eased the sorrow of Rita’s final days. Calling hours will be held on Saturday, March 17, 2018 from 9-10:15am at the Byron Keenan Funeral Home, 1858 Allen St, Springfield followed by a Liturgy of Christian Burial at 11:30am in Holy Name Church, Springfield. Burial will be private. Memorial contributions may be made to The Thomas J O’Connor Animal shelter, the Dakin Humane Society, or the Altzheimer’s Association. For further information please visit byronkeenan.com.
Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center
627 Cottage Street, Springfield MA 01104
Dakin Humane Society
171 Union St, Springfield MA 01105
309 Waverley Oaks Road, Waltham MA 02452