Rita Winnifred Blakeney-McCullough (née McHale) passed away peacefully in Barrie, Ontario on May 27, 2021 before an inoperable medical condition could cause her more discomfort and pain.
Born March 7, 1937, Rita was the sixth of seven children raised by Ernest and Elizabeth McHale on their family homestead in River Glade, NB.
Her sisters Margaret, Helen, Alice and Judy already miss the sound of her energetic laughter during their frequent phone calls. Her eldest sister Betty and only brother Walter made their journey Home ahead of her.
Rita loved and lost three husbands. Her first love was Carl Blakeney who died of ALS in 1992 after 34 years of marriage. In 2001, she wed Ken McCullough and they shared their love of travel and sense of fun for nine years. In 2013, Rita and her friend Alex McDougall were married and enjoyed a loving companionship until he passed just two years later.
Rita is survived by her seven children: Cheryl (Todd), Terry (Sheila), Tim, Andrew, Bernie (Katy), Jeffrey, Chrissy (John), and is predeceased by Casey, the grandson she raised. Her 10 grandchildren and 2 great-children will really miss her.
She was loved and admired by her step-family, the McCulloughs: Earl and Deirdre, Kathleen and Michael, Margaret and Mike, and will be fondly remembered by their children and grandchildren who called her Grammy Rita.
In accordance with her wishes, Rita has been cremated and a funeral mass will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 63 Amelia Street in Barrie, Ontario on Wednesday, July 28 at 11:00 AM. The service will also be livestreamed on St. Mary’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/St.MarysBarrie/live
A graveside ceremony and Celebration of Life will be held in late September when travel restrictions have (hopefully) relaxed and distant family and friends will be able to join us.
The family wish to thank the management and staff of The Barrie Manor – who Rita always referred to as “her angels” – for the compassionate care she received in her final weeks. You helped make this journey easier for all of us.
In lieu of flowers and cards, please consider doing a random act of kindness for a stranger in her memory. She would really like that.