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Rita R. Donovan

Rita R. Donovan

Dec 22, 1917 - Jan 31, 2023

Rita R. Donovan - Obituary


ita Donovan, born Rita Rison December 22, 1917, died on Tuesday, January 31, 2023. She grew up in Marbury, Maryland, one of ten children to Martha Elizabeth (Mattie) Bowie and William Edward Rison. After graduating from Lackey High School in nearby Indian Head, she moved to the big city, Washington, DC, hoping to start a new life. Rita worked in downtown DC for an early bank-credit card company and made the most of her opportunities after World War II broke out. After the war, she began a happy career with the Bricklayers union, and finally met and married her husband James (Dicky) Donovan. They bought a comfortable home in Friendly, Maryland, where they spent the rest of their lives. Rita was very active in her church, St. Mary’s of Piscataway, mostly with the Sodality. Dicky died in 1987, after battling Alzheimer’s for five years. Rita cared for him the whole time even though she was a little person and Dicky was six feet tall. After Dicky died, Rita was the “go-to person” for most of her family, helping out relatives often when they were in need. She helped care for her mother as she aged, as well as her oldest sister Mary. Rita loved to travel and had many trips while working with the Bricklayers, including Western US, Canada and Hawaii. She took many junkets to New York, Florida, the Carolinas, New Orleans, New England, New Mexico and local theater and dinner gatherings with many ladies’ groups and with her sisters Marie and Henrietta. A favorite trip occurred when she bought two tour tickets to Europe, then went home to tell her husband that they were going! She had fond memories of Rome, Venice, and Paris. A delightful person, she was a lot of fun to be with, and enjoyed many adventures, especially with her family. Her smile and laugh will be remembered by her many friends and her great nieces and nephews. A friend wrote her a poem that encapsulates her character best: “I could sail the waters of all the world, battle the wild and blue, but never find a friend to love like the friend I’ve found in you.” She will be buried alongside her husband in the little cemetery at St. Mary’s church. Relatives and friends are invited to Mrs. Donovan's Visitation and Rosary on Friday, February 10, 2023, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the KALAS FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORY, 6160 Oxon Hill Road, Oxon Hill, MD 20745. Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Saturday, February 11, 2023 at 10 a.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church of Piscataway, 13401 Piscataway Road, Clinton, MD. Interment following Mass in the Church Cemetery.