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Rita Melvin May 10, 1921 - January 7, 2017

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Rita Agnes McGee Melvin passed away in the late evening of January 7, 2017 at Big Sky Senior Living. Rita was born on May 10, 1921 in Butte, Montana the fourth of six children to Margaret (Maggie) McCloskey of Creeslough, Donegal Ireland and Charles McGee of Falcarragh, Donegal Ireland.
 
Rita attended Saint Patrick’s Grade School and was the first in her family to graduate from high school doing so with 90 girls from Girls Central in 1939. Shortly after graduation Rita worked at Hennessy’s Department store from 1939 to 1948 as an office cashier, leaving Hennesy’s to work in the credit department of Butte Motor from 1948 -1958. In 1963 she returned to work to support her family in the account department at Safeway, leaving that position February of 1965 to begin a 20 year career in the payroll department at the Butte School District No. 1. She retired March 31, 1986.
 
Rita married John William (Jack) Melvin August 10th 1957 in St. Mary’s Church; this union was blessed with three children in rapid succession. Rita raised her children in the house in which she was born on Virginia Street and resided at this address “her own little nest” until the last eleven months of her 95 years. Rita was, kind, loving and accepting of all and welcomed people to her little home - always happy to have a full house when her kids were young and eager to offer a cup of tea and a treat. She was happy to later share her Bingo winnings with anyone who happened to stop in for a visit at Room 232.
 
After her kids “flew the nest”, Rita enjoyed going on Notre Dame trips, gambling junkets, and traveling near and far, a highlight being a trip to Ireland. Rita was active in the Saint James Ladies’ Auxiliary, the Hibernians, the Daughters of Isabella, and the Hennessy lunch club. The focus of her life was her devotion to God; praying and attending mass were the highlights of her day. Rita valued relationships wether it was in her role as sister, aunt, mother, grandmother or friend - one felt loved and appreciated. In addition to her parents, Rita was preceded in death by her siblings and their spouses; John (Cleone) McGee, Katherine Erickson, Margaret (Jim) Lynch, Mary (John) Cummings, Charlotte (Frank) Shields and also by niece Peggy (Joe) Leary and great nephews Danny Shields and Scott Piazzola.
 
She is survived by her children and their spouses; Margaret & John Mansanti, Bill & Danette Melvin and Joe & Sally Melvin, her grandchildren; Stephanie (Ryan) Donahue, Meghan (Sal) Giovenco, Johnny Mansanti, Kerra Melvin (Luke Rona), Hallie Rita Melvin (Rob Trewett) and Ross Melvin, her great grandchildren; Giovanni and Nina Giovenco, Norah, Coryn and Asher Donahue, her nieces and nephews; Cathy Duffy, Ed (Dorothy) Cummings, John (Helen) Cummings, Mike (Tami) Cummings, Patsy (Pat) Callahan, Frank (Wanda) Shields, Dan (Christelle) Shields, Tim Shields, Lyla Mckenzie, Lura McGee, Johnny McGee, Darlene (Harry) Keltz, Eileen Ross, Jimmy Lynch, Charles Periman and Joy Williams. Rita is also survived by several great and great-great nieces and nephews all of whom she loved. She also leaves her dear friends Bridget O’Neill (the last of the Virginia Street ladies) and her traveling companion Marie Cassidy.
 
Our sincere gratitude to those who made her last year an easier transition; Team Rita of Easter Seals Hospice, Jim and Ev Graham, Michelle and Madison Quilici, Raylene Kirk, Peggy (Pearl) McGowan, Kathy Pavlovich, and Sean Shields. Our thanks to all of her health care providers and to her spiritual support providers Fr.Patrick Beretta, Fr. Tom Haffey and Sister Mary Katherine Maloney. Also, thank you to all who called, came by to see her, sent cards or took time for a quick visit when she was “out and about picking up a few things.” Outside of praying, having a good visit truly made her day.
 
Friends and Family are welcome to gather on Friday January 13 for visitation at 4 p.m. followed by a rosary. Rita’s funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m., Saturday, January 14th. in St.Patrick’s the Rite of Committal to follow in Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery. A reception will be held following the internment at Front Street Station. There will be an opportunity for you to leave your favorite Rita memory on cards at the reception.
 
Memorials are suggested to Butte Community North 102 South Washington Street Butte, MT 59701, Butte Food Bank 10109 E 2nd Street Butte, MT 59701, or The Believe Sorini Strong Foundation Inc., P.O. Box 3417 Butte Montana 59702
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