Rita was born April 24th, 1933, in a big old house in the small town of San Giorgio Di Pesaro, Italy. She passed away with her son and daughter by her side on May 25th, 2021, at ARCH.
Rita Gemma Annuziata was the youngest of five children, born to Fernando Sartini, a drafter by profession who passed away when she was only two, and Luisa Chigiotti Sartini, a teacher turned homemaker. In September of 1969, she left her native country and headed to Canada. With her two young sons and a baby in her arms, she flew alone to Sault Ste. Marie to live with her husband Gianfranco Giommi.
From her father, Rita inherited a very affable personality and a love for nature and gardening. There was not a seed she could not grow, including several cacti that grew large and bloomed for many years in her sunny porch. Like her mother, Rita loved books, reading, writing, especially poetry and drawing. She also had a very strong unwavering Catholic faith and wonderful maternal instincts. She absolutely adored animals, especially cats. With endless compassion she paid to spay and neuter countless strays. She enjoyed day trips down the highway and always marveled at the expanse and beauty she saw. Rita also loved searching the shores of Lake Superior for its beautiful rocks, admiring their variety of shapes, colours and always wondered as to their origins and makeup. Rita was humble, shy, private, very stubborn, always smiling, and kind. She had a definite bohemian style and only her strong faith confined her. She is a loving mother of Steven, Micheal (Jennifer), and Maria (JJ), and the adoring nonna of Julia and Hannah.
Due to Covid, a private funeral mass was held at O’Sullivan Funeral Home and was celebrated by Father Ron Ambeault. We would like to thank all of the wonderful staff at ARCH for their unending comfort, support and kindness towards Rita and her family. Thank you for the best milkshakes and for allowing Joey, one of Rita’s beloved cats to visit one last time. Thank you to Marely and Lori, Marias lifelong best friends that provided boundless comfort, consolation, and lots of food! Thank you, Lisa, and Carmine Ficcocello for your generosity and the best bread in the Sault. Lee, Jaqueline, Madeline, Joe, Vanessa, Sarah… thank you all so much.
Donations in memory of Rita can be made to ARCH or The Animal Assistance Group (TAAG) (payable online or by cheque).
“…Because remembering her is easy, I do it every day…but it’s the ache within my heart that will never go away.” – Kirsten Preus: If Roses Grow in Heaven