In loving memory of Rita Lilith Dusseau, born February 19, 1945. Rita died peacefully on the morning of February 9, 2023, in her Bradenton, Florida home surrounded by family. She suffered for over a year, with dermatomyositis, a rare debilitating disease as well as advanced ovarian cancer. Rita was 77 years old and is survived by Larry, her devoted husband of 55 years, and her two sons, Brian and Michael, in addition to seven grandchildren, five sisters, four brothers and the countless other lives she touched.
Rita's theme for life was, leave a place better than you found it. In Michigan, where she was born, she received Governor Milliken's award for Citizen Volunteers. She was very active in the Lake Orion United Methodist Church, writing several songs and plays for the church and its congregation. She also formed the first Parents Teachers Organization at Stadium Elementary, where her sons attended school.
In 1993, Rita and Larry moved to Bedford, New Hampshire, where she was one of the founders of Bedford Off Broadway, directing many plays and organizing several singing waiter dinners, for over a decade. The funds from those performances were used to renovate the hundred year old Bedford Grange Hall, whose second floor stage was not accessible for 50 years. The stage is not only used for plays, but for interviews during each presidential election cycle. Her landscaping, grape arbor groomed woods and pond were also included in a Bedford Garden Club home tour.
In 2005, Rita and Larry moved to Long Island City, New York, where she was a key member of the Friends of Gantry Park. She recruited dozens of volunteers to maintain the 7 acres of park along the Long Island City Waterfront. In the Coop where they lived, she organized the shareholders to refurbish planters and establish a herb garden on the fifth and sixth floor common areas. You can still clip those herbs for cooking today. Rita was also on the library committee, and met with Mayor Bloomberg to explain the value of the first public library on the shore of the East River.
In 2016, she and Larry retired to their Pine Bay Forest condo in Bradenton Florida, where Rita served for four years on the PBF Board of Directors, retiring as president. While serving as Pool and Grounds Director, Rita continued her theme of leaving a place better than she found it, by organizing dozens of owners to help improve the common areas, by planting hundreds of native Florida trees, palms and plants.
No funeral is planned however a memorial in celebration of her life will be announced later this year.
My deepest condolences. I loved working with Rita during my time at Bedford Off Broadway. A true lady and leader. ❤️💕
You were a great mother and wife to your family. you were very funny and had a a very heart. i remembered you when you had Brian and Mile in the Boy Scouts with me. You really cared about the boys. You will be missed
Our deepest condolences to you Larry and the whole family there.
My deepest condolences to Larry and the entire family. I'm glad I was able to meet Rita and benefit from her work to create the now existing LIC Branch Library.
So many fond memories of Rita from Elementary School, Junior High School, High School and our entire adult life!! She stood up to our Wedding. Rita was a beautiful person - kind, respectful and friendly to everyone she encountered!! We all will miss her smile, sense of humor and her sense of adventure!! Rest in Peace my dear friend!!
i remember moving to lake orion michigan in my sophmore year of highschool and meeting rita at lake orion united methodist church.i thought she beautiful. she carried her self with a quiet elegance that I admired. what a lovely lady!
Our deepest condolences to the Dusseau family and friends from staff at Sound Choice Cremation.
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