NORTH READING — A. Rita (Gorman) McKendry, 98, of North Reading and formerly of Wakefield, died Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015, at Wingate of Andover. She was the wife of the late William S. McKendry Jr., who died in 1989.
Born in Charlestown on July 16, 1916, she was the daughter of the late Samuel and Mary E. (Miller) Gorman. She was a graduate of Wakefield High School and attended the School of Interior Design in New York City.
Before her marriage she was employed by the John James Design firm in Boston. She has been a resident of North Reading for the past 70 years and a member of St. Theresa Church. She was a member of the North Reading Garden Club, North Reading Band Boosters, Past Master of the North Reading Grange, No. 239 and Past Master of the Pomona Grange.
Rita was an avid gardener and an excellent seamstress who made most of her children’s clothes growing up. She could knit and crochet anything, including numerous afghans. As a high school student she swam the length of Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield and was a lifeguard at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester.
She played the Hawaiian guitar and the harmonica. Rita also loved to fish.
Family members include her loving daughters, Ellen A. Zipeto and her husband John F. of Andover and Rhonda A. Waskiewicz and her husband Peter of Bear Creek, Pa.; her son, James J. McKendry and his wife Deborah Stewart-McKendry of Renton, Wash.; four grandchildren, Matthew D. and Diana E. Zipeto, Jennifer Elliott and Peter Waskiewicz Jr.
Her funeral will be held from the Croswell Funeral Home, 19 Bow St., North Reading on Friday, Jan. 16 at 9:15 a.m., followed by a 10:30 a.m. funeral Mass at St. Theresa Church, 63 Winter St. (Rt. 62), North Reading. Calling hours will be held on Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m. Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery in North Reading.