Published in the April 1, 2016 edition

Rita-Searles-obit-webPITTSFORD, Vt. — Rita M. (Loraine) Searles, 94, of Pittsford, Vt., and formerly of Melrose, died after a short illness on March 27.

Rita was born in Florence, Vt. on May 16, 1921 to Antoinne and Susie (Bostwick) Loraine. She was raised in Worcester. Rita married Gordon H. Searles in 1946, they lived in Malden and Medford before settling in Melrose in 1955, where they remained for 21 years until retiring to Pittsford, Vt. in 1976.

Rita worked for Automatic Radio for a number of years in addition to raising her family. She was very active in the communities she lived in over the years. She was a member of the Hillcrest Church, where she was the Jr. Choir Director as well as a member of the Senior Choir and bell ringers. She was also a member of the First Congregational Church in Pittsford. Rita was also a member of the Pittsford Lions Club and was a recipient of the Melvin Jones Award.

She was also an avid reader and enjoyed hand crafts. She made all sorts of ornaments and other crafts around the holidays for her large family.

Rita was the loving wife of the late Gordon H. Searles Sr. She was the loving mother of Carol E. Barnes of Melrose and Gordon H. Searles Jr. and his wife Barbara of Whitehall, N.Y. She was the proud grandmother of Lisa Donahue of Melrose, Mark Barnes of Beverly, Dennis Barnes of Saugus, Jeffrey Barnes of Georgetown, Jackie Barnes of Melrose and Gordon H. Searles III of Peru, Vt. She was the step grandmother of William Hathaway Jr. of Great Barrington, Kim Lynch of Rutland, Vt., Kurt Hathaway of Londonderry, Vt. and the late Stacey Giroux of South Burlington, Vt. She is also survived by 11 great-grandchildren and seven step great-grandchildren. Predeceased by eight siblings: Julia Woodford, Violet Pacquette, Henry Loraine, William Loraine, Cecil Loraine, Bertha Smith, Robert Loraine and Mary Stewart. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins.

A private service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers donation can be made to Care Dimensions, 75 Sylvan St., Suite B-102, Danvers MA 01923. Arrangements by Gately Funeral Home.