An inspiring teacher who taught for many years

WAKEFIELD — Rita L. (Lombard) Owen of Wakefield, formerly of Woburn, died peacefully March 13 at the age of eighty-five. She was the beloved wife of the late Henry W. “Hank” Owen Sr.

Born and raised in Woburn, Rita was a daughter of the late Samuel and Teresa (Moccia) Lombard. She was a graduate of Woburn High School, class of 1954 and received her bachelor’s degree in teaching from Lowell State Teachers College in 1958.

Rita was an inspired and inspiring teacher. She taught for many years at the Veterans Memorial and Hurld Schools in Woburn, where she enriched the lives of many students throughout the years. Rita’s greatest gift was her kind and gentle way of making people feel loved and respected.

After retirement, Rita and her husband became snowbirds and enjoyed visiting Naples in the winter. She loved the ocean and spending time on the beach. They made many longtime friends down there and loved to socialize and stay busy and active with her friends.

Rita’s life was her family. She was her children’s biggest supporter, never missing an event. As her grandchildren entered the world, her support shifted to them and no matter where their games or events were, she would travel to cheer them on.

Rita will be deeply missed and never forgotten by the ones who loved her most.

Devoted mother of Mary Smith, her husband Fred of The Woodlands, Texas; Bernice Garvey, her husband Jim of Meredith, N.H. and Henry “Hank” Owen Jr., his wife Debbie of Wakefield. Proud grandmother of Barry Mazzaglia Jr., Stacie and Beryl Smith, Taylor and Heather Owen and Maggie and Christopher Garvey. Dear sister of Helen Sherburne of Woburn, the late Patsy Lee Brien and sister-in-law, Mary Mitchell of Haverhill. Also survived by many loving nieces and nephews and friends.

Her funeral Mass will take place on Friday, March 24 at 10 a.m., in St. Charles Church, 280 Main St., Woburn. Interment to follow in Woodbrook Cemetery. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to pay their respects from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, evening, March 23 in the Lynch – Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main St., Woburn. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Rita’s memory to the Henry W. Owen School c/o Shore Educational Collaborative 201 Crescent Ave Chelsea, MA 02150