Rita A. (Babcock) Bernhard

  • Born: July 30, 1932
  • Died: February 6, 2020
  • Location: Melrose, Massachusetts

Gately Funeral Home

79 West Foster Street
Melrose, MA 02176

Tel. (781) 665-1949

Tribute & Message From The Family


Message From The Family

Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Rita by adding your memories.

Rita (Babcock) Bernhard, 87, of Melrose, passed away at her home surrounded by her family on February 6, 2020. Rita was the beloved wife of the late Thomas Bernhard. Loving mother of Lisa Bernhard of Melrose, Rita Croteau & her husband Richard of South Yarmouth, Thomas Bernhard & his wife Robin of Melrose, Kevin Bernhard of Melrose, James Bernhard & his wife Ruth of Plainville, and Debra Norris & her husband Dana of Melrose. Cherished grandmother of Michael, Ashleigh, Nikkilee (Alex), Jeannine (Brandon), Noelle (Anthony), Gus, Jason, Taylor, Kelton, Alexander, & Sydney. Proud great grandmother of Bryce, Ava, Mya, Tony, and the late Cali Caruso. Devoted sister of Barbara Drago & Domenic, Helen Hurd & Al Erickson, Loretta Prestia & Leonard, and the late John Babcock & Catherine and James Babcock & Urania. Caring sister-in-law of Ann and Roger Richard. Also survived by many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Rita was raised in Everett, MA, and graduated in 1950 from Everett High School. She went on to receive her bachelor's degree in teaching from Salem Teachers College in 1954. After graduation she taught elementary school in Athol, MA, and Everett, MA. Once Rita and Tom moved to Melrose to raise their family, Rita became a substitute teacher, where she was known for always following the lesson plan and expecting her students' full attention and participation. She later worked at the Melrose YMCA for many years, where she was known for her warm greetings and unflappable demeanor. Rita was happiest when her living room was filled with her family chatting, laughing, teasing, reminiscing, and debating—always with the respect for one another that she quietly and lovingly insisted upon.

Visitation will be held at the Gately Funeral Home, 79 W. Foster St., Melrose, on Monday, February 10, 2020, from 4:00-8:00 PM. Funeral procession from Gately Funeral Home on Tuesday morning February 11 at 9:00 AM, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at Incarnation Church, 425 Upham St., Melrose, at 10:00 AM. Interment at Wyoming Cemetery in Melrose. Relatives & friends are respectfully invited to attend. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Rita's name to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.