It is with great sadness we announce the sudden passing of our beloved mother Rita J. Bailey (nee O’Connell) shortly after her 90TH birthday. She was the devoted mother to her four children Gary (Sandra) McKinnon, Deborah, Richard, and Ellen (Gregory) Ferguson.
Rita was so proud of her ten grandchildren Jason, Stephen, Katelyn, Brendon, Harley, Sarah, Emma, Luke and Breton. In addition, she was blessed with five great grandchildren Cohen, Ava, Aurora, Hudson and Benjamin each bringing so much happiness and joy to her life.
Mom is survived by her three sisters Helen (Tony) Dubois, Audrey (Sherman) Buckler, Elizabeth (Michael) Wrice, her brother Merlin (Mariam) England.
Rita raised her family with her first husband Edgar McKinnon and following his passing was fortunate to experience a second love in her life, George Bailey, further broadening the family to include his siblings, children, and loving grandchildren. They remained together until his passing in 2019. Rita was also predeceased by her beautiful granddaughter Tayler McKinnon; daughter-in-law, Irene (Brufatto) McKinnon; and son-in-law, Hugh Muise.
Rita was born in Glace Bay, where she spent her first 30-years. Many years she spent time raising her family in Ontario and Alberta before resettling in Glace Bay for retirement. In recent years she relocated to Berwick where she was able to stay close to family while still living independently.
One of Rita’s great pleasures was spending time with her family and many friends at the campground each summer. She could often be heard leading campfire songs well into the wee hours of the morning. This social nature was one of her defining characteristics as she was always happiest when surrounded by others. Rita and her family were lucky enough to experience this first-hand just a few weeks ago in celebration of her 90th birthday. She was absolutely in her element as she was surprised by friends and family, many of whom travelled long-distances to be there to celebrate her milestone.
Rita was a great storyteller, with the ability to recall events from her past in vivid detail. Although preparing for travel, was always a stressful affair for Rita, she loved to have a captive seatmate to entertain with her many tales. This knack for telling stories will allow Rita’s memories to live on in perpetuity as her children and grandchildren can repeat many word for word.
Rita has instilled her values and kindness into her entire family tree, and her legacy will always live on through the thoughts and actions of her descendants. She will be greatly missed and forever loved.
A Funeral Service will be held on Saturday, December 4, 2021 at 11:00 am in the Saint Anthony’s Catholic Church, full vaccine and masks are required to attend. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations, in Rita’s memory, may be made to the Arthritis Society. Arrangements have been entrusted to Serenity Funeral Home, 34 Coldbrook Village Park Dr., Coldbrook, NS, B4R 1B9 (902-679-2822).