Rita J. McDonald
1937 - 2021
After courageously battling Stage 4 lung cancer for over 3 years, Rita J McDonald passed away peacefully in her home in Albuquerque, NM on June 20,2021 with her husband Michael and daughter Jill at her side.

Rita, a first generation Italian American, was born May 16,1937 in East Boston, MA to Giuseppina (Rotella) and Giuseppe Staropoli. Rita had a B.A, and an M.A. in Education from Boston State College. Rita moved to CA where she married Michael McDonald on June 19,1970. After living in Denver, Colo. Springs, and Cheyenne, WY, They settled down in Durango, CO. to raise their family.

Rita taught in elementary schools for over 35 years including several years at Sunnyside and Needham Schools in Durango. After retiring, Rita learned conversational Italian and playing the piano. She traveled throughout the U.S., Europe and Hawaii and loved spending time with her 8 grandchildren.Along with being the queen of bargain hunting shoppers and all things lavender, she was also known for her compassion and kindness for others. She enjoyed being a parishioner at St. Columba church in Durango,

Rita was preceded in death by her parents, brother Mike and sister Delia. She is survived by her husband, Michael, daughter Jill Stape (Dominic), son Michael (Bridget), and her 8 grandchildren, Mia, Talia, Michael, Olivia, Oliver, Alex, Edward, and Sergio.

A funeral mass will be held on July 12th at 9:00am at Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic church at 5415 Fortuna Road, Albuquerque, NM, with a reception to follow at the church

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital at 800-805-5856, or online at Stjude.org.
Published by Pine River Times from Jun. 30 to Jul. 1, 2021.
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Funeral Mass
Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic church
5415 Fortuna Road, Albuquerque, NM
Memorial Mass
Sacred Heart Church
45 Brooks St., East Boston, MA
Please consider a donation as requested by the family.
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7 Entries
Mrs. McDonald was my 2nd grade teacher at Needham Elementary. Then during high school, I had the privilege of working for her at the after school program at Needham. She was wonderful and made me laugh! I just learned of her passing. My deepest condolences.
Courtney (Bolka) Crawford
July 20, 2021
Hi Mike and family. Rita worked with me at the Parks and Recreation Department as a Gametime leader. She was a blessing for me. Such a good person. My condolences. Tim
Tim Erickson
July 9, 2021
Dear Jill, Dominic & family, I am so sorry for your loss! . I know how deeply we love our parents Jill, mine passed in December 2020 and I think of them daily, miss them. Your mom had to be an incredible mother, grandmother - as she raised an amazingly loving, compassionate daughter who also has loving, beautiful children! You are all in my prayers. Sending all your family hugs & much love....Janet
Janet Hall
July 8, 2021
My deepest condolences Mike. I´m so sorry to hear about the loss of your wife Rita.
Sandra Amidei
July 7, 2021
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the McDonald/Staropoli family. Rita was a beautiful lady and had the kindest heart. It was an honor to have known her and her family. She will be greatly missed. Love, Marie and Christina Zinna
Marie Zinna
July 7, 2021
I will always remember her joyful and proud description of her chosen profession in educating children as a dedicated teacher. She always reflected kindness and genuine caring with everyone.
Rommie Compher
July 7, 2021
Dearest Jill and Dominic and family. My heart goes out to all of you. Your Mom was such a sweet lady. Its been a long time since I had seen her come into our clinic when you all were there, but I have very fond memories of her. She was always telling me something funny to make me laugh or put a smile on my face! She will always be a part of all of you and watch over you!
Dawn Archuletta
July 6, 2021
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