Cover photo for Rita A. McQuarrie's Obituary
Rita A. McQuarrie Profile Photo
Rita A. McQuarrie

Rita A. McQuarrie

b. September 29, 1925

San Luis Obispo, CA

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA - Rita A. (Denault) McQuarrie, age 98, a former resident of Dracut, Chelmsford and Vero Beach, FL died Friday, November 3, 2023.  She was the beloved wife of the late Charles O. McQuarrie, to whom she was married for 55 years prior to his death in 2006.  

She was born in Dracut on September 29, 1925, and was the daughter of the late Joseph and Flora (Forget) Denault.  She was a graduate of Dracut High School and active in local Catholic charities. She worked as a legal secretary for the Justice Department before marrying Charles in Lowell in 1951.

Rita and Charles bought a house in Chelmsford in 1957 and she raised their four children there while Charles worked at General Electric Wire and Cable.  When the time came to retire, they decided to move to Florida, where they enjoyed twenty-one delightful years together. 

After Charles’ passing in 2006, Rita was granted continued good health for seventeen more years, living independently until this summer. As her health began to falter, her children worked together to help her move close to family. She chose to go to California to be near her son. There she was able to celebrate her 98th birthday, following which she declined rapidly but with blessedly little pain as her kidney failure accelerated.  Her family knew the end was near when she could no longer hold a book to read. She passed away in hospice a few days later.

Rita is survived by her son, Edward F. McQuarrie, and his wife M. Elizabeth of Cambria, CA; her three daughters, Patricia A. Johnson and her husband Paul of Pittsburgh, PA, Charlene McQuarrie of Lacey, WA and Susan M. Garrity and her husband Sean of Merrimack, NH; three grandchildren, Timothy Johnson of PA, and Charles McQuarrie and Frances McQuarrie, both of CA; a sister, Gertrude Moffett of Beverly; a brother-in-law, William Chamberlain of Nashua, NH; and many nieces and nephews.  

She was also the sister of the late Bella Denault, Raymond Denault, Paul Denault, Victor Denault, Ella Dion, Lillian Ryan, Cecile Blais and Theresa Chamberlain. 

It being her wish, services were private.  Burial in St. Mary Cemetery in Tewksbury.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Rita's memory to Central Coast Hospice, 253 Granada, Suite D San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 or to a local hospice of your choice.  


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