On Wednesday, April 14th, 2021, at the age of 96 years, Rita Frances “Connie” Modesto passed away, surrounded by her loving family, and was welcomed into the arms of her much beloved daughter Trudy, who was waiting patiently for her, as well as by her own parents and all her other family members who had gone before her.
Rita, also known by many of her family members and friends as “Connie”, was born on October 4th, 1924, in Perth, ON, Canada, to Willard and Frances Conlon. She grew up and attended schools in Coniston and attended high school at St. Joseph’s Convent School in North Bay, ON, where she also attended Business College.
On May 24, 1949, in her home town of Coniston, ON, she married her sweetheart, Nello Modesto, also of Coniston, and together they raised three children, Trudy, Ryan and JoAnne. While living in Coniston, Rita worked as a secretary at Block Optical of Sudbury. During the uranium boom of 1957, the family moved to Elliot Lake, ON, where they lived until 1971, when Nello was transferred to Moab, Utah. They remained there for the next thirty years, until heading south to retire in Green Valley, Ariz. In 2012, they relocated once again to Sandpoint, Idaho, where they resided at Luther Park Assisted Living. This May, they would have celebrated 73 years of marriage.
Rita was a faith-filled woman and an active member of the Catholic parishes to which she belonged, participating in many parish groups, especially in Elliot Lake, ON, at St. Pius X Catholic Church, in Moab UT, in Green Valley AZ and at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Sandpoint. In her younger days, she was an avid curler, tennis player and flower gardener and also took much pleasure in collecting recipes, cooking and baking. She was particularly famous for her delicious blueberry pies, made with the exquisite blueberries picked by her husband Nello in the hills of the Coniston area, where they spent time every summer at her much loved cottage on Tyson Lake.
She is survived by her loving husband, Nello Modesto, of Sandpoint, ID, her beloved and devoted children son Ryan (Carol) Modesto of Green Valley, AZ, daughter JoAnne (Dan) Farmin of Priest River, ID as well as by her four precious grandchildren, Kelly Farmin (Sean Mirus), Ryan (Sabrina) Farmin, Sarah Modesto (Carlos Vicuna) and Melissa Modesto. Also survived by great grand-twins, Sawyer and Palmer Farmin,(whom she was so happy to have met, held and kissed), her brother Ken (Claire) Conlon, of Coniston, ON, sister-in-law Betty Modesto of Wappinger’s Falls NY, and beloved cousin Sharon Oliver, of Sudbury, ON, as well as many other nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends. She was predeceased by her parents, her daughter Trudy, and her brother Bernard (Theresa) Conlon.
Rita was a strong and loving matriarch to her family, giving out advice, hugs and kisses in equal measure. She was always there for those who were fortunate to call her friend, lending a listening ear or a shoulder to cry upon when needed. She lived a life filled with love, bore her hardships with strength and blessed all of us with her Irish charm! “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your master.” Matthew 25
Memorial Mass for Rita will be held on May 8th, at 11:00 am at St. Anthony’s Church in Newport, WA, with Fr. Victor Blazovich officiating. She will be laid to rest at St. John’s Cemetery, in Garson, ON, Canada.
Memorial donations may be made to L’Arche Sudbury Inc.1173 Rideau St., Sudbury, ON Canada. P3A 3A5. L’Arche is a world-wide community which welcomes those with and without developmental disabilities to live together in homes that reveal, celebrate and share their gifts and allows them to have a valid place in society. Bethany House, the L’Arche home in Sudbury, ON is where Rita and Nello’s daughter Trudy lived for many years, all of which were filled with much love, excellent care and outstanding support. L’Arche Sudbury will always hold a very special place of love and gratitude in the hearts of the Modesto family.
Lakeview Funeral Home is handling funeral arrangements. Please visit Connie’s online memorial page at www.lakeviewfuneral.com and sign her guestbook.