Limerick, ME — Rita E. Baltas, 82, of Limerick and formerly of Peabody, Mass., died at home, surrounded by her family, on January 13, 2013, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. Rita was born in Syracuse, NY, on December 15, 1930, and was the daughter of Anthony and Carmella Mayo Mangano. A graduate of North High School in Syracuse, she went on to receive her degree in Fashion Design from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. While there Rita met her future husband, Theodore C. Baltas and they were married on May 13, 1951. Upon graduation Rita was offered a position with the renowned fashion designer Claire McCardell, who in 1990 Life magazine was named one of the 100 most important Americans of the twentieth century. Rita turned it down to marry her husband, Ted and moved to Peabody, Mass., where they raised three sons. For a few years Rita owned and operated a dress shop in Topsfield, MA. Years later Rita established and operated her own weight loss company, The Slim Way Diet Center where among other things compiled the Slim Way Cookbook. She was a devoted homemaker as well as always working and volunteering outside the home. She was very active with St. Adelaide Catholic Church in Peabody and was a member of their choir. She was very active socially in Peabody and enjoyed square dancing, golfing and fishing.–
In 1955 Ted and Rita built their summer cottage on Sokokis Lake in Limerick, Maine and in 1996 moved there permanently. For the past 57 years, Rita and Ted have been very active with St. Matthew's Catholic Church where she sang in the choir and later was a member of the bereavement committee. The last several years Rita could be found working the book section at the St. Matthew’s "Funshine Fair." She belonged to the St. Matthew's "Holy Hill Hookers" rug hooking club. As well as being a member of the Limerick Research Club, the Red Hat Society, and the Limerick Historical Society, Rita donated many summers volunteering her time with "Habitat for Humanity. Rita will always be especially remembered for her card sending to “shut-ins” and organizing of gift-giving for service veterans in the area. Rita and Ted enjoyed spending winters in the New Port Richey, FL., area. Above all, she was a loving wife, mother and grandmother and a very special lady to her family, friends and church community.
Besides her parents, she is predeceased by a sister, Mary Jane Iannettone and a sister-in-law, Minnie Mangano. Surviving is her husband of 62 years, Ted Baltas of Limerick. three sons: Ted Baltas II and his wife, Janet, of Herndon, VA., Ron Baltas and his wife, Kathy, of Standish, ME., and Tony Baltas of Beverly, MA, and Scarborough, ME., and his companion, Carol Strout, of Scarborough, ME., a brother, Pete Mangano of Naples, FL., four grandchildren: Alexandria, Nicolas, Jennifer and Alexis Baltas, several loving nieces and nephews, as well as her beloved dachshund, "Lucy." The family would also like to acknowledge the many family members and friends, who have supported Rita over the past twenty-two months. In particular, a special note of thanks to Eleanor Watson and Alan Wing of Parsonsfield, ME.
ARRANGEMENTS: Visiting hours will be on Friday, January 18, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Watson, Neal & York Funeral Home, 71 Maple Street, Cornish, ME. A Mass of Christian Burial will be on Saturday, January 19, at 10 a.m. at St. Matthew's Catholic Church, 19 Dora Lane, Limerick. Burial will be in Limerick in the spring. Condolences may be expressed online at: www.wnyfuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Hospice of Southern Maine, 180 U.S. Route 1, Scarborough, ME 04074, or Dana Farber Cancer Institute, (gastrointestinal cancer center), 450 Brookline Ave., Boston, MA. 02215 or an animal shelter in your local area.