, Salem, MA

February 16, 2013

M. Rita (Dionne) French, 84

Peabody — M. Rita (Dionne) French, age 84, of Peabody and formerly of Salem, died unexpectedly at her home, Thursday, February 14, 2013. She was the devoted wife of the late Donald E. French.

Born and raised in Salem, she was the daughter of the late Emile W. and Marion (Richard) Dionne. Rita and Donald married in 1954 and were residents of Salem. She worked in house keeping for Salem Hospital for over 25 years. Following her retirement, she worked as a crossing guard for the City of Salem for nearly 14 years.

Rita was a fiercely independent woman who, rain or shine, was always on the go. She was very devoted to her family and took enormous pride in each and every member. When at home, Rita loved working on crossword and word-find puzzles as well as knitting.

She is survived by a daughter, Dawn M. Roberts and her husband John of Hampton, NH, a son Steven French of Pennsylvania, a sister-in-law, Catherine C. Dionne of Salem, a grandson, John Roberts, Jr. and his wife Kaylee of Salem, 2 great-grandchildren, Patty & Krystal Roberts, as well as several nieces and nephews, including Brian Dionne of Florida, Robert and Gretchen Dionne of Groveland and their children Chase & Reagan, and Marc Dionne of Medway. She was predeceased by her brothers, Robert R. Dionne, Bernard R. Dionne and Richard Dionne.

ARRANGEMENTS: Relatives and friends are invited to gather on Tuesday morning, February 19, 2013, at 9:00 A.M. at the Levesque Funeral Home, 163 Lafayette St. [Rt. 114 / 1-A], Salem, to be followed by her funeral Mass in Ste. Anne Church, 290 Jefferson Ave., Salem, at 10 A.M.

Burial will follow in Greenlawn Cemetery, Salem. Visiting hours at the funeral home, on Monday from 2:00 to 5:00 P.M. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of the North Shore, 75 Sylvan St., Suite B-102, Danvers, MA 01923. For additional information and guest book, please visit