Rita C. Clukey

DEXTER – Rita Clukey passed away peacefully at home in the early hours of Nov. 20, 2020. Honored recipient of the Boston Gold Cane since last November, she was 100 years old.

Born in Saint Claire, Quebec, Canada on Nov. 4, 1920, weighing only five pounds, she showed the world how tough she was right from the start. At age 3, her parents Aurele and Marie (Laflamme) Chabot came to Maine to look for work to support their large and expanding family. Like many, Rita learned from an early age how to “make do with what she had” and “live off the land”. She was a wonderful human being – kind, quick-witted and had a very sharp memory to the end. She was a wonderful cook – no fancy ingredients necessary – and could recall recipes without a cookbook. She had a green thumb and later in life loved growing sunflowers to see how tall they would get. She taught us all to be kind to one another and often said “It’s a tough world”.

She attended school in Dexter until the 8th grade and apparently had an easier time learning English than her older siblings. Like many in those days, she then worked to help her family. She married Nelson Clukey on Sept. 4, 1948 after he returned from the service. They settled in Sangerville, then Dexter in 1959. They were married for 58 years until his death in 2006. Together they raised four children. Rita worked at the Corn Shop in Dexter with many relatives, as a caregiver/housekeeper for Geraldine Dyer and the elder Mrs. Tillson, at Amos Abbott’s Woolen Mil,l and then in the kitchen at the nursing home-now Dexter Healthcare. Rita was a devout Catholic and lifelong Communicant of St Anne’s Catholic Church (now known as Our Lady of the Snows Parish). Her faith, prayers, favorite hymns, and Deacon David Denbow gave her great comfort until the end. She loved her visits with Deacon Dave especially when he prayed with her in French. We thank him for giving her comfort and peace.

Rita was predeceased by her husband Nelson; her youngest son Kenneth; her grandson Scott; and her great grandson Griffin; her brothers Louis, Joe, Lionel, Phillip, and Paul; and her sisters Jeanette and Helen and all their spouses.

She is survived by her sons, Robert and Raymond and wife Diane, all of Dexter, her daughter Katherine Tibbetts and husband Alan of Sidney; grandchildren Sarah Cooper and husband Mark, Heidi and husband Tyler McLellan, and Brian Tibbetts, all of Sidney. She dearly loved her three great-grandchildren Bryce Cooper, Blair Clukey and Harlie Clukey. She has one very special surviving sister, Florence Gould. They could be quite silly at times-what one didn’t think of the other one did. They gave each other great support through thick and thin. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews who loved her dearly.

Being a resident of Dexter for so long she made numerous long-time friends and had many wonderful neighbors who became like family to her-Elda Lagasse (another wonderful French lady), Donny and Sherry Williams next door and Tammy, Sonja, Kieran and Henry Smith. She loved you all.

Our deep appreciation to CHCS Hospice for their loving and compassionate care of our very special mother. We were so fortunate to be with her at home and couldn’t have done it without their help and support for all of us. Thank you to Denise Webb of Dexter Public Health for years of Tuesday morning visits, support and hugs. Rita looked forward to it every week. Thank you to Lori Towne, FNP for her calm demeanor and “always explaining things so I can understand” Mama would say. Heaven has a new angel now. We love you Mama-a bushel and a peck!

Due to the Coronavirus, a private graveside committal will be held at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Dexter. Arrangements are by Crosby & Neal. Those who wish may leave written condolences at http://www.CrosbyNeal.com

Here is a link to a memorial photo-slide show.


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Dexter, ME 04930

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