Rita Jean Gutchess

MADISON – Rita Jean Gutchess, 79, passed away Jan. 25, 2022 at Woodlands Memory Care in Madison. She was born May 29, 1942 in Cortland, N.Y., the daughter of Kenneth L. and Olive (Engst) Gutchess.

After Rita graduated from SUNY in Cortland, N.Y. with a degree in elementary education, she taught second grade at Dryden and Moravia New York schools. During this time, she took two graduated classes in speech therapy at Ithaca College in New York. After eight years of teaching, she changed professions and became a caregiver to older people, which was her passion. She became a hospice aide in Tompkins Country, N.Y. and took one semester in nursing school. Rita always excelled academically and was considered gifted in primary school.

Rita was an avid horseback rider and devoted animal lover, giving homes to numerous cats and dogs. After her divorce, she moved next door to her mother in Groton, N.Y. and cared for mother many years. After mother passed away, she moved to Maine to be near her sister, Karen. While in Maine, Rita was a certified nurse’s aide, still caring for older people.

She is survived by sisters, Kay Santosha of Washington State, Karen Gutchess and husband Kevin Hayden of Maine; her cat, Simon; and several nieces and nephews, including two special nephews, Ron and Brian Colasurdo. She was predeceased by parents, Olive and Kenneth Gutchess; sisters, Alma Gutchess and Lucy (Larry) Morgan; brother, Wayne (Audrey) Gutchess; several rescued animals.

Special thanks to the exceptional care given to Rita by Woodlands Memory Care of Madison and to Beacon Hospice. No services will be held. At a later date, her ashes will be buried with mother’s ashes and next to father in the East Homer New York Cemetery.

Please be kind to all life.

Arrangements under the direction and care of Dan & Scott’s Cremation & Funeral Service, 445 Waterville Road, Skowhegan ME 04976.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to a

“no kill” animal rescue or a horse rescue facility

Rita Jean Gutchess

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