CHARLTON — Rita Patricia (Thompson) Harrison, 99, passed away peacefully on Thursday, February 15, 2018 at The Overlook in Charlton surrounded by her loving family.
Born in Worcester, the daughter of the late Alexander and Ellen (Sullivan) Thompson, she was the youngest of seven children. Pat graduated from Commerce High School in 1935 and attended a Worcester finishing school where she met her best friend for life, Peggy Cavanaugh. Pat worked as a legal secretary for several years before raising her family. In later life, she worked as a nurse’s aid at the Masonic Home in Charlton.
Pat was predeceased by her husband William Henry Harrison; her son, Peter James, and two granddaughters, Julianne and Kim.
Pat is survived by her seven children: Kathryn (Bill) Johnson of Rocklin, Calif.; Frank (Fran) Harrison of Charlton; William (Lois) Harrison of Oxford; Ellen (Leon) Blasco of Broomfield, Colo.; Nancy Harrison Nelson of Oxford; Barbara (Ken) Perron of Charlton and Mary (Steve) Morytko of Ashford, Conn. Pat was blessed with 25 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren who she leaves with an endless supply of stories.
Pat was instrumental in establishing The Center of Hope in Southbridge in the early 1960’s. The Center would go on to support and advocate for countless children in the community. Pat was a member of Charlton’s Helping Hand Society, a Girl Scout leader, and a Welcome Wagon representative for the local area. Pat loved her monthly get-togethers with her Charlton girlfriends during the child raising years, the group affectionately known as Club. As a younger woman, she enjoyed hiking, cross-country skiing, and tennis. She enjoyed flowers and dabbled in gardening, feeding and watching the birds, reading and doing word puzzles. Pat loved the beach was proud to dip her toes in the Pacific. She traveled across the country many times to visit family out West.
Ma was a lively woman who brought smiles and raised eyebrows to the faces of friends and strangers alike. She was a character, a spitfire, spunky, a hoot, an inspiration, fiercely independent and energetic. Ma lived life to the fullest and enjoyed the little things. She was a faithful member of St. Joseph’s Church and was involved in many ministries over the years. Her love of family and dedication to community instilled important values in her family.
The family would like to thank all of the caregivers and staff at Overlook for their compassionate and kind care of our mother.
A Funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday, February 20th at 11am at St. Joseph’s Church, 10 H-Putnam Road in Charlton, Burial will follow in Northside Cemetery in Charlton next to her husband. Calling hours are on Monday, February 19 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Robert J. Miller-Charlton Funeral Home 175 Old Worcester Road. Memorial contributions may be made in Pat’s name to the Charlton Public Library. To leave a condolence, please visit: RJMillerfunerals.net