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Rita Y Swindell passed away peacefully on February 12, 2023 at the Kaplan Family Hospice in Danvers. She was the beloved wife of Burpee Swindell with whom she celebrated sixty-three years of marriage until his passing in 2013. Born in the Castle Hill section of Salem on October 19, 1924, she was the daughter of Vincent and Anna (Corbin) Dowdell. She was raised in a large extended family with grandparents, great-grandparents and many uncles, aunts and cousins nearby. Educated in Salem she attended Salem High School and the Hawthorne Business Institute. After school she was employed as a secretary at the Community Fund in Salem until she left to raise her children in the home her husband built for her as a bride in the Beaver Park section of Danvers and in which she lived until just before her passing. After raising her family she was employed by the Almy's department store at the Danvers Plaza and was one of the last employees to lock the doors when Almy's closed in 1988. Rita was a devote member of Saint Richard parish in Danvers, where she and her husband Burpee were founding members. Her faith was an important part of her life and after she was unable to attend Mass, Rita watched the Mass every day on Catholic TV. She was always busy with family and held many happy parties for family at her home. Most of all she loved to dance with her husband “Burt” and spend time with her family and her many neighborhood friends.
Rita is survived by her children Cynthia Abbott and her husband Gary of Boxford, Paul of Danvers, James and his partner Darlene of Danvers and Barry and his wife Nancy George of Beverly, Her beloved grandchildren, Scott Abbott and his wife Kellie of Danvers, Craig Abbott of Alpine, WY, Matthew and Laura Swindell of Beverly and Adam, Christopher and Heather Swindell of Danvers. She was especially happy to have been able to meet and love her great-grandchildren, Morgan and Jackson Abbott of Danvers and Vanessa and Wyatt Swindell of Salisbury. She is also survived by siblings Dorothy Beauregard and her husband John of Salem, Beatrice Boyette of St Petersburg, FL, William Dowdell of Blackpool, England and sister-in-law Lillian Dowdell of Bedford, NH. She was predeceased by her brothers Richard Dowdell of Danvers, Vincent (Buddy) Dowdell (Jackie) of Salem and sisters Lorraine (Joe) Portelance of Beverly & Anne Biggins (Eddie) of Waltham and many loved nieces and nephews. She will be missed.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made in her honor to Catholic TV, P.O. Box 9196, Watertown, Ma 02471 or Care Dimensions, Ste B-102, 75 Sylvan St., Danvers, Ma 01923
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