Rita Dugan Parlett died at Manor Care in Wilmington, Del., on Sunday, Sept. 7 at the age of 93, after a long period of disability following a severe stroke in August 2006.She was born in New York City on June 27, 1915, to the late Peter J. and Mary L. (Byrne) Dugan and spent most of her childhood near Bronxville and Tuckahoe, above Manhattan Island.
She graduated from Roosevelt High School near Bronxville, N.Y., in 1933, and graduated with the class of 1937 from The College of New Rochelle with an emphasis on sociology in her studies.
These were Depression years, and she took a job at Radio City, where she had to know the call letters of every radio station in the country and had a nodding acquaintance with many of the luminaries in radio news announcing of the day.
She married Arthur Parlett in 1939 just as war was breaking out in Europe and had her first of four boys eight weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
She moved to Pennsylvania in 1952 as her husband changed jobs. They lived near Lionville from 1954 for the next 50 years, raising the family and, later, two of her grandchildren.
In the mid-'60s, she taught second grade for one year at St. Joseph's Catholic School in Downingtown. In 1967 she started employment with Catholic Social Services under the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, putting her knowledge of sociology to use counseling families and later helping to place adoptive babies. Many of those families and adopted babies kept her counsel even after she had retired and continued to write to her about how their lives were going.
She retired with 10 years of service shortly after her husband retired from a career as a chemical engineer working for the Army at the Edgewood Arsenal.
Her husband predeceased her at the age of 90 in 2002.
She was always very proud of her Irish ethnicity and was a strong, gracious and kind woman.
She is survived by her four sons, Peter (Nancy) of Wilmington, Del., Michael (Janet) near Coatesville, and the twins, Paul (Susan) of West Chester and John of Devereux Foundation; 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Friday, Sept. 12, at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph Church, 338 Manor Ave., Downingtown.
Interment was in St. Joseph Cemetery, Downingtown.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Heartland Hospice House, 5661 Ochletree Lane, Wilmington, Del. 19808.
Online condolences may be sent at www.jamesterryfuneralhome.com.