Rita Picicci

Jul 26th 1945 — Mar 19th 2022 (76 years)

Biography

Rita Brazma Picicci — bon vivant, feminist and wife, mother, grandmother, friend, teacher extraordinaire — passed away peacefully and suddenly on March 19th, 2022, at the age of 76, after a short battle with advanced cancer. Surrounded by her family and so much love, the one-of-a-kind, indomitable Rita, signed off on a life well-lived, on her terms, and with no regrets.

 Rita is survived by her loving husband Frank Picicci, her daughters Dina Lemieux (Marc) and Karin Campbell (David), her sister Austra Ozolins (Andris), her nephew Marty Ozolins (Elizabeth), and niece Larisa Ozolins. She will forever be missed by her grandchildren, Karah and Landon Lemieux, and Lorelei and Charlotte Campbell. Rita also leaves behind a large circle of extended family and friends — too many to list for fear of missing even one, because every single one was important to her.

 Born on July 26th, 1945, in Augsburg, Germany, not long after the end of WWII, Rita’s early life was as a refugee. Displaced from Latvia when Russia invaded in 1940, her parents fled, leaving everything behind. Eventually, they found their way to France and finally Canada, where life, for a time, continued to be marked by scarcity and uncertainty. This experience shaped who she was — Rita was an eternal optimist, a nurturer, eternally-kind and always loving, because she experienced such darkness, and chose to forever bring only light to everyone around her.

 It was no surprise that Rita found teaching her calling. Highly-regarded by students and teachers in the Dufferin Peel Catholic School Board, she inspired and enabled countless students to pursue lifelong learning, higher-education and careers. She told students and her own children and grandchildren, that they could be anything they set their minds to. It was common to be stopped at a grocery store or shopping mall, by former students, who would run up to her enthusiastically to thank her and proudly share their successes, that they credited to her teaching. Many colleagues remained her close friends after retirement.

Rita adored her daughters and grandchildren, and sacrificed so much to provide them with everything they needed to succeed and build an infinitely more comfortable life than she had. She had a knack for picking just the right gifts for her grandchildren, much to their delight. Celebrations were so special as a result of her thoughtful additions. Her family is her greatest legacy. They are forever grateful for her generosity and selflessness. Her daughters only wish they could have enjoyed one more al fresco rose with her and see her pure joy in being with them. There was never any doubt to her family about how much she loved them and the happiness they brought her.

Time spent with friends equally brought her joy. Rita was the greatest friend, and there is no one who could make life-lasting friends more quickly. Winters in Florida were a highlight in her retirement, where she enjoyed time with friends and her hobbies of shopping, shelling, chatting, entertaining and happy hour-ing. There is no doubt that friends’ and the family’s fondest memories are of times spent with her in the Sunshine State. How these times will be missed.

There is no way to get over this incredible loss, but there is comfort in knowing she has been reunited with family and friends she has not seen in a long time, and who she missed and thought of so much — especially her father and mother (Robert and Valentina Brazma). We know in this wonderful place, she is socializing, laughing, eating foie gras, brie and raising a glass of champagne to those she knows and the new friends she will undoubtedly continue to make.

Please hold Rita always in your mind and spirit. Remember her kindness of heart and love of life — she took no greater joy than in living and loving fully. Some people are so afraid to die, they never begin to live — not Rita. You are loved to infinity, Rita, mom, mam — and there will forever be a hole in the hearts of the many who had the privilege of knowing your light and love.

Rita’s wish was to be cremated. A celebration of her life will be held when it’s warm and sunny, as she would have wanted.

Cancer is a thief that robs so many. Rita and her family would love it if we could help conquer cancer in our lifetimes. Please consider donating to the Canadian Cancer:

https://support.cancer.ca/site/TR?px=14056990&pg=personal&fr_id=20868&s_locale=en_CA&et=ibIMztnlr97_2vnrbmYIcDZtphpxw5aE9qx87Ptq1DrlW394GWE8lQ&s_tafId=299002

Notes of Condolences about Rita

Carley

8 months ago

It saddens my heart to hear of Rita's sudden passing, but one great memory I have of her is her determination. No matter how she was feeling she always tried her best to put her best foot forward. She had such a loving heart and she will be greatly missed xo

Reggie and Patty LeBlanc

8 months ago

That she was a sweet giving person and always had a smile on her face.

Claude and Marilyn Blais

8 months ago

We met Frank and Rita many years ago while wintering at Bermuda Bay in St. Petersburg, Florida and instantly became friends. We enjoyed many Happy Hours and socializing with this fun loving couple. They were always so gracious with their hospitality and entertaining friends.

We always looked forward to meeting up for lunch whenever they came to Oakville for Frank’s medical procedures.

Rita was a very special lady and will be missed by so many friends and we consider ourselves fortunate to be among them.

Thanks for the memories Rita 🙏

Michelle Urdiales

8 months ago

Rita, I didn’t know you in person but now I feel like I do. You will live through your wonderful daughter Karin who is a light in the lives for those around her. You should be proud. Thank you for leaving this wonderful legacy. What a wonderful human being, you will be missed. Prayers and love to you and your family.

Connie Citriniti

8 months ago

Friend....Confidant....Advisor... Comedian...Loyal..Caring....Strong.... Supportive. You were all these things and

more to me. I am so grateful to have stumbled into our friendship. I will hold your memory close in my heart until the day I see you again. I already told my Mother to introduce herself to you when you arrive. You left such a lasting impression on me...I will never forget you. May your entire family find some small comfort in all the beautiful memories you made together❤ Luv you my friend

Connie Citriniti

John Robillos

8 months ago

My sincerest condolences and prayers, Frank and family.

Although it has been many years, I have nothing but the fondest memories of you both as colleagues and friends. This incredibly poignant bio resonates with me as I my recollections of Rita were of her as one of the most nurturning, warm, and loving people I've worked with. Her hugs truly made others feel so loved and cared for.

Walter & Kate Zarins

8 months ago

Rita will be sorrily missed. She was such a loving and caring person. She was such a fixture in my earliest years - from babysitting me to taking me toboganning or to the elaborate Sunday dinners at her home - she's left me with such fond and vivid memories. Not only was she a babysitter, friend, aunt, confidante, mentor, mother and so many things more, ...she was family. Deepest heartfelt condolences to Frank, Dina and Karin, and the rest of her family. Rita may be gone but she'll always be fondly remembered. 🥀 xo

Lydia Martone

8 months ago

Rita was a shining light, pure love, and optimism. She touched us all with her compassion - and passion for life. Rest In Peace. 💕

Norman Andrews

8 months ago

Chatting with Frank&Rita in the evening for hours,a great couple,gonna miss Rita RIP Rita

Kristen

8 months ago

The world has lost a good one. Rita was the mother of the best friend of my childhood, and for a period of time was like a second mother. I have the fondest memories of her and remember her kindness and love very well. So much love to her family and everyone grieving this great loss.

Comments Awaiting Approval:

Approved Comments:

Carley

Reggie and Patty LeBlanc

Claude and Marilyn Blais

Michelle Urdiales

Connie Citriniti

John Robillos

Walter & Kate Zarins

Lydia Martone

Norman Andrews

Kristen

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