Rita M. Guarino

Rita M. Guarino

Rita M. (Blaney) Guarino, 90, of Keene and formerly of Guilford, Vt., and a former longtime resident of Brentwood, died Wednesday, July 8, 2020, at home surrounded by her family.

Rita was born the daughter of the late Selena (Cotnoir) and Albert Blaney on Sept. 26, 1929, in Millis, Mass. She graduated from Bethlehem High School. She graduated from Plymouth State Teacher’s College, where she met the love of her life, Tony Guarino. Later in life she earned a master’s degree in educational administration at the University of New Hampshire.

In 1951, she exchanged vows with Anthony Guarino at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church. They have been married for 68 years and have five children, nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Rita taught elementary school for a short time in Warren, then stayed home caring for Tony and the children. Rita was passionate about reading and writing and developed a love of reading, writing, music and independence in the family. She relished thoughtful conversations that explored questions about the world.

She returned to teaching elementary school with the family moves to Lisbon, Maine, and Brentwood. She instilled in her students the importance of fine literature, producing plays of Shakespeare. She retired from teaching in 1983 to work with Tony at his home insurance agency. They both retired in 1991 and, in retirement, they traveled and watched their families grow.

An avid writer and journalist, she contributed to the Brentwood Newsletter and in 2004 she self-published a novel, “The One Eyed Dragon,” a commentary about her nemesis, television (say that word with a snarl) and its negative impact on children. She grew beautiful flower and vegetable gardens and walked or biked miles every day.

Rita is survived by her husband, Anthony Guarino, of Keene; and her five children and their families: Michelle Kareckas and her husband, Jack, of South Berwick, Maine; Jovana Guarino of South Burlington, Vt.; Jennifer Guarino and her husband, Ed Delhagen, of Randolph, Vt.; Michael Guarino of Lee; and Susan Guarino of Brattleboro; and a sister, Marjorie Blevins, of Mendon, Mass. In addition, she leaves three sisters-in-law, cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. Rita is predeceased by an infant daughter, Mary; a granddaughter, Alexa Cioffi; and her brothers, George and James Blaney.

In keeping with Rita’s wishes there are no calling hours. Burial will take place later and privately. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that you make donations in memory of Rita M. Guarino to your local library or to the charity of your choice. All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories, 44 Maple Ave., Keene NH 03431 (www.cheshirefamilyfh.com).