Rita Georgianna (Sicotte) Dumas, 79, passed away January 28, 2006 at Oakwood Nursing Home, Webster, Mass after a brief illness. She was predeceased by her husband Joseph “JD” Dumas in 1994 and her brother Roland Sicotte in 1997.
She leaves one daughter Jo-Ann Dumas-Auger and her husband Normand, and two sons Rodney Dumas and Joseph “Jay” Dumas, all of Putnam. She also leaves her sister Mrs. Lillian Fioramanti of Chicopee, MA, 3 grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
Born May 22, 1926 in Cowley, Alberta, Canada, the daughter of the late Joseph “Sylva” and Bertha (Hamelin) Sicotte, moved to the United States when she was 13. She met her soon to be husband on VJ Day in 1945 at a block party in Holyoke, MA, where she resided, and Joseph was stationed in the army. After a whirlwind courtship, they were married the following December. She has lived in Putnam ever since.
She worked at Belding Hemingway in the early fifties and soon after with her husband when he opened his own grocery store, JD’s Market. Her life was full, and music was a very big part of it. When she was 12, she and her 13 year old sister had their own country singing duo and performed on Radio and Amateur Shows as well as hospitals and political rallies in Alberta. Rita was also a championship yodeller.
And as if that wasn’t enough, she graduated from the Connecticut Institute of Hairdressing in 1966 and became a licensed hairdresser. She owned and operated the Avenue Salon out of her home for almost 40 years. She also had the distinction of being the Connecticut State Musician for the VFW, where she was extremely active. No get-together was complete without Rita playing the piano. She also helped establish the current VFW weekly bingo in Putnam.
But with all she had going on in her life, family, and business she always found time to volunteer her services. She loved singing in the St. Mary’s Church choir as well as with the Happy Singers, who perform for the area nursing homes. She was a member of the Daughters of Isabella and also the Ladies Auxiliary of the Putnam VFW. Her sense of humor, personality and genuine warmth for everyone she knew, will be greatly missed.
Her funeral will be held 10am Wednesday, February 1, from the Gilman Funeral Home, 104 Church Street, Putnam, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 12 Noon in St. Mary’s Church of the Visitation, 102 Providence Street. Burial will follow in the parish cemetery. Calling Hours will be held Tuesday from 2-4 and 6-8pm.