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In loving memory of
Rita Merry
  • October 12, 1959
  • -
  • November 09, 2020

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Obituary

Rita Cristi Merry, age 61, passed away on November 9th, 2020, after a long, hard-fought battle against cancer. She was born on October 12th, 1959 in New London, CT. She was a 1977 graduate of Robert Fitch Senior High School in Groton, CT. She lived in Connecticut and Florida throughout her life. While she was a longtime resident of Central Florida, she always had a fondness for her childhood home in New England; especially CT-style pizza and grinder sandwiches. She was a die-hard Patriots fan and enjoyed watching football games every Sunday. She also enjoyed gardening, arts & crafts, and family card games.
Family was always first and foremost in Rita’s life. Rita was a devoted mother and grandmother. She married in 1979 and spent her younger years at home raising her two children Joey and Valerie with her faithful Black Labrador companion, Molly, by her side. The family enjoyed many fall vacations in one of Rita’s favorite places, the White Mountains of New Hampshire. After the family moved to Central Florida in 1992, her children continued to enjoy so many years of childhood memories including spending time with her other “kids”: Joey and Val’s neighborhood close friends. Her love of family only grew stronger as she became a loving grandmother to 4 grandkids over the last 11 years. The grandkids always loved finding her Christmas morning wearing her favorite Mr. Grinch slippers.
After she divorced and as her own children graduated high school and grew older, Rita found another family as the long-time hostess at Carrabba’s Italian Grill in Winter Springs. She enjoyed the daily interaction with her regular patrons and the staff at the restaurant, even more than her favorite Sogno dessert!
Rita was pre-deceased by her father, Orrin Merry of Green Cove Springs, FL., and her sisters Nalani Kerns of Orange Park, FL. and Claire Merry of Makaha, HI. Rita is survived by her mother Rita Cormier and sister Lila Darby (Joe) of Woodbridge, VA., and sister Dawn Prude (John) of Green Cove Springs, FL. Rita is also survived by her loving children: Maj. Joe Zujus, USAF (Laura) of Caledonia, MS., and Valerie Parker of Casselberry, FL. She also leaves behind 4 grandchildren: Madison, Joey Jr., and Caroline Zujus and Gage Parker.
Rita’s “Celebration of Life” Service will be held at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church (1515 S Semoran Blvd Orlando, FL 32807) on December 5, 2020 in the Family Life Center. There will be a reception with the family from 10 to 11 am and the service will begin at 11 am. In lieu of flowers, we ask that you make a tribute donation in Rita Merry’s name to the Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation at https://fcsf.org/ways-to-help/donate


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  1. 18 Nov 2020
    Joe Zujus says:
    EVERYONE! We sincerely apologize but due to unforeseen issues, we unfortunately have to change the date for Rita’s Memorial Service. The updated information is below:

    If you ordered flowers for the service, please call and change them to the correct date. If you ordered flowers through the Church, we will change the delivery date for you.

    We invite you to attend our Mom’s Celebration of Life service which is scheduled for Dec 5th at

    Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
    1515 S Semoran Blvd
    Orlando FL 32807

    Reception with the family will be from 10:00-11:00am
    Memorial Service will start at 11am

  2. 14 Nov 2020
    Joe posted an image:
    Her whole world
    Her whole world

  3. 14 Nov 2020
    Joe posted an image:


  4. 14 Nov 2020
    Cindy Schneider says:
    My dear friend Rita, may you RIP....I will miss you

  5. 14 Nov 2020
    The Hall Family says:
    Rita was an absolute warrior and champion for her family. Her spirit and bravery was unparalleled. She had a passion for those she loved and will never be forgotten. Gone from this world but never from the hearts of those who knew and loved her. Prayers for all she left behind and there was is no doubt her love can be felt even now. Blessings❤️

  6. 14 Nov 2020
    Phyllis Testa says:
    I am so sorry to hear of Rita's passing. She fought a great battle. She adored her children and grandchildren. Rest in peace my friend.

  7. 13 Nov 2020
    Jolene Ammons says:
    Sorry for the loss of your mom. She’s taking a nap in your hearts.
    I use to work with her, one of the sweetest people on the earth.
    RIP my friend.

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