Rita Mary Gager

Gager, Rita M.

SOUTH BETHLEHEM – Rita M. Gager, 86, passed away suddenly at home on Tuesday morning, March 12, 2019. 

Rita Mary Ratchford was born in Scranton, PA on October 31, 1932, a daughter of the late John and Mary Guy Ratchford.  She was raised and educated in Scranton, and married her husband, Donald D. Gager, on April 18, 1949.  Rita and Don moved their family to South Bethlehem in 1968.  She worked as a payroll and accounts payable clerk at Callanan Industries in South Bethlehem for 22 years.  She then worked for many years in the office of Persico Oil Company in Ravena, retiring several years ago.  Rita was formerly a member of Selkirk Fire Company #3 Ladies Auxiliary.  She was a communicant of St. Patrick’s Church in Ravena and was a very active volunteer in many ministries at the church, serving as Eucharistic Minister, altar server, lector, bereavement minister, altar linens, food pantry and thrift shop worker.  Above all, Rita was a wonderful matriarch to her family.  She was a true example of selfless love and strong family values.  Love is at the center of her family, because faith was at the center of her heart.

Rita is survived by Don, her husband of 69 years; children, Diane Hoffman, Donna Hagen (Ken VanAlstyne), Sean Gager (Penny), Michael Gager, and Mary Tice (Robert); grandchildren, Robert Hagen (Christine), Michelle Hagen, Amanda and Sean Gager, Sarah Roberts (James), Leah Gager, Christopher Tice, and Kathleen Carroll (Steven); great-grandchildren, Kali Hagen (Zach Hoffman), Jillian Hagen, Sara Stangle, Colin and Christian Mikulski, James and Henry Roberts, and Reed Carroll; many nieces and nephews.  In addition to her parents, Rita is predeceased by her sisters, Margaret Callery, Marion Doud, Helen Cullen, Grace Turner, and Frances Fetterhoff; brothers, John (her twin who died at birth) and James Ratchford; and her granddaughter, Katie Gager.

Calling hours will be Friday, March 15th from 3 to 7 p.m. at A.J. Cunningham Funeral Home, 9 Main Street, Ravena.  Funeral Mass will be offered on Saturday, March 16th at 1 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Church, followed by burial in St. Patrick’s Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to St. Patrick’s Church, 21 Main Street, Ravena, NY 12143 will be appreciated.  Condolence page at ajcunninghamfh.com.