Mary “Rita” Klaczynski

Mary “Rita” Klaczynski, 92, of Warren, RI passed peacefully on Thursday, December 7, 2017 at Miriam Hospital surrounded by her loving family. She was the wife of the late William C. Klaczynski.

Born in Brighton, MA, Rita was a daughter of the late Edward F. and Mary A. (Allen) Burke and a member of a large, extended Irish family.  She was a secretary for Foster Parents International before she retired.  She leaves one daughter, Sharon K. Couto and her husband Barry of Bristol, two sons, William C. Klaczynski, Jr. and his wife Lydia of Maryland and Dennis R. Klaczynski and his wife Marianne of Warwick, one sister, Ruth Damp of Brighton, one brother, Robert Burke of Brighton, eight grandchildren, Keith Couto (Nicole), Adam Couto (Aimee), Audrey McClelland (Matthew), Jane Govednik (Brian), Elizabeth Klaczynski, Christine Klaczynski, William Klaczynski, SSG Shannon Burgess (Christopher) and twelve cherished great-grandchildren – Taylor, Madison, Andrew, Jacob, William, Alexander, Benjamin, Henry, Dylan, Victoria, Brian and Eve and many nieces and nephews. She was the sister of the late Edward Burke, Dorothea Burke, Jean Meyer and Joan Greynolds.

Although Rita was diminutive in stature, not quite reaching 5’, she was a dynamo of energy, fiercely independent and a female thinker far ahead of her time. As a young girl, her Dad, a Brighton Firefighter, encouraged Rita to run track, earning her much cherished medals that she kept her lifetime. She also played basketball and these athletic endeavors would shape her life. After graduating from Brighton High School, Rita did office work during the day and loved to dance the night way with her sisters and friends as often as possible, and fondly remembered re-telling the nights’ adventures with her Mom. When others were marrying, Rita stayed the course of hoping to someday meet someone special, but at age 25 had already been deemed “spinster” by her several uncles. She always laughed while telling this story, because on New Year’s Eve 1950, a blind date with a sailor named Bill with a very Polish surname, who grew up on a farm in Michigan, would steal her heart. Rita and Bill were married the following August and within 4 years and lots of travel across the United States, three children had arrived.

The family would traverse the United States, kids in tow, living from Maine to California and in-between for many years with Rita often at the helm while Bill was out-to-sea for months at a time, before settling in Rhode Island when Bill retired from the United States Navy. All during this time in the 1950s and 60s, Rita was a wonderful forerunner and example for her children of cooking and eating nutritiously and incorporating exercise into life. Rita could be found with Jack LaLanne, hula-hooping in the backyard, doing cartwheels (well into grandmotherhood), indoor cycling each night for decades, dancing and walking. She also loved fashion and always dressed in lovely outfits, often adding her signature high heels, and coordinated it all with sparkling costume jewelry.

At age 50, Rita was widowed, but just as through her life, her independence and fearlessness led her to pick up and go on. She began working again and channeled her ceaseless energy into traveling the world and parts of the United States that she hadn’t seen with Bill. She had adventures that lasted her lifetime, and still found the time while working and traveling to be the fitness fashionista Grandma Rita who rarely missed an activity or sporting event in which her grandkids participated. Rita also added golf to her repertoire, joined bowling leagues, line-danced, and one great adventure was snowmobiling in Maine with her family.

In more recent years, when her cherished great-grandkids began to arrive, Rita settled into a lovely life very near family, watching “her” Patriots with her son-in-law Barry, daily reading of The Providence Journal from front-to-back including the sports section, always up for Newport Creamery Awful-Awfuls, a trip to Dunkin’ for an iced coffee or an afternoon with family enjoying the kids’ basketball. But Rita never lost her love of exercise, weight-training added, and appeared on a Today Show segment about older women who remain active. She was a true pioneer whom as recently as this past October could be found walking with her walker around Bristol or on the East Bay Bike Path with her daughter, Sharon, walking several miles per outing. In 2015, Rita’s family encouraged her to walk the Finish for a Guinness 5k in Warren, RI. She did, at age 90 (with her walker), and many of her family members to include grandkids and great-grandkids ran the same race, 4 generations strong. She would finish 3rd in her age group 70+, and has the medal to prove it. A return performance at age 91 in 2016 brought Rita a second place Finish and, of course, a pint of Guinness and another medal.

Among so many countless things, Rita will be lovingly remembered for her wonderful Boston accent that she never lost in all of her travels, her easy conversation and intent listening and laughter, her glorious calm, her stories of her childhood, her track medals, her love of reading, her love of her brothers and sisters and their epic phone conversations, her love of her dogs and granddogs, her resilience and legacy of “keep moving” well after physical limitations had set in, her love of family and her incredible excitement as one after another of her great-grandkids began to pass her in height, which she knew full well was rather easy to do.

Rita’s vivacious energy and love will be sorely missed, but as she always said, “I’ve lived a good life,” and she has passed her great energy and inspiration onto generations that have followed. This is a good life, indeed.

Rita’s funeral services and burial will be private, calling hours are respectfully omitted.

Mary “Rita” Klaczynski, 92, of Warren, RI passed peacefully on Thursday, December 7, 2017 at Miriam Hospital surrounded by her loving family. She was the wife of the late William C. Klaczynski.

Born in Brighton, MA, Rita was a daughter of the late Edward F. and Mary A. (Allen) Burke and a member of a large, extended Irish family.  She was a secretary for Foster Parents International before she retired.  She leaves one daughter, Sharon K. Couto and her husband Barry of Bristol, two sons, William C. Klaczynski, Jr. and his wife Lydia of Maryland and Dennis R. Klaczynski and his wife Marianne of Warwick, one sister, Ruth Damp of Brighton, one brother, Robert Burke of Brighton, eight grandchildren, Keith Couto (Nicole), Adam Couto (Aimee), Audrey McClelland (Matthew), Jane Govednik (Brian), Elizabeth Klaczynski, Christine Klaczynski, William Klaczynski, SSG Shannon Burgess (Christopher) and twelve cherished great-grandchildren – Taylor, Madison, Andrew, Jacob, William, Alexander, Benjamin, Henry, Dylan, Victoria, Brian and Eve and many nieces and nephews. She was the sister of the late Edward Burke, Dorothea Burke, Jean Meyer and Joan Greynolds.

Although Rita was diminutive in stature, not quite reaching 5’, she was a dynamo of energy, fiercely independent and a female thinker far ahead of her time. As a young girl, her Dad, a Brighton Firefighter, encouraged Rita to run track, earning her much cherished medals that she kept her lifetime. She also played basketball and these athletic endeavors would shape her life. After graduating from Brighton High School, Rita did office work during the day and loved to dance the night way with her sisters and friends as often as possible, and fondly remembered re-telling the nights’ adventures with her Mom. When others were marrying, Rita stayed the course of hoping to someday meet someone special, but at age 25 had already been deemed “spinster” by her several uncles. She always laughed while telling this story, because on New Year’s Eve 1950, a blind date with a sailor named Bill with a very Polish surname, who grew up on a farm in Michigan, would steal her heart. Rita and Bill were married the following August and within 4 years and lots of travel across the United States, three children had arrived.

The family would traverse the United States, kids in tow, living from Maine to California and in-between for many years with Rita often at the helm while Bill was out-to-sea for months at a time, before settling in Rhode Island when Bill retired from the United States Navy. All during this time in the 1950s and 60s, Rita was a wonderful forerunner and example for her children of cooking and eating nutritiously and incorporating exercise into life. Rita could be found with Jack LaLanne, hula-hooping in the backyard, doing cartwheels (well into grandmotherhood), indoor cycling each night for decades, dancing and walking. She also loved fashion and always dressed in lovely outfits, often adding her signature high heels, and coordinated it all with sparkling costume jewelry.

At age 50, Rita was widowed, but just as through her life, her independence and fearlessness led her to pick up and go on. She began working again and channeled her ceaseless energy into traveling the world and parts of the United States that she hadn’t seen with Bill. She had adventures that lasted her lifetime, and still found the time while working and traveling to be the fitness fashionista Grandma Rita who rarely missed an activity or sporting event in which her grandkids participated. Rita also added golf to her repertoire, joined bowling leagues, line-danced, and one great adventure was snowmobiling in Maine with her family.

In more recent years, when her cherished great-grandkids began to arrive, Rita settled into a lovely life very near family, watching “her” Patriots with her son-in-law Barry, daily reading of The Providence Journal from front-to-back including the sports section, always up for Newport Creamery Awful-Awfuls, a trip to Dunkin’ for an iced coffee or an afternoon with family enjoying the kids’ basketball. But Rita never lost her love of exercise, weight-training added, and appeared on a Today Show segment about older women who remain active. She was a true pioneer whom as recently as this past October could be found walking with her walker around Bristol or on the East Bay Bike Path with her daughter, Sharon, walking several miles per outing. In 2015, Rita’s family encouraged her to walk the Finish for a Guinness 5k in Warren, RI. She did, at age 90 (with her walker), and many of her family members to include grandkids and great-grandkids ran the same race, 4 generations strong. She would finish 3rd in her age group 70+, and has the medal to prove it. A return performance at age 91 in 2016 brought Rita a second place Finish and, of course, a pint of Guinness and another medal.

Among so many countless things, Rita will be lovingly remembered for her wonderful Boston accent that she never lost in all of her travels, her easy conversation and intent listening and laughter, her glorious calm, her stories of her childhood, her track medals, her love of reading, her love of her brothers and sisters and their epic phone conversations, her love of her dogs and granddogs, her resilience and legacy of “keep moving” well after physical limitations had set in, her love of family and her incredible excitement as one after another of her great-grandkids began to pass her in height, which she knew full well was rather easy to do.

Rita’s vivacious energy and love will be sorely missed, but as she always said, “I’ve lived a good life,” and she has passed her great energy and inspiration onto generations that have followed. This is a good life, indeed.

Rita’s funeral services and burial will be private, calling hours are respectfully omitted.