Rita McCooeye died on Jan. 23, 2003 at Winchester District Memorial Hospital. She was 69.
She was born Elizabeth Marie Rita Regimbal on April 6, 1933 in Aylmer, Quebec. She was the oldest of two children born to Theodore Regimbal and Marie Smith. After the death of her mother, she grew up in Chelsea, Quebec, with her grandmother and aunt. Later she moved to Ottawa to work at Revlon.
She married Donald Gibson McCooeye on July 14, 1956 at the Metcalfe United Church manse. They built their own house on his family farm near Edwards. In 1960 they moved from their new home to the older farm house on the McCooeye homestead where Donald’s parents had lived.
Together they operated the dairy farm and she began her own registered kennel which was known as Golden Glow Kennel. They raised a family of four: Dianne, Donna, Joy and Jim. In 1981 they moved to Williamsburg to semi-retire and be near the place where they started out as husband and wife, “because Morrisburg was where they honeymooned.”
She was active in the Canadian Kennel Club for more than 35 years. She bred and raised eight different breeds. She was a very patient, understanding and caring individual. She would sacrifice her own desires to fulfill someone else’s. She was the best friend anyone could have.
Mrs. McCooeye enjoyed quilting, gardening, country music and working with animals. Her dedication was endless. When her children were young she would start her morning at sunrise by feeding young calves in the barn. Then she would get the children ready for school, followed by feeding and caring for a litter of puppies, all in a daily morning’s routine.
She and Donald had a true loving marriage for 44 years, until he lost his battle with cancer on Aug. 6, 2000.
She is survived by her children: Dianne (Tom Deafy) of Thunder Bay; Donna (Jim Gleason) of Venosta, Quebec; Joy and Jim, both of Williamsburg. She is also survived by grandchildren Peter, Crystal and Kaylie. She will be missed deeply and always be remembered with love.
Friends called at the Marsden and McLaughlin Funeral Home in Williamsburg on Jan. 27. The funeral was the same day, followed by cremation. Interment of cremated remains will be at Spring Hill Cemetery in Vernon in the spring.
Donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation would be appreciated by the family.