Rita Angela Mahoney Sullivan, 89, died Thursday, April 22, 2021, at Wesley Village in Macomb. She was born July 12, 1931, in Manchester, England to Reginald and Margaret (Watson) Mahoney. At the age of 18, she traveled to Illinois to visit her sister. She married Don E. Sullivan on September 30, 1950, at Immaculate Conception Church in Carthage, Illinois. He died on August 5, 2002.
As a child, she attended St. Cuthbert’s School. Rita had vivid memories of experiencing the “Manchester Blitz,” when Manchester and much of Northwest England was heavily bombed during the Second World War. For a period of time, she and her siblings were evacuated to the countryside to escape the bombing. While she spent the last 71 years of her life in the United States, and became a naturalized citizen in the 1970’s, she loved her native country and passed along British customs, including a love of tea, to her children and grandchildren. Rita and Don resided in West Central Illinois throughout their nearly 52 years of marriage. They raised their growing family on farms in Carthage, Macomb, and Nauvoo, before moving to Hamilton in 1976. She worked with Don in their Carthage-based family real estate and auction company and became a licensed real estate broker. They enjoyed several trips to Ireland together. Rita’s greatest joy and legacy, however, was her family. She was a beloved mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, and friend. Compassionate, resilient, and prayerful, she was devoted to her Catholic faith. She will also be remembered for her love of reading, her style, and her sense of humor.
She is survived by eleven children: Ann (Martin) Florie of Overland Park, KS; Mary (Morgan) Lewis of Knoxville, IL; Edith (Patrick) Ewing of Hamilton, IL; Michael (Kelley) Sullivan and William (Sheryl) Sullivan, both of Carthage, IL; Stephen (Rana) Sullivan of Marriottsville, MD; John (Joan) Sullivan of Rushville, IL; Patricia (Buddy) Viniard of Burr Ridge, IL; Daniel (Kacey) Sullivan of Hamilton, IL; Joseph (Dawn) Sullivan of Rushville, IL; and James (Amy) Sullivan of Hamilton; over 70 grandchildren and great grandchildren with more on the way; and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to her husband, Rita was preceded in death by her parents; three sisters, Vera Jones, Margaret Collins, and Madeline Mahoney; and four brothers, Gerard, Reginald, Bernard, and John Mahoney.
The family wishes to extend a sincere thank you to Rita’s many wonderful caregivers in recent years, first at Maple Grove Memory Care in Carthage and then at Wesley Village in Macomb.
Friends may call at Printy Funeral Home in Carthage between 4 and 7 PM on Tuesday, April 27, 2021. The family will not be present. A private family funeral will be held at a later date, and burial will be in Calvary Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Father’s Friends (helping families in need) c/o Sts. Peter and Paul Church, PO Box 147, Nauvoo, IL; Haitian Hearts at haitianhearts.org; or a charity of your choice.