Obituary of Rose Marie Meloni
Rose Marie "Rita" Meloni, of Turnersville, New Jersey, passed away on Monday, October 2, 2023. She was 91.
Rose Marie Lamb was born in Philadelphia, PA, on October 17, 1931 to James Aloysius and Rose Dougherty Lamb. Rita, as she has always been known, spent her days surrounded by her large, boisterous and loving family. Raised by her father, after her mother passed away when she was just four years old, and the youngest of 13 children, Rita was fiercely devoted to her father, brothers and sisters, and nieces and nephews. Rita would tell stories of growing up in South Philly, playing in the cemetery at Old Swede’s churchyard, jumping curbs on Washington Avenue, visiting her sisters and brothers, and becoming Aunt Rita - a title that she dearly loved - at the age of 2. She played basketball, took dancing lessons, performed in recitals, and attended dances and socials at the Shot Tower Recreation Center on Carpenter Street. It was there, at the tender age of 14, that she met the love of her life, Joe Meloni.
Rita and Joe married in 1949 at St. Philip Neri Church. They had a long and happy marriage. Always devoted to each other, she called him her king, and he thought the world revolved around her. They shared laughter and love, discussion and debate, and a sense of family so strong that it was palpable. They respected each other, enjoyed each other’s company, and loved each other completely. Neither one ever left the house without kissing the other goodbye. And, boy did those two cut a handsome figure when they moved together on the dance floor! Oh how Rita loved to dance!
Rita and Joe moved to South Jersey in 1955. There they spent the majority of their 43 years together, raising their three children, Joe, Jeannette, and Rita, making deep, life-long friendships, and creating a home filled to bursting with people and love. Rita loved being a mother and always said that she liked having her children several years apart because then each of them could be treated as an only child. As the children grew she focused much of her energy on involvement in the church, school, dance classes and her personal spiritual journey. She continued close relationships with her nieces and nephews, being a profound influence in their lives. She adored being a grandmother to her six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Her favorite times were spending holidays with them and helping them to celebrate accomplishments and milestones. She was a talented hostess and generously opened her home to family and friends alike. Especially anticipated were her annual Family Picnic and Navy Yard picnic at Cecil, the Thanksgiving dinner she hosted every year for 30+ people and the annual Christmas party open to family, friends, neighbors and co-workers.
Although Rita was at heart a homebody, she did her fair share of traveling. From her first visit to Hawaii, cruises and a European tour with Joe, to a month-long trip to the Costa del Sol, visits to Ireland, Poland, and California with family and friends, she saw the country and the world.
In her later years Rita became involved in several senior groups: Oak Valley, Washington Township, and Our Lady of Lourdes. Through these groups she made many dear friends, and took annual trips to Salvation Army Camp, Wildwood, and Atlantic City. She even accepted the role of Secretary for the Oak Valley Senior Citizens Club when she was 85 years old.
Rita would tell you that one of the most important aspects of her time here on Earth was her spiritual life. She was deeply devoted to God and opened her heart and mind to the possibilities of the universe. She had a strong faith and a commitment to sharing her beliefs with those who asked for her counsel. She had no fear of death and had strong beliefs in the joy and positivity of what was to come.
Rita Meloni was truly a force of nature. She was strong, opinionated, fearless, generous, fair-minded, and full of love. She will be deeply missed by all whose lives she touched.
Rita is the beloved wife of the late Joseph P. Meloni; cherished mother of Joseph Meloni (Grace Dawson), Jeannette Collins (Duke) & Rita Wiggins (Kent); dear grandmother of Danette Collins, Jenifer Collins, Taylor Ryan Collins, Allison Meloni, Lauren Meloni & Melanie Rose Wiggins; great grandmother of Jackson, Sylvia, Arden & Layla. Rita is pre deceased by her daughter in law, Patricia Meloni; her granddaughter, Amy Collins; her siblings; Marie Ljoka, Daniel Leeman, Margaret Baresich, Anna Laudisio, Joseph Leeman, Daniel Miller, James Lamb, Joseph Lamb, John Lamb & William Lamb and her dear friend, Eleanor Snyder. Rita is also survived by numerous beloved nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend Rita's viewing on Sunday after 4 PM and Monday 9:00 to 10:15 AM in the McGUINNESS FUNERAL HOME, 573 Egg Harbor Road, Washington Twp (Sewell), NJ. Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Monday at 11 AM in Mary, Mother of Mercy Parish at Our Lady of Lourdes R. C. Church, 500 Greentree Road, Glassboro. Interment will follow on Wednesday, 10AM, New Saint Mary's Cemetery, Bellmawr. All are invited to a celebratory lunch at the Adelphia Restaurant, 1750 Clements Bridge Road, Deptford, NJ 08096, immediately following the Funeral Mass on Monday.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rose Meloni, please visit Tribute Store