Rita Claire (Rozanski) Cole, 76, of Naples, Fla., and formerly of Plymouth died Nov. 7 after a long battle with lung and brain cancer.
Born and raised in Worcester, she was the daughter of Walter and Ethel (John) Rozanski and graduated from Fitchburg State with a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
“She loved her family, particularly doting on her kids and the grandkids. She’s the best thing that ever happened to me,” said Kevin Cole, her husband of 52 years and a former Boston Herald Director of Photography. “Her family was the most important thing in her life and she had a beautiful great big smile, it lit up the room.
“She was an avid skier but found golf later in life and loved it. She was full of energy and had a huge circle of friends,” Mr. Cole said. “It seemed she knew everyone here in the Verandas in Naples and the community has been wonderful helping out while she was sick and with arrangements.”
Mrs. Cole spent most of her nursing career as a pediatric oncology nurse at Jordan Hospital in Plymouth, where she befriended many patients.
Mrs. Cole was a past member of Plymouth Country Club and The Classics in Naples but Mr. Cole said, “She’d play golf anytime, anywhere and with anyone.”
In addition to her husband, Mrs. Cole leaves her children Kimberly of South Hadley and Michael of Plymouth, and her granddaughters Hannah and Olivia Cole of Plymouth. Her parents, her sister Carol and brother Joseph, predeceased her.
A funeral Mass at St. Peters Church in Naples, Fla., will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Friday. Burial will be private at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.