“We have only a memory, dear mother
We cherish our whole life through
But the sweetness will live forever
As we treasure the memory of you”
Rita Giacalone, a beautiful and resilient lady, passed on June 12, 2021, within months after receiving the advanced stage cancer diagnosis. She was at her daughter’s home surrounded by her beloved and treasured granddaughters and family. Rita is survived by daughter: Nadine Tremper; son: Mark Tremper; three grandchildren: Danielle, Nicole, and Camille; her brother: Claude Giacalone, her brother-in-law: Pete Smith, her Goddaughter: Michelle Eidell and many nieces and nephews. Her four siblings predeceased her: Albert Giacalone, Aldo Giacalone, Joe Giacalone, and Monique Smith.
She was one of six siblings born to Francesco Paolo of Trapani and Caterina Vacca of Sardinia. Her Italian family were born and grew up in Tunis, Tunisia near a port and beautiful beaches around the Second World War. In the late 50s the family migrated to London, England to seek better job and lifestyle opportunities. Rita had her first job in the canteen at St. Thomas hospital in London.
When Rita came to the United States she worked as an au pair and proudly achieved her citizenship on Bastille Day in 1972. She left a profound impression on so many friends, families, and particularly the many children she took tremendous joy in caring for as their nanny.
Her final and most cherished au pair family position led to her to follow the children to their catholic elementary school, where she assumed the position of the cafeteria’s Food Service Manager. Rita worked for the Archdiocese of Washington at Mary of Nazareth elementary school in Darnestown, MD. She dedicated ten years of service and extended her love and friendships to the families and school professionals.
The birth of her twin granddaughters led to her retirement. She was a compassionate spirit whose passion was caring, nurturing, and loving dedication to her most prized three granddaughters.
Rita was amazing and truly an Earth Angel that touched countless lives. She had remarkable tenacity, coveted cooking skills, bi-lingual dialects, and deep love for entertaining and sharing her culture through her recipes. She also loved gardening, music, dancing, time at the beach, and of course let’s not forget her small nightcap of Johnny Black. Because of her vibrant personality and ageless beauty, she made countless deep friendships and life long connections. These dear friends will unquestionably miss her. Family and friends were Rita’s passion and delight.
Please visit her Tribute Wall on this page to share your memories and any treasured photos.
Rita found comfort in her faith and was devoted to God as a life long Italian Roman Catholic. For her funeral, she requested to be laid in the church with exquisite stained glass and the peaceful setting at her parish. Visitation of the open casket will begin at 10:30 am on Monday, June 28, 2021, at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church, 9200 Kentsdale Drive, Potomac, MD 20854, where the Mass of Christian burial will begin at 12:00pm. Interment, after cremation, will be at 10:30am on Tuesday, July 6, 2021 at St. Gabriel Cemetery, Memorial Garden A, Potomac, MD.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Rita’s name to Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church, 9200 Kentsdale Drive, Potomac, MD 20854 or to the American Cancer Society (details below).