OLD ORCHARD BEACH — Rita A. Noel, 91, of Old Orchard Beach, died unexpectedly on Saturday, June 7, 2014 at her home.

She was born Nov. 27, 1922 in Claremont, N.H., a daughter of Adelard and Pamela (Trudeau) LaRoche.

Rita graduated from Mount Saint Mary’s College in Hooksett, N.H., the New York Institute of Dietetics in New York City and completed a dietetics internship at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Staten Island, N.Y. She pursued a bachelor’s degree in social work, graduating in 1982 from the University of Southern Maine.

During World War II, she worked as an administrative dietitian at the Riverside Hospital in Paducah, Ky. and the Hillsboro County Hospital in Grasmere, N.H. As a dietitian, she also taught nutrition to cadet Navy nurses.

After the war, she married her fiancé, Joseph A. Noel, who had just returned from his Pacific tour of duty in the Navy. They were married in Jan. 18, 1946 at St. Mary’s in Claremont, N.H. They had been married 31 years when he died in August of 1977.

Rita was a life-long caregiver, who was devoted to her family and friends. During her married life, she worked as a clinical dietitian at Maine Medical Center and the Osteopathic Hospital in Portland. She was always supportive of her husband’s career as traffic manager for General Electric. For 24 summers, they owned and operated “Sunny Surf” cottages and a variety store at Wells Beach.

Rita was a caregiver to her elderly parents in Miami Shores, Fla. After her mother’s death, she traveled with her father to many countries and throughout the United States. Rita studied piano and organ and enjoyed playing both. Her love of the ocean led her to live the rest of her life in Old Orchard Beach, where her five-generation family enjoyed the love of the ocean. She stated, “This is my heaven on Earth.” She enjoyed music, painting, square dancing and gardening. Her life was very good and her special love was for her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchild.

She did volunteer work and was on the ombudsman committee in York County. She was also a lector at St. Margaret’s Church in Old Orchard Beach.

In addition to her husband, Joseph, Rita was also preceded in death by: her son, Vincent J. Noel, who died in August of 2012.

She is survived by: one daughter, Cheryl Ann Fournier and her husband Robert of Hollis; one son, Daniel J. Noel and his wife Lenore of Syracuse, N.Y.; seven grandchildren, Christopher Fournier and his wife Cindy, Tina Marie (Fournier) Thompson and her husband Stephen, Aimee (Noel) Plowman and her husband Shawn, Joseph Noel, Jamie Noel, Darcy Poulin and Reginald Poulin; 12 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.

Also surviving her are: two brothers, Albert LaRoche of Miami Shores, Fla. and Rene LaRoche and his wife Priscilla of The Villages, Fla.; and many nieces and nephews.

Rita’s family wished to extend thanks to the Old Orchard Beach Police and Rescue for their kindness and compassion, also to Aging Excellence, for all the wonderful ladies who were sent to care for Rita for the past five years, and to the Maine State Library for the talking books that she enjoyed so much. Special thanks to Dr. Maureen Lee, and neighbors Linda and Dennis Twomey, who were such great support for more times than can be counted, and the family and friends who were so supportive and gave her many good times and laughs.

Visiting hours will be 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, June 12, 2014 at Hope Memorial Chapel, 480 Elm St., Biddeford, ME 04005. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Friday at St. Margaret’s Church in Old Orchard Beach. Burial will be in Maine Veterans Cemetery in Augusta at a later date. To share condolences online, visit www.hopememorial.com. Donations in Rita’s memory may be made to: Bon Appetit Meal Program, 19 Crescent St., Biddeford, ME 04005; or St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-1942.