SACO — Rita L. Howe, 72, of Saco, passed away on Tuesday, June 20, 2017, at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House after a courageous battle with cancer.

She was born in Biddeford on Jan. 28, 1945, a daughter of Aime and Beatrice (Guay) Blais.

Rita was employed by Westpoint Pepperell for over 30 years. She loved being a homemaker and taking care of her family, especially her grandchildren. She enjoyed playing cards and going shopping.

She was preceded in death by one brother, Andrew Blais.

She is survived by: her husband of 51 years, Paul D. Howe; her three children, Dennis Howe and his wife, Susan, Lorie Menard and her husband, Bob, and Debbie Arnold and her husband, Glen: and six grandchildren, Amanda, Dilan, Alex, Sarah, Kordell and Kylie. She is also survived by: four siblings, Theresa Berard and her husband, Renald, Rolande St. Pierre, Aime Blais Jr. and his wife, Barbara, and Guy Blais and his wife, Cindy; and several nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 23, 2017, at Cote Funeral Home, 87 James St., Saco. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 24, 2017, at St. Joseph Church in Biddeford. Burial will follow in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Biddeford.

To view Rita’s memorial page or leave an online condolence, please visit

Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider donations in Rita’s name to Hospice of Southern Maine, 180 U.S. Route 1, Ste. 1, Scarborough, ME 04074-9925, or at