Ocean Beach 05

Rita F. Harlow

November 22, 1931 ~ June 11, 2020 (age 88)


Rita Francis (Cassile) McLellan Harlow, 88, formerly of Plainville, CT, passed away June 11, 2020, at her home that she shared with her daughter and caregiver, Robin, in Sebastian, Florida.

Rita was the beloved wife of the late Robert F. Harlow.

Born November 22, 1931, she was the daughter of the late Salvatore and Madeline (Marquis) Cassile. She was a longtime resident of Plainville, CT and attended local schools. She raised her 4 children with her former husband, Murray R. McLellan.

After many years of being single and working, she was reunited with her high school classmate after 42 years, Robert Harlow. They were married 2 months later on Valentine’s Day and shared 16 years together at their 1 room school house in Cambridge, NY until Bob’s passing in 2011.   

Rita had a unique infectious laugh that we can still hear. She enjoyed sitting on her porch watching the birds, flowers, waving to passer buyers, and daily visits with Chippy, their pet chipmunk. She always talked about her visit with a big black bear that ate her birdseed. Rita enjoyed her crafts, needlepoint, crossword puzzles, bingo, volunteering at the American legion, and going to the Casino with friends. She and Bob also enjoyed viewing the races at Saratoga in August.

Rita is survived by her children, Gary and Becky McLellan of TX, Greg and Janice McLellan of NC, Robin Widger of FL, her grandchildren Justin Widger, Ryan McLellan, Kelly Cyr, Tyler McLellan, Devin Widger, Murray McLellan, and Jason Harlow, her 6 great grandchildren, Austin, Peyton, Kennedy, Easton, Arianna, and Lauren, due November, her sister-in-law’s Audrey Bergenty, Sharon McLellan and Ursula McLellan, her brother-in-law's John Bergenty and Robert McLellan, and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her son Murray McLellan Jr. of CT and her stepson Robert Harlow Jr. of CT. 

The family would like to thank the VNA and Hospice for all their care and compassion for Rita. Donations can be made in Rita’s name to: The American Legion Captain Post #634, Cambridge, NY, 12816, www.legion.org.

Services in celebration of Rita’s life will be announced at a later date.


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