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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Rita Sackel

Rita Sackel
Rita Sackel

Rita Sackel, 72, of The Villages, FL, passed away on May 30 surrounded by her loving family.

A resident of The Villages since 2013, Rita was known for her great faith and love for her family. She took great pride in caring for her family, especially her grandchildren, David, Hannah, Henry and Marlena. On the weekends, if she was not spending time with friends in The Villages, she was probably on the sidelines of a soccer or softball game or a cross-country race.

Rita was always on the move. She enjoyed walking, practicing yoga, playing golf, traveling and, truly one of her favorite pastimes, shopping. She particularly loved shopping when the outing included all four generations of the family – herself, her mom, daughter and granddaughter.

Rita loved traveling with her husband Jim and their long-time friends from Staten Island as well as with her family. Many summers included travel to the family’s lake house in the Poconos, the beach at Hilton Head Island, and Saratoga to take in the races. She and Jim also enjoyed cruises in Europe and Alaska, and their tour of Italy. Rita especially enjoyed celebrating her 40th anniversary with Jim in Paris.

Rita was a communicant of St. Mark The Evangelist Church and had recently joined their charismatic group which was a comfort to her especially during challenging times.

Born in New York, NY, to Mary and Ralph Andruzzi, Rita grew up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan until the age of 13 when the Andruzzi’s moved to Staten Island. Rita attended grammar school at Our Lady of Sorrows (Lower East Side) and St. Rita’s (Staten Island). She graduated from St. Louis Academy (Staten Island) in 1969. She was also the cheerleading captain for both St. Louis Academy and the Monsignor Farrell Varsity Football team.

After graduating from St. Louis Academy, Rita was an executive assistant at W.E. Hutton. While this was Rita’s first job following high school, it was far from her first job. At age 15, though too young to work, she and her sister Catherine would ride the Staten Island Ferry to Manhattan to work office jobs. She was industrious from an early age.

Following her time at W.E. Hutton, Rita went on to work for Regional Radiology and later worked as a paraprofessional for the New York Board of Education.

Rita met Jim, her beloved husband of more than 50 years, in 1967. The two were married April 8, 1972 at St. Rita’s Church on Staten Island. They spent most of their married life on College Avenue in Staten Island, where they raised James Jr. and Talia. Rita was ever-present at the kids’ school, church and sporting events including volunteering with the Blessed Sacrament Mothers’ Guild and the West Shore Little League.

Rita was affectionately known as “Pixie” by her family and “Rere” by her beautiful grandchildren. She loved to have fun and was also the rock of the family. She demonstrated her strength in many ways including supporting her family when Jim was deployed during Desert Storm.

Rita is preceded in death by her father, Ralph. She is survived by her husband, James Sackel Sr., her children James Jr. and Talia, her grandchildren, Hannah and Henry Sackel and David and Marlena Psaroudis, her mother Mary Andruzzi and her sister and brother, Catherine and Joseph.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, June 11, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 7:30pm at Hiers-Baxley Life Event Center – Buffalo Ridge.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial on Wednesday, June 12, at 10 a.m. at St. Mark The Evangelist. Burial will follow at Highland Memorial Park in Ocala.

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