Rita May Obituary

Service Information

 
In Memory of

Rita May

Obituary

Rita (Fromholz) May, resident of Medford, MA (formerly of Winthrop, MA) died on October 1, 2012 at the age of 91. Rita May was the widow of Ralph May. Funeral services will be held at Levine Chapel in Brookline on Wednesday, October 3rd at 11:00 am. Interment will be at Temple Israel Cemetery at 500 North Avenue in Wakefield. Memorial observance will be at her former residence, 18 Pitcher Avenue, Medford, on Wednesday immediately following the interment until 7:00 pm, and on Thursday, October 4th from 1:00 to 4:00 pm and 7:00 to 9:00 pm, Friday October 5th from 1:00 to 4:00 pm, and Sunday, October 7th from 12:00 pm until 5:00...
Rita (Fromholz) May, resident of Medford, MA (formerly of Winthrop, MA) died on

October 1, 2012 at the age of 91. Rita May was the widow of Ralph May. Funeral

services will be held at Levine Chapel in Brookline on Wednesday, October

3rd at 11:00 am. Interment will be at Temple Israel Cemetery at 500 North

Avenue in Wakefield. Memorial observance will be at her former residence,

18 Pitcher Avenue, Medford, on Wednesday immediately following the

interment until 7:00 pm, and on Thursday, October 4th from 1:00 to 4:00 pm

and 7:00 to 9:00 pm, Friday October 5th from 1:00 to 4:00 pm, and Sunday,

October 7th from 12:00 pm until 5:00 pm. Rita May was born November 1,

1920 in Berlin, Germany, the daughter of Otto and Greta Fromholz. Rita and

her parents fled Germany during the Nazi era and arrived in the United

States in 1938. Rita and her husband Ralph first settled in New York

before moving to Winthrop, MA in 1952. Together,Rita and her husband owned

and operated The Ralph May Organization, Inc.,a leather import/export

company with international clients and suppliers. After the death of

her husband in 1973, Rita continued to operate the business for many years

with the help of her daughter, Rhona, and Barry Thomas.

After retiring from the business, Rita pursued many active passions,

including swimming, reading, yoga, traveling, and visiting with friends.

She was also an active patron of the performing arts including music,

opera and theater. In 1993 she returned to Berlin for the first time in 55

years to be welcomed by the city as a Holocaust survivor. In 1995, Rita

organized and led the first ever Holocaust memorial observance in Winthrop

in partnership with the public school system. She was a long-time member

of Temple Israel in Boston where she was a very close personal friend of

many clergy, including Rabbi Roland B. Gittelsohn.

The education of children was a passion of Rita's marked by her work as an

intergenerational volunteer in the Frances Jacobson Early Childhood Center

at Temple Israel in Boston. She volunteered for many years in the

school's Toddler Room, a passion that was commemorated in 2005 on the

occasion of her 85th birthday with the dedication of the room in her

honor. It was not unusual to find Rita dressed in her impeccable style

sprawled on the floor with the toddlers, or with one sitting in her lap.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Rhona May-D'Onofrio and

Paul D'Onofrio, two granddaughters, Rebekah May Barkowitz and Danielle May

Thomas, a grandson-in-law, Daniel Barkowitz, and three great-

granddaughters, Rachel May Barkowitz, Caroline Read Barkowitz and Emma

Eloise Driscoll. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Rita May

Toddler Room at the Frances Jacobson Early Childhood Center of Temple

Israel, Boston (477 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA 02215) or to the charity of

your choice.

Guest Book

The Guest Book for Rita May is no longer available online.

If you would like to reopen this Guest Book allowing further messages from loved ones, click here.


More Obituaries

Boston Globe
MAY, Rita (Fromholz) Resident of Medford, MA (formerly of Winthrop, MA) died on October 1, 2012, at age 91. Rita May was the widow of Ralph May....

Read obituary at Boston Globe.

Personalize Your Tribute

Share photos, videos and more with Legacy Memorial Websites. Find out more.

 
Start Planning Today

Make Your Plan Today

Preplanning your funeral or cemetery arrangements gives you and your loved ones peace of mind. Don't wait. Click or call now, and make your plan today.
Request a FREE Personal Planning Guide Plan Online Now Call 800-34-DIGNITY