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Rita T. (Petit) Dugal

February 26, 1924 ~ April 2, 2018 (age 94)

On April 2, 2018 the world suffered a great loss when, at the age of 94, the Angels called Rita T. Dugal, of Old Orchard Beach home on April 2, 2018 at Evergreen Manor in Saco. Born 2/26/24, to her parents Edward and Rosalinda (St. Michelle) Petit in Biddeford, who named her after a Saint knowing she was something special. She was child 7 out of 8. She set the standard for strong, independent women everywhere.

At the age of 17 she was a pregnant widow. Her belated 18th birthday present was her daughter Joan who was born the day after. They remained inseparable until Joan’s death in 2017.

In 1947, she married Wilfred Dugal in Biddeford after a year of being a single mom during wartime. They spent 30 years together until his death in 1977.

She worked in the Saco mills for 16 years as a spinner at the Bates. After that she worked at Sanford Shoe in stitchery. She then went on to Corning Components as a welder, where she retired in 1983.

In 1972 she and her husband had a house full of 3 generations. In 1985, she welcomed her first Great Granddaughter and 4 other great-grandchildren in the early 1990’s. Rita loved life. Even during her retirement, she stayed busy.  Somehow in between all of the grandchildren, she found the time to: volunteer with hospitals, knitted hats for Southern Maine Health Care and Head Start, played cards, and spent time with her lifelong friends. Rita also loved road trips, taking many bus tours with her daughter and grandchildren traveling around the country and Canada.  She was adored by co-workers, staff at the nursing home where she lived, family and friends.

Rita always had a shoulder to cry on, a good idea, or a dirty joke when all else failed. Nothing shocks the laughter out of you during a bad situation like a self-proclaimed little old lady telling a joke that would make a trucker blush.

Through everything her biggest accomplishment was her family.  Her goal in life was to raise decent, strong, independent people, with a sense of humor, who understood the need to give back.  As the family matriarch for 77 years; no one could put the fear of God in her children, including God, like she could. In return, no one else could have loved, or made them feel as special as she did. No matter what, she was there, loud and proud of each. There will never be enough words to describe the sacrifices she made. Rita remained feisty to the end, and she succeeded with everything she set out to do, including turning this wayward clan into strong, decent people. (Although we will deny it.) She will be desperately missed by her survivors.

Rita leaves behind: her sister Rachel Saucier; a clan of Hausleins: Grandchildren: John, his wife Ruth, Janet and Joyce. Great Grandchildren:  Kammy-Lee, Jonathan; and a few Savoy’s: Victoria, and husband Jorge, Melynda, and Katrena. She was expecting her first Great Great grandchild this coming September.


A Memorial service will be celebrated at 10 am on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at Hope Memorial Chapel, 480 Elm St., Biddeford, ME 04005. Burial will be at St. Joseph Cemetery in Biddeford. In lieu of flowers, donations in Rita’s name may be made to “Breast Cancer Awareness”, Arrangements are by Hope Memorial Chapel. To share condolences online, please visit

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