This obituary originally appeared on Memorial Funeral Home.

Rita E. (Brown) Boisseau, 79, of Portsmouth, RI and Clearwater, FL, passed away peacefully on January 4, 2021 in Newport, RI. Rita was born in Somerville, MA to her parents Richard Smith and Roseann O’Doherty. Rita was the wife to the late Philip W. Boisseau.

Rita worked as a bank teller for 20 years at BankNewport and Newport Federal Savings Bank maintaining a great rapport with many of her customers. She also worked as a CNA at Child & Family Services of Newport and a teacher’s aide for Twice as Nice Child Care Center.

She was a voracious reader and thoughtfully sent handwritten cards and letters in her beautiful penmanship. Rita enjoyed traveling with her husband and especially the trips to Ireland with her sister, sister-in-law and daughter.

Above all she enjoyed spending time with her family, which was always first in her heart and to whom she was selflessly devoted, including her extended family. Rita was a compassionate lady who was caregiver to her mother and had lifelong friends that will dearly miss her.

Rita always had a welcoming smile; her elegant style and grace was subtle, and her sense of humor made her a pleasure to be with.

Rita is survived by her children Rosemary B. Van Haasteren, Michael J. Brown, Jr. and his wife Diane Brown, all of Portsmouth, and Eric C. Brown and his wife Beth Brown of Middletown, RI. She was a loving and doting grandmother to Kayla McEvoy, Jack Garforth, Nicholas Brown, Kathleen Brown and Callie Brown. She was great-grandmother to Freya McEvoy. She was dearly loved by many nieces, nephews and brothers- and sisters-in-law.

In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her companion George R. Steffes and former husband of 33 years Michael J. Brown. She had a special closeness to her late sisters, Barbara Flavin-Dunn and Rosemary Tiano.

A celebration of her life will be held at a later date.

Memorial donations in her name can be made to Lucy’s Hearth at 19 Valley Rd. Middletown, RI 02842, St. Clare-Newport Nursing Home at 309 Spring Street, Newport, RI 02840 or the American Cancer Society at

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