Rita Elizabeth Kinsella (lovingly known as ‘Gram’) died peacefully surrounded by her family on February 1, 2023 at the age of 89. She was the beloved wife of the late Martin J. Kinsella (‘Pop’) also of Middletown, RI, where they made their home together for over fifty years.
Gram was born in Trenton, NJ, on December 17, 1933, daughter of Robert and Dora Stevenson. She graduated from Hamilton High School in 1951, after which she enlisted in the US Navy’s Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES), where she met Pop who was also serving in the Navy at the time as a machinist. Four months later they married on July 11, 1953 and remained lovingly so for the next sixty eight years until Pop’s passing in January 2022.
As Navy newlyweds, Gram and Pop moved around the country between Illinois, California, and Massachusetts, before settling down with their growing family on Ruth Street in Marshall Village, Middletown. Gram was very active in the local community. Among many other activities, she served as a member and past president of the local Mosaic Club, and was a long-time volunteer and former board member of the Newport Hospital Auxiliary, which honored her as auxiliarian of the year. She was also a parishioner at St. Lucy’s Church in Middletown and worked as Parish Secretary at St. George’s Church in Newport for many years.
Gram had too many hobbies to count but, among her favorites, she really loved playing bridge with friends, needle pointing, knitting, crocheting, stamp collecting, crossword puzzling, eventually iPading, and even operating her own at-home craft shop. She and Pop also enjoyed many activities together over their long marriage, especially biking, bowling, golfing, bingo, and taking winter trips to Pass-a-Grille, FL.
Together Gram and Pop lovingly raised five children in Marshall Village. Kevin and wife Judy of West Greenwich, RI; Mike and wife Fern of Jacksonville, FL; Kathy of Middletown, RI; and Chris and wife Kelly of Myrtle Beach, SC. She was predeceased by her son, Brian, whose wife Julia is of Jacksonville, FL. She also leaves behind nine grandchildren (Nathan, Brian Jr, Nick, Zach, Trevor, Chris Jr, Aly, Gabe, and Amber) and four great-grandchildren (Gracyn, Madison, Teagan, and Landon) who she dearly loved and whose lives she deeply touched.
Gram was a social butterfly, always opening her home and heart to others, going out of her way to make everyone feel included. She was whip smart and always quick with a joke, or a kind word, or the truth (whether you wanted it or not). Above all she enjoyed spending time with her beloved family. We all love her so much and she will be dearly missed.
Visiting hours will be held on Tuesday, February 7, 2023 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm at Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway, Newport, RI.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, at 10:00am at St. Lucy’s Church, 909 West Main Road, Middletown, RI, followed by a private burial at the Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Exeter, RI.
The family particularly wishes to thank the staff of Village House for caring for Gram in her final year. In lieu of flowers, donations in her name to Newport Hospital are kindly appreciated.