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Rita M. Dempster

January 3, 2015

rita-m-dempsterRita Catherine Morse Dempster, 88, Weaver Rd., Watertown passed away peacefully Saturday, January 3, 2015, at Hospice of Jefferson County at the Ellis Farm.

She was born May 25, 1926, daughter of Mary Crossman and Charles Morse in Watertown. She graduated from Watertown High School in 1944. She married Bruce E. Dempster in August 1948.

Rita was first employed at Agricultural Insurance Co., and then in the office of Atty. Clifton Landon. In 1969 she began her career at Mercy Hospital, retiring in 1990 as the billing supervisor in the business office after 22 years of service to the hospital. In retirement, she volunteered at the Office of the Aging as a MMAP Counselor and at Samaritan Medical Center. She was a member of the Children's Home Auxiliary.

She was presently a member of Trinity Episcopal Church. She had been a long-time member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church where she was a Sunday school teacher, one time member of the vestry, and served two terms as President of Episcopal Church Women of St. Paul's. She was also active in the ECW Dinner Program and did crafts for the Annual Christmas Bazaar. Her hobbies included gardening, sewing, knitting, crafts, and bird watching.

Rita is survived by her daughter, Pamela Bowman and husband, David, Morristown; three sons, Robert Bruce Dempster and companion, Synde Lewis, Wilmington, NC, Mark W. Dempster, Watertown, and Scott C. Dempster, Jackson, MS; four grandchildren, Brianna Wilson and husband, Bryan, Travis Bowman and wife, Tiffany, Matthew Bowman, and Brian M. Dempster II; six great grandchildren, Jenna and Kayla Wilson, Alyssa, Alaynah, Cyris, and Ella Bowman; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. Her son, Brian Morse Dempster, died in 1982 at the age of 26 and her sister, Madeline Benoit, died January 13, 2012.

A private memorial service will be held in St. Paul's Chapel at Trinity Episcopal Church at the convenience of the family. There will be no calling hours and arrangements are entrusted to Cummings Funeral Service, Inc., Watertown.

In lieu of flowers the family wishes donations in her name to Children's Home of Jefferson County, 1704 State St., Watertown, NY 13601. Online condolences to her family may be made at www.cummingsfuneral.com


#18 Joann Castro-Higgins 2015-01-09 21:53
I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Rita. I worked with her years ago at Mercy Hospital and she was a good friend to my Aunt Diane McGraw. Rita was a wonderful person and it looks like she lived a long, very productive and giving life. She leaves a great legacy.
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#17 RHONDA CHAMBERS 2015-01-08 09:54
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#16 kathy dawson devito 2015-01-08 06:40
pam and family: so sorry to hear of your mom's passing. she always made me so welcome in her weaver rd home and i worked with her for awhile at mercy hospital.she was always so nice to everyone and will be missed.
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#15 Betty Peterson Lajoi 2015-01-08 05:32
Deepest sympathy from the Lajoie family, It has been a pleasure knowing Rita for so many years. I was born in Watertown and visited often as my brother Norman still lives on Weaver Road. My youngest daughter Kim would visit Rita as soon as we arrived in Watertown for a visit,
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#14 Rita Raymond Jackson 2015-01-07 14:52
Pam & Family, Sorry for your loss! Your mom was a lovely lady. I can remember her being such a nice lady as a kid as well as when I grew up!!
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#13 Erin Raymond 2015-01-07 14:09
Pam & Family,
I am so sorry for your loss. I have many fond memories of Grandma Dempster and the fun times at Weaver Rd.Thoughts and prayers are with you all. God bless.
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#12 Gail & Jan Robbins 2015-01-07 10:05
Pam & Family,

Whenever we ran into your mother, which was usually in Kinney's, she was always interested in what we were doing. Also, she always asked about both our moms. We had no idea of all the jobs and good works she had done over the years. What a wonderful woman! We are so sorry for your loss. Love Gail & Jan
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#11 Carolyn Sheppard 2015-01-07 09:30
I was sorry to hear about your Mom. You will miss her greatly. Be thankful she did not suffer for a long period of time.
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#10 Barbara NOtbohm 2015-01-07 08:41
Pam, Sorry to hear of the passing of your mother. Remember her from St. Paul's I also knew her while working at Mercy Hospital. My Mom, Wilma Strickland also worked with her. Spoke of her with fondness. May God Bless you and your family during this difficult time!
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#9 David Johnson 2015-01-07 07:37
Pam and family... My sincere sympathy to you about your Mom. I remember her so well from St. Paul's, and how much my Mom liked Rita, and from working at Mercy Hospital. People like Rita are loving role models who are respected and will be remembered always. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Dave Johnson
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