At the beginning of the longest day, Our Lord called Rita Thibaudeau home to reunite with her husband and son in the peace of His eternal hereafter. She passed at Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford after a brief illness.In the days and months leading up to her passing, Rita frequently spoke fondly of her life's many blessings that flourished throughout her life because of her devotion to family, friends and faith.Rita was born in Sanford on May 1, 1929, the daughter of Roger and Diana (Fortier) Bernard and attended local parochial schools. Rita met and married the love of her life, Bruno C. Thibaudeau on May 17, 1947, and together they raised their family in Sanford.In the early years as a homemaker to a hardworking, dedicated husband and four children of her own, Rita always found time to help with family and friends with her cooking, stitching and tireless care giving skills. She always looked forward to hosting gatherings at the family's summer camp at Fisher Pond in South Sanford, ranging from the always welcomed casual drive-by visits from friends and family, to the more elaborate anniversary celebrations of her many special aunts and uncles who helped form her passion for strong family values.As her family grew, Rita took on piece-work at home from the former Sanford Shoe Company and many of her longtime friends will remember her from her time spent working at the Sanford Mills, Aletta Dress Company, the Sanford Shop 'n Save and McDonald's.Many will also fondly remember Rita as a longtime communicant of St. Therse of Lisieux Parish. The strength of her faith that was nurtured there, with the help of those that worshiped with her, helped her thru the most difficult times of her life. As a cancer survivor herself, Rita provided undying love and support to her husband and son Daniel, as they were taken away from her temporarily, from smoking related illnesses.Widowed for thirteen years, Rita spent memorable winters in Sarasota, FL, just a few short steps from beautiful Siesta Key Beach and the village at Avenida Messina, where she was able to be close to her surviving Brother and Sister in Law, Maurice and Noella Bernard of Biddeford, Maine.Also surviving are her daughter Elaine Hamel and her husband Robert of Sarasota, FL and Shapleigh; daughter Diane Grover and her husband Robert of Sanford, her son Maurice Thibaudeau and his wife Frances of Wells and her daughter-in-law Louise Thibaudeau of Milton, NH.Most recently, Rita enjoyed weekly gatherings with a close circle of longtime friends for cards and companionship, and also spent much of her at-home time, gleefully swiping her I-Pad, keeping tabs on the comings and goings of her 10 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.Rita's final blessing, important to all who knew and loved her, was that the illness that led to her final passing was brief, and that with His will be done, she was reunited with her dear parents, husband and son.The family will receive relatives and friends on Sunday from 4 to 7 PM at the Lafrance-Lambert & Black Funeral Home, 29 Winter Street, Sanford. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday at 12:00 noon at St. Therse of Lisieux Parish, Holy Family Church in Sanford. Burial will follow in St. Ignatius Cemetery in Sanford.As an alternative to flowers, gifts in Rita's memory can be made to the American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org/donate.Arrangements are under the direction of Black Funeral Homes & Cremation Service, Sanford-Springvale. Condolences can be expressed at the Condolences tab at left.