Rita G. Furis, 95, of Harmony Township, passed away peacefully at the Villa Saint Joseph on August 9, 2023. She was the daughter of the late Peter and Theresa Gatta. In addition to her parents, Rita was preceded in death by her loving husband of 25 years, Steve Furis, Sr. (Who she affectionately referred to as "my Farouk" and claimed that it was "like sunshine" anytime he walked into the room.), her stepson, Stephen "Stevie" Furis Jr., her sisters, Aria Perna and Dorothy "Dolly" Bull, brothers-in-law, Louis Perna, Sr. and Donald Bull, and dear friend, Sonia Zondos. She is survived by her nephew and niece-in-law, Mark and Tina Perna, North Lawrence, OH; nephew and niece-in-law, Lou and Priscilla Perna, Hughesville, PA, niece and nephew-in-law, Dr. Carolee Bull and Jean-Philippe Fillettez, State College, PA, and niece Mary Lou Phillips, New Sewickley Twp., PA. Rita is also survived by her Godchildren, Bobby Ricci, Pittsburgh, PA, Vanessa Varecha, Baden, PA, and Christina Perna Ferritto, Green, OH.
Rita was adored by her great nieces and nephews, Ben Perna and his wife, Dawn Klingensmith, Pittsburgh, PA, Kate and Patrick Chapman and their daughter, Bella, Cleveland, TN, Tony and Erin Perna and their children, Olivia and Archer, Orrville, OH, Matthew Perna, and his children, Donovan and Madelyn, Hughesville, PA, Christina and Tom Ferritto, Green, OH, Kellie Patz, Harrisville, PA, Jamie and Jennifer Perna, and their children, Joshua and Jillian, Atwater, OH, great niece and nephew-in-law, Kristi Lynn and Drew Mullins and their children, Paige, Annie and Alex, York, PA, great nephew and niece-in-law, David and Michelle Freedline and their sons, Jared and Hayden, Naples, FL, and great niece, Aria Dawn Freedline, York, PA.
Rita is also survived by dear life-long friends, Patty Roppo, Freedom, PA, Jack and Karen Lively, Ambridge, PA, and her special extended family, Harold and Nik Kyriazi.
Rita was an active member of Christ the King Church and Good Samaritan Parish (now Saint Luke the Evangelist) in Ambridge. She served as a wedding and funeral coordinator, eucharistic minister, lecturer, and choir member. She was a CCD instructor at both Christ the King and Saint Mary’s Byzantine Church simultaneously with Steve Furis. Rita worked at Armco Steel for 32 years as the Coordinator of Employee Relations. Rita and Steve were Junior Achievement Advisors representing Armco Steel. Rita also volunteered at the Gilmary School for Wayward Girls. She and her beloved husband, Steve, were snowbirds for 21 years and she took up bridge after he passed away, becoming a Bronze Life Master Bridge Champion. Rita had many dear friends, both young and old in the Ambridge area. She was known affectionately to many as “Aunt Rita”. Her wit and humor will be deeply missed, and she will remain in our hearts.
Friends will be received on Friday, August 18, 2023, from 4:00pm to 8:00pm at the Alvarez-Hahn Funeral Services and Cremation, LLC, 547 8th Street, Ambridge, 724-266-2549. Additional visitation will be Saturday, August 19, 2023, at the funeral home from 10:00am until departing prayers at 10:30am. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 11:00am at Saint Luke the Evangelist Parish (formerly Good Samaritan Parish), 725 Glenwood Avenue, Ambridge. Entombment will follow at Sylvania Hills Memorial Park, New Brighton.