August 26, 1927 - February 22, 2023
Obituaries » Rita Edwards
CHELSEA, VT – Rita Edwards, 95 of Chelsea, died peacefully with family members surrounding her on February 22, 2023.
Born August 26, 1927, in New Jersey, Rita Krzywosinski graduated from Pratt Institute with a degree in Retail Clothing. Upon graduation she became a costumer for Brooks Costume Company and B. Altman & Co. Department Store in New York City. While at Pratt, Rita met her lifelong friend, Betty Edwards, who eventually introduced her to her future husband, Joe Edwards. To be closer to Joe who was in the Air Force and stationed in St. Louis, Rita moved there, working at Boyd’s Department Store, as an assistant buyer. She married Joe in 1950, became pregnant in 1951 and moved back with her mother in New Jersey as her due date approached in December.
When Joe completed his service in 1952, they moved to the Edwards family farm on West Hill in Chelsea, where they raised four children. Never one to be idle, Rita was involved in many community, church, and service groups and part-time jobs, along with handling the administrative work for Joe’s business of sales and servicing farm equipment. Her ability to juggle family, work, and civic responsibilities without missing a beat was attributed to her incredible memory and ability to recall details quickly. This talent was invaluable as a board member of the Chelsea School, Chelsea Health Center, Chelsea Public Library, Vermont YWCA Camp Hochelaga, Vermont Council on the Humanities, and Washington Electric Cooperative. She remained active in the United Church of Chelsea, the Service Guild, the Women’s Club, and other social organizations.
In 1974, she joined the staff of the Governor’s Commission on Women in Montpelier where she was instrumental in grants management, working with legislators on drafting proposed legislation affecting women’s rights, and training clerical staff until she retired in 1987.
Following Joe’s unexpected death after 25 years of marriage, Rita remained in the house on the hill. For a short time she shared her home with Vic Sivc, a companion from her younger years, until he passed away.
In 2007 she moved from the house on West Hill to a house in the village. This move gave her easier opportunities to attend community functions and frequently pop into the local library as reading was a passion she had all her life.
Surviving are her children Russell Edwards and wife Susan of Croydon, NH, Valerie Edwards and husband Richard Williams of Moretown, Randall Edwards and wife Kelly of Chelsea, and her daughter Susan Ladd and husband Charlie of Chelsea; two grandchildren, Jesse Williams and husband Peter Langella of Moretown, great-grandson Ferren; and Sean Williams and wife Maggie and great-grandsons Henry and Max of Fogelsville, PA. A grandson, Sam Edwards, and a granddaughter, Bridget Edwards, predeceased her.
No service is scheduled at this time, with a small, private burial of her ashes in Highland Cemetery at the convenience of the family. Any memorial contributions may be sent to House Calls, an invaluable service provided by First Branch Ambulance Service, P.O. Box 74, Chelsea, VT 05038.
A private message of sympathy for the family can be shared at www.boardwayandcilley.com. The Boardway and Cilley Funeral Home, Chelsea, VT is in charge of arrangements.