Rita L. Palombo was a shining light and symbol of perseverance and determination to those who loved her.
Palombo grew up in Knightsville and would go on to raise four children while working evenings and eventually earning a bachelor’s degree at 65. She always had an eye for fashion, too, owning a boutique in Cranston.
Palombo passed away in February, but she brought “beauty, life and fun to the world” every single day.
“Mom had a flair for always ‘bedazzling’ every outfit she wore with rhinestones and sparkles,” her daughter, Karla Misto, said via email. “In her final days at Hope Hospice it disheartened me to see her spend her final hours in a drab hospital johnny. I would bring in her pretty nightgowns and cut it open in the back so the aides could easily change her while in bed. She looked beautiful in her floral/lace gowns – the way she always did and the way we know she would want to pass.”
To honor her mother’s memory, Misto and her three siblings – Caroline Kitson, Kristine Ciccheetti and Anthony Palombo – started a foundation called Rita’s Robes in lieu of flowers at her funeral. The resulting funds were enough to purchase 100 adaptive gowns, which the family donated to Hope Hospice.
“We have been working with the philanthropy department at the Hulitar Hope Hospice Center and will be delivering this donation of beautiful packaged robes my siblings and I put together, along with a beautiful letter to each family highlighting this gift and our mom,” Misto said.
Hope Hospice graciously accepted the family’s gift during a drop-off last Tuesday afternoon.
(Text and photos by Jacob Marrocco)