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Rita Marie (Santanastocio) Lanni, 86, died in the early hours of Dec. 17 at the Connecticut Hospice facility in Branford. She was predeceased last year by her husband of 67 years, Anthony J. Lanni. Rita was born Dec. 19, 1931, in Barrington, Rhode Island, to the late Frank and Mary (Sarracino) Santanastocio.
After marrying her high school sweetheart, she lived in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, for most of her adult life, raising her family and working, most notably as one of the first female furniture salespeople for the Sears & Roebuck company in Providence, Rhode Island, until her retirement. She and her husband retired to Victorville, California, where she enjoyed the warm weather, playing bingo, and taking trips to Las Vegas, until illness brought her and her husband to Connecticut to live in Guilford with their daughter and her family until their deaths.
Rita is survived by her three children, Donna Lanni of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Anthony Lanni, Jr., and his wife Cherylynn of Grove City, Ohio, and Diane Canna and her husband Vincent Canna of Guilford. She is also survived by her grandchildren John Buchanan and Jamie Buchanan, and Kyle Canna and Ryan Canna; and her great-granddaughter Lila-Rae Buchanan.
As requested, memorial and burial services will be private. Memorial donations in her memory can be made to the Connecticut Hospice, 100 Double Beach Rd., Branford, CT 06405.
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