POLAND - Rita Ann Bakalar, a devoted wife and loving mother, passed away on June 26, 2023, at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital.
She was born in Youngstown on November 3, 1934, to the late John and Mary Kovalcik Salamon.
Rita graduated from Wilson High School in 1952 and worked at Automatic Sprinkler until she got married. She then devoted her life to her family and raising her children.
As a young girl, Rita enjoyed spending time at her grandparents' farm in McKean, PA. She carried that love of nature throughout her life and became an excellent gardener. She always made sure everyone got something special from her garden.
Rita was also an avid knitter who created over 40 baby afghans, winning several Blue Ribbons at the Canfield Fair. She enjoyed this activity that brought happiness to those around her.
On September 27, 1958, she married Thomas P. Bakalar, and together they built a beautiful life raising their two sons. Sadly, Thomas passed away on April 22, 2001.
Rita is survived by her two sons, Jim (Linda) Bakalar and Dave Bakalar, with whom she made her home; three grandchildren, Tom (Porsha) Bakalar, Kevin Bakalar(fiancee Katie Mika) and Jamie (Cameron) Dinopoulos; great-grandson, Austin Bakalar; and her brother, Ed (Barbara) Salamon of Hilton Head, SC. She also leaves numerous nieces, nephews and cousins
Rita was also preceded in death by a sister, Donna (John) Novotny.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11 AM on Thursday, June 29th at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, St. Matthias Church in Youngstown. Family and friends may call from 10 to 10:45 AM on Thursday, prior to the mass at the church.
Rita was a devout Catholic and to honor her memory please make any material tributes for masses to be said in her memory.
Professional arrangements are being handled by Higgins-Reardon Funeral Homes, Poland Chapel.