Rita Ann (Mekus) Bailen Apthorp, formerly of Fredonia, died Wednesday afternoon, May 1, 2013 at the Chautauqua County Home in Dunkirk, NY, after a short illness.
She was born Feb. 11, 1921 to the late Michael and Stella Mekus and was 92 years old at the time of her death.
Rita married her first husband, Walter Bailen, at St. Hyacinth's Church in Dunkirk, NY, and together they owned the Evergreen Farm and a dairy and grape business in the Fredonia, N.Y., area. Walter died in 1983 after 46 years of marriage. She married her second husband, Charles Apthorp, at Holy Trinity Church in Dunkirk, N.Y.; he later died in 1995 after eight years of marriage.
During her lifetime, Rita was active in many organizations. She was president of the St. Joseph's Mothers' Club, a secretary at Cardinal Mindszenty High School and a member of the Holy Trinity Women's Guild. She also was an avid bridge player.
Rita is survived by sons Eugene "Gene" (Jody) Bailen, Donald (Cheryl) Bailen, James (Mary Lou) Bailen, all of Fredonia, NY, and daughter Beverly (Kenneth) Prince of Lakewood, NY. She is further survived by nine grandchildren, Michael and Sheri Bailen, Veronica, Victoria, Daniel and Denise Prince, Mathew, Eric and Nicholas Bailen; nine great grandchildren; nine great great grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
Besides her parents and two husbands, Rita was predeceased by her son, David Bailen; two brothers, Albert and Ralph Mekus; and a sister, Florence Nofseer.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Funeral Mass which will be celebrated Saturday, May 11 at 11 a.m. at St. Hyacinth's Church in Dunkirk, NY Arrangements are by the Fantauzzi Funeral Home, 82 East Main Street, Fredonia, NY. Interment will be in St. Hyacinth's Cemetery.