NORTH JASPER: Rita M. Petras, 81, of County Route 21, passed away peacefully Wednesday (April 5, 2017) at Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, Pa. following a short illness.
Rita was born May 9, 1935 in Ashtabula, Ohio to the late Arvi and Cleda (Johnson) Nojonen. On July 12, 1958 in Athens, Ohio she married Carl H. Petras who predeceased her in January of 2006.
Rita graduated from Ohio University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She had taught school at the public level and privately at the St. Augustine Catholic School in Rochester. She was a great granddaughter descendant of American statesman Benjamin Franklin and a descendent niece of the American abolitionist and author, Harriet Beecher Stowe.
Rita’s interests included oil and water color painting, she was a member of the Jasper Book Club and the former Jasper Grange. She also took pride in helping build the “Flying Boat” plane at the Curtis Museum in Hammondsport.
Rita is survived by a daughter Charlotte (Gregg) Gerber of North Jasper, a son Edward Petras of Lebanon, Pa. and three wonderful grandchildren Emily, Jessica and Niklaus Gerber.
There will be no prior calling hours. A memorial service will take place at a later date to be announced at the H.P. Smith & Son, Inc. Funeral Home, 29 East Main St. in Canisteo. Burial will be in Jasper Cemetery, Jasper, NY.
Memorial contributions in Rita’s name may be made to either the Jasper Ambulance, P.O. Box 118, Jasper, NY 14855 or to the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum, 8419 Ste. Rte. 54, Hammondsport, NY 14840.
Online condolences and memories may be made through hpsmithandsonfuneralhome.com.