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Obit: Rita Thurnherr

Fri, Jan 1st 2016 07:00 am

Nov. 23, 1948 - Dec. 22, 2015

Rita A. Thurnherr, 67, from Port Charlotte, Florida, originally born in Buffalo, peacefully passed away at the Tidewell Hospice House Dec. 22, 2015, at 2:20 a.m. after an eight-year battle with lung cancer.

A former resident of Grand Island, Rita taught through example and she told everyone she met that, no matter what happens in life, you have to smile and keep going. She worked tirelessly in the survivor program of Relay For Life. Rita participated in relays in Port Charlotte, Grand Island and Niagara Falls.

When Rita's health permitted, she spent all of her time inspiring others to "Never Give Up." Rita credited four things to her miraculous survival: God, family, friends and Relay.

Rita's smile was as big as her zest for life. She will be greatly missed.

Rita is survived by her beloved husband of 48 years, John. She had two daughters: Kelly DeBole (Tom), children Jonathan, Brian and Owen; and Melissa Giambra (Jim), children Dominic and Ryan. Also three siblings: Peggy Buehlman (Mark), Mel Young (Waynella) and Susan Willis.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to either Port Charlotte Relay For Life or Grand Island Relay For Life. A celebration of Rita's life will be announced at a later date.

As Rita would say: "Live Laugh Love and Never Ever Ever Give Up."

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