Cover photo for Rita S. Adam's Obituary
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1960 Rita 2023

Rita S. Adam

September 2, 1960 — February 5, 2023

Rita Stephanie Adam was a karate-chopping brown belt, triathlete, Lieutenant Commander, scientist, musician, friend, sister, wife, and mother. She made the best cookies, laughed at the dumbest jokes, talked to every person and bird that stopped to say hello, and always shared her love. She rose through the ranks in the Navy, Academia, Pfizer, and Microsoft Solitaire with equal vigor and success.

Rita was born and raised in a house of 8 in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania to Gertrude and Bob Adam. She was known for her fierce independence, along with the variety of instruments she played - from the piano, bass viol, sousaphone, and especially the French horn. She carried her love of music throughout her life by joining the Crossman Drum & Bugle Corps and later performed in ensembles at her place of work, Pfizer, and in Newport as a part of the Narragansett Bay Brass Ensemble and Newport County Orchestra.

She always said she wished she could have stayed in school forever, and basically did, by attending Penn State, Villanova, University of Michigan, and Brown. Always a "straight A" student (minus the one professor who gave her a C that she still talked about 40 years later), Rita was happiest in a classroom. She taught Chemistry, Karate, and Aerobics at the Naval War College in Newport and, if you didn't stop her, your backyard.

After not finding her place at Penn State, she enlisted in the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman which took her from Florida, to Chicago, to San Diego. She rode her motorcycle all over California and would be continually embarrassed by the stories shared by those who knew her at the time. She furthered her education through the ROTC (which included a free cruise to Guantanamo Bay) and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander by the time she entered the reserves.

When she asked to be sent overseas, the Navy happily obliged by stationing her in Newport, RI. She met her husband, Glenn Bradfield, at a Halloween party dressed as a Robert Palmer Girl. They eventually settled in Hopkinton City, RI, raising their two sons Adam and Glenn on 25 acres, with the help of loving neighbors and visits from family. From holiday parties, summer barbeques, caring for her chickens, making pesto, and walking down the winding back roads, a piece of her will always be there in that quiet, little corner of Rhode Island.

Following the lives of her children, she remade her home in Middletown, RI. She continued to sing in choirs, enjoy her impressive music catalog, watch every movie in existence, and became a neighborhood staple as the woman who was always walking. From church, to the local track, and every road in-between, she never let a street without a sidewalk get in her way. She enjoyed making Christmas cookies, volunteering at the Newport Library, going for a swim at Third Beach, and being a loving mother to her two boys, despite them always playing rap in the car.

She is survived by too many who loved her to name - sisters, brothers, friends, and family from all over the world who knew of her love and warm smile that never extinguished. She will be remembered with her French horn at her lips and an ocean breeze in her hair.

A Mass of Christian Burial for Rita's extraordinary life will be held at 11am on February 13th, 2023 at St Lucy's Church in Middletown, RI.

Those who would like to honor her with a memorial contribution are asked to contribute to the Los Angeles - Daughters of Charity or Covenant House, two charities very close to Rita's heart.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rita S. Adam, please visit our flower store.

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Monday, February 13, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am

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