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Obituary: Rita Gilman Gedansky

Rita Gilman Gedansky, 88, former long-time member of the Amity Board of Education, passed away unexpectedly at home on March 15, 2021.  She was a resident of Woodbridge.

Rita was born October 31, 1932 in Paterson, NJ daughter of the late Paul and Sadie (Atkins) Gilman.  She graduated from Eastside High School in Paterson and Syracuse University where she also earned a Master’s Degree in Education.  It was there that she met the love of her life Stanley Gedansky on a blind date to a Syracuse Football game which led to an incredible 66-year marriage.  Rita was a devoted wife to Stan and together they were true partners in everything they did.  Family was Rita’s calling, as a mother; she was the loudest and most positive supporter of her children and their friends.  Her home was always open for a good time, a hot meal, endless snacks and even long-term stays when needed.  She was always willing to listen and offer sound and encouraging advice.  She made her home the center for family meals and holiday celebrations where her motto was “the more people the better” and there was always more than enough food to go around.  Rita loved to spend time with her grandchildren and kvelled at their academic accomplishments proudly cheering at their recognition ceremonies and graduations.  She beamed with pride at their dance recitals, swim meets, soccer games, track meets, baseball and softball games.  Rita was always up for an outing with family and loved to ask “what restaurant should we go to on Saturday night?”  Summers found Rita socializing and soaking up the sun around the pool.  She and Stan loved to watch UConn Men and Women’s basketball, attending many games when they were able.

Together, Rita and Stan were long time members of the Amity Athletics Booster Club where they raised considerable funds through their renowned youth basketball tournament which they ran tirelessly for 34 years.  Behind the concession stand Rita kept everything moving smoothly and offered up one of the best hot dogs around.  Their devotion was recognized with their induction into the Amity Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000.  Rita was an educator for most of her adult life and was a much beloved teacher at Amity Middle School Bethany for 15 years where she made Medieval History come alive.  She was named Amity’s Teacher of the Year in 1991.  She was constantly recognized in the community by former students and they remembered her for her inspiration in the classroom and her support of all of their endeavors.  After retirement she continued to serve the Amity District for 14 years as an elected member of the Board of Education where she was a staunch supporter of Amity’s Students, Athletes, Teachers and Coaches.  Volunteerism was second nature for Rita and in addition to the above service she also lent her time to the early Woodbridge Father’s Baseball League and many other community organizations.

In addition to her husband Rita is survived by her loving children Steven Gedansky of Arlington, TX, Susan Kelly of Bethany, Matthew Gedansky of Tolland and Beth (Ken) Young of Bethany and much adored grandchildren Natalie and Rachel Gedansky, Cheyann and Dakota Kelly and Carly, Jordan and Zachary Young.  She was predeceased by her eldest grandchild Brian Gedansky and her son-in-law Jerry Kelly.  She is also survived by her dear brother and sister-in-law Sidney (Buddy) and Linda Gilman of Little Falls, NJ and her brothers-in-law David Gedansky and Lewis (Joan) Gedansky of FL and their families.

We are forever grateful to her caregivers Dawn, Kim, Lorraine, Danielle, Deidra, Kay and A’Zsha who have provided loving care to both her and Stan.

Due to COVID restrictions burial and Shiva will be private.  The Robert E. Shure & Son Funeral Home, New Haven is in care of Arrangements.  A scholarship in Rita’s name has been set up to be given to a graduating senior each year.  Memorial contributions can be made in her memory to Amity Regional High School, 25 Newton Road, Woodbridge, CT 06525, Attention Rita Gedansky Scholarship.  To sign an online registry book, leave a message of condolence or watch the funeral service, please log onto www.shurefuneralhome.com.

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