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  • Writer's pictureTazzini Funeral Home

Rita A. Howie


Rita Ann (Zicolella) Howie, 76, passed away on March 7, 2024. Born in Springfield, she was the daughter of the late, Ralph & Ida (Scarnici) Zicolella.

Rita graduated in 1965 from the High School of Commerce. For over 30 years, she ran a support group for people suffering from panic/anxiety disorder. She was very dedicated to all her members of the support group. She was the founder of the Massachusetts Phobia Society. In 2003, Rita won the Hometown Hero Award, and on January 11, she was chosen to represent Chicopee as a member of the National Association ofProfessional Woman. In 2011, Rita came out of retirement to start another support group at Holyoke Hospital but had to retire due to health issues.

She loved to dance and roller-skate; and leaves many friends locally and in Arizona.

Rita is survived by her beloved grandson, Joshua LaPorte & wife Conley, brother, Thomas Zicolella & wife Maryann, nephew, Steven Zicolella, his wife Tracyand their boys, Steven & James, as well as her faithful cousin, Cindy Diaz, who was there for her all the time.

Family and friends are invited to visit Saturday, March 30th, from 9-11 a.m. at Tazzini Funeral Home, 22 Locust Street in Springfield, proceeding to Rita’s committal service at Gate of Heaven Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Kids of St. Jude at StJude.org or ADAA-Anxiety & Depression Association of America at ADAA.org.

Please visit www.TazziniFuneralHome.com for condolences.

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Brenda Taylor
Brenda Taylor
Mar 14

Rita was such a loving and giving person. I was blessed to have gotten to know her when i visited mother and we became close friends.. she called me her sister my mother never had😊 I was so looking forward to spending time with her when I came to visit in May since I live in San Antonio, TX. Rita I will love and miss you but I’m so glad your finally out of pain and I know your in heaven so I’ll say goodbye for now but I will see you again😊 love always, Brenda Taylor 💕💕

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