Rita D. (Meads) Medeiros, a lifelong resident of Provincetown, died on Sept. 18, 2022, at Seashore Point Wellness Center. Her three children were at her side near the end, and she smiled in happiness at them. She was 89.
The only daughter of Manuel and Christine (Enos) Meads, Rita was born on Feb. 16, 1933. She was “the queen of her class” at Provincetown High, said her daughter, Pam Silva. In fact, she was voted most attractive in the class of 1952. “She had the best laugh and a pretty smile,” Pam noted, qualities she brought to her role as Vivian in the senior class play, Growing Pains. “She was a wonderful dancer as well,” said her cousin Miriam Collinson.
Miriam recalled the pajama parties Rita hosted, at which the girls would crank up the Victrola and listen to Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett at high volume.
In the years after World War II, Rita’s brothers (all veterans) and their friends who were home on leave would meet at the local ice-skating spot on the corner of Shank Painter Road and Route 6. There Rita met Francis A. Medieros, a Navy veteran who served during the Korean War.
Francis fell for Rita the moment he saw her, but his best friend revealed a prior interest. He deferred to his friend, but Rita had a mind of her own and, rejecting the friend, went out with Francis instead. Their marriage lasted until Francis’s death in 2016.
Rita made more than a home for her family. Her son Wesley said she could have invented the phrase “It takes a village” for the way she brought the community together for drinks, dinner, and dancing on Friday nights for years — occasions frequently mentioned in Beata Cook’s “This, That, and the Other” columns in the Provincetown Banner.
Rita worked at the Dairy Queen in the 1960s and ’70s in addition to other jobs over the years, but she loved being a homemaker. Pam said her mother would buy 500 pounds of onions, peel them — which took weeks — pickle them with peppers, seal them in jars, and sell them each year.
Later, she took special pleasure in her grandchildren’s sleepovers, where they would watch Jaws on television and eat crabs. During those times, it was said, Rita “was in heaven.”
Rita was a faithful parishioner at St. Peter the Apostle Church and volunteered with Catholic Charities. And she was devoted to Provincetown, from the beaches to the Monument (which she always referred to as “the Moinument”).
She is survived by her three children, Wesley F. Medeiros and Michael J. Medeiros and wife Pamela, all of Truro, and Pamela Medeiros Silva of South Chatham. Rita also leaves her beloved grandchildren, Jesse, Cameron, Chad, and Wyatt Medeiros, along with many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Rita was predeceased by her brothers, Philip, James, and Richard Meads, all World War II veterans.
Visiting hours will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23 at Nickerson Funeral Home, 340 Main St., Wellfleet. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24 at St. Peter the Apostle Church in Provincetown. Burial will follow in St. Peter’s Cemetery.
Donations in Rita’s memory can be made to the Provincetown Rescue Squad, Box 109, Provincetown 02657. For online condolences visit nickersonfunerals.com.