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Rita Blackney

November 3, 1936 — March 24, 2023

Rita Blackney

Rita Blackney (née Leone) of Denver, PA and Ephrata, PA passed away peacefully at the age of 86 on March 24, 2023.

Rita was born in Philadelphia in November 1936 to Dominic and Teresa Leone. She married Russell Blackney in September 1955 and they had two children, Russell Jr. and Kenneth. She and Russel Sr. moved to Lancaster County in the 1990s in preparation for retirement.

Rita was a natural leader. She and Russell established Cub Scout and Boy Scout troops for neighborhood children. She taught her friends, her sons, and their friends to drive. Following retirement from management at Sears, Roebuck and Co., she and Russell began a crafting hobby and small business to stay active and engaged.

While raising the boys, she led the family on camping trips across the eastern United States. Later, she and Russell cruised to Alaska, the Caribbean islands, South America, the Mediterranean, and northern Europe.

Rita was predeceased by her parents, her sister Dolores Colafrancesco, and her son Russell Jr. She is survived by her husband Russell Sr., son Kenneth (Robert Ditto) of Bala Cynwyd, PA, daughter-in-law Tina (widow of Russell Jr.) of Mt. Carmel, PA, granddaughters Donna and Sierra, and great-granddaughter Reina.

An interment service for family and close friends will be held in April.

Rita's family asks that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made in her name to the American Heart Association (American Heart Association, PO Box 840692, Dallas, TX 75284-0692 or

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rita Blackney, please visit our flower store.


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