Rita Roche Doubek, 88, longtime schoolteacher
BY MITCH DUDEK Staff Reporter November 14, 2012 6:16PM
Rita Roche Doubek was an elementary school teacher for 20 years and raised her eight children alone after her husband died when she was 41.
Updated: December 19, 2012 11:34AM
If Rita Roche Doubek posted rules on the front door of her Beverly home for her eight kids to live by, it’s a fair bet these might be included:
† Get your fanny into a pew once a week.
† No hats in the house.
† Stand up straight and strong, tall and tough.
Big kids watch out for the little kids.
The last rule held special importance because when Mrs. Doubek was 41, her husband, Frank, died from a bacterial infection, leaving her with four boys and four girls ranging in age from 3 to 19.
At the insistence of her mother, Mrs. Doubek earned a bachelor’s degree in education from St. Xavier College before she got married.
The degree led to a steady paycheck for her family and a new career as an elementary school teacher in Chicago for 20 years.
Mrs. Doubek died of natural causes at her home Nov. 6. She was 88.
“She was just unbelievably strong,” said her son Don. “Back in those days, Dad was Superman. We couldn’t believe he was gone.”
Mrs. Doubek grew up in Beverly, where she met her husband, who served in the Army Air Corps and flew a glider over the skies of Normandy during D-Day.
“He didn’t talk about that much,” Don said. “Mom always said, ‘I’ll never find another man to treat me like your dad did.’ . . . She never even went on another date,” he said.
Mrs. Doubek’s kids were her life.
“The grin on her face when she was surrounded by her children and grandchildren on holidays . . . said it all,” said Mrs. Doubek’s daughter Madeleine.
“Her family was in her heart and she guarded and protected her heart, always,” she said.
Mrs. Doubek also enjoyed a good dinner party and loved her vodka tonics.
She was a pillar at Christ the King Parish; swam regularly well into her 70s, and loved to play bridge.
“I don’t want you to cry when I’m gone,” Mrs. Doubek told her daughters recently. “Don’t be sad. I just want the Lord to call me home.”
Other survivors include daughters Martha Dion, Mary Doubek and Margaret Murray; sons, Christopher, Richard and Timothy; 17 grandchildren, and six great grandchildren.
Services have been held.