||Ronald Charest and Rita (Danese) Charest|
Ron Charest and Aunt Rita (Danese) Charest. Rita loved to make quilts, and one of her quilts was the background for this photo. Taken at the home of Ron Charest in Gautier, Mississippi, about July 2001.
||Rita (Danese) Charest and John B. Danese|
Rita (Danese) Charest and Husband John B. Danese. Taken sometime in the late 1950s
||Rita (Danese) Charest with Liberace and Two Friends |
Rita (Danese) Charest was a big fan of the singer, pianist, and entertainer Władziu Valentino Liberace ("Liberace"). Liberace once visited Rita in Pawtucket, Rhode Island and spent the afternoon with Rita and two of her friends. Rita later would say Liberace was one of the nicest men she had ever met.
Władziu Valentino Liberace (May 16, 1919 - February 4, 1987) was an American pianist, singer, and actor. A child prodigy born in Wisconsin to parents of Italian and Polish origin, he enjoyed a career spanning four decades of concerts, recordings, television, motion pictures, and endorsements. At the height of his fame from the 1950s to 1970s, he was the highest-paid entertainer in the world with established concert residencies in Las Vegas and an international touring schedule. He embraced a lifestyle of flamboyant excess both on and off stage, earning the nickname "Mr. Showmanship". Liberace was a long-time entertainer on the Las Vegas circuit, known for his elaborate costumes. After his death on February 4, 1987, his fans operated a museum of his many costumes, pianos, cars, and other possessions. The museum closed in October 2010, but as of 2019 the Liberace Foundation continued to award scholarships.
Rita was a huge fan of Liberace, and in 1968 had a chance to meet him at Warwick Musical Theater in Warwick, Rhode Island. From Left to right: Dorothy Palosso (Cousin of Rita), Comedian Fay McKay, Liberace, Rita (Danese) Charest
||Martha (Wilkens) Reichelt, Howard Charest, Melinda Charest, Rita (Danese) Charest|
Martha (Wilkens) Reichelt, Howard Charest, Melinda Charest, Rita (Danese) Charest, photo taken about 1964, most likely in a park on Long Island. Rita would visit Armand Charest and his family often while Armand's family lived in Farmingdale, Long Island, New York. Martha (Wilkens) Reichelt lived in South Ozone Park, Queens and also visited with the family often. Although Martha (Wilkens) Reichelt never learned to drive, her daughter Martha would come over from Farmingdale to pick her up for a day's outing.
||Rita (Danese) Charest and Roger Forbes|
Rita (Danese) Charest and her son Roger Forbes
||The Charest Family, Descendants of Ildephonse and Emilie (Frenchette) Charest|
A family photograph of all nine children of Ildephonse and Emilie (Frenchette) Charest. Taken during a family reunion in the early 1980s. This was the last time all nine children were together, as Margaret would pass several years later.
From Left to right, top row:
Rita, Noella, George, Lucille, Margaret
Clair, Joe, Armand, Theresa
||Pawtuxet Valley Times Article Jan 24 1967|
Pawtuxet Valley Times Article Jan 24 1967, Rita (Danese) Charest was creating a quilt with the largest number of pieces at 48,000. She intended to display it at that year's Brockton, Massachusetts Fair.
||Newspaper Article: Mosaic Quilt Will Wow Judges at Summer Fairs|
Newspaper "Warwick Beacon" 14 April 1967 story about Rita (Danese) Charest entry of her record-setting quilt into the local state summer fairs in Rhode Island.
||Newspaper Article: "Kid's Won't Like Woman's Hobby"|
Undated, unidentified newspaper article on a full-size Castor plant grown by Rita (Danese) Charest in Warwick, Rhode Island. This story would have been published sometime in the late 1960's perhaps around 1968.
||Letter from Knitting Equipment Manufacturers to Rita (Danese) Charest|
Leter from C.J. Bates & Son incorporated, a manufacturer of knitting equipment, to Rita (Danese) Charest.
||Newspaper Article "Warwick Woman Kept Girls in Stitches"|
Unidentified undated newspaper article about the knitting classes run by Rita (Danese) Charest for young woman of the Warwick, Rhode Island, area. Based upon other news articles, this would have been about 1968.
||Newspaper Article "How To Make 15 Girls Happy"|
Undated article from the Warwick Pawtuxet Valley news about the knitting lessons run by Rita (Danese) Charest, in Warwick, Rhode Island. This would have been around 1968.
||Assorted Newspaper Clippings on Rita (Danese) Charest|
Assorted Warwick Pawtuxet Valley newspaper slippings on Rita (Danese) Charest and her award-winning quilt
||Assoted Newspaper Clippings on Rita (Danese) Charest|
Assorted newspaper clippings from the Warwick Pawtuxet Valley Newspaper on Rita (Danese) Charest. 18 July 1968
||Newspaper Article "People and Places" |
A newspapaer article from Providence Evening Bulletin on the first graduation of young students of Rita (Danese) Charest's knitting school in Warwick, Rhode Island.
||Newspaper Story "Quilt at Fair has 51,000 Pieces"|
A newspaper story from Brockon daily Evening Enterprise on the record-setting quilt created by Rita (Danese) Charest, and shown at the current Brockon Fair (Rhode Island). Dated 14 July 1964
||Newspaper Story "She Brings a Record to Rhode Island"|
Newspaper story from The Providence Journal" on Rita (Danese) Charest winning a record for creating a quilt with the most number of pieces. Dated 25 July 1967
||Newspaper Article Listing Entries to the 167 Rocky Hill Fair|
The Providence Evening Bulliten listing entries to the Rock Hill Fair. Rita (Danese) Charest ("Mrs John B. Danese") is noted as first prize for hooked rugs under the "Home Economics" section. 23 August 1967
||Newspaper Story "Mrs John B. Danese Named Warwick Woman of the Year"|
Local newspaper The Woonsocket Call on Rita (Danese) Charest being named Warwick's "Woman of the Year" for 1968, Warwick, Rhode Island. Dated 22 July 1968
||Rhode Island State Senator Letter to Rita (Danese) Charest|
Letter from Rhode Island state Senator Eleanor F. Slater to Rita (Danese) Charest congratulating her on winning a Blue Ribbon for her quilt.
||Newspaper story "Worlds Biggest Quilt?"|
Pawtuxet Valley newspaper story on Rita (Danese) Charest awarded a world's record for the most number of pieces in a quilt. Dated 24 January 1967
||Rita (Danese) Charest Baptismal Certificate|
Baptismal certificate of Marie Rita Elmire (Danese) Charest. Note the sponsors are Moise Frenchette and Almire (?) Baillargen.
||Rita (Danese) Charest Birth Certificate|
Birth certificate of Rita (Danese) Charest