Ritta Molinaro, loving mother, devoted wife, and close friend to many, passed away on July 2, 2018 at age 84.
The daughter of Barbara Marie and Stephen Alecknewith, she was born in Blawnox, PA on August 5th, 1933. Ritta studied ballet under the noted Karl Heinrich in Pittsburgh as a teenager. She went on to dance as a prima ballerina at the Pittsburgh Civic Ballet and in numerous plays and performances at the Civic Light Opera. In September 1952, she moved to New York City with her lifelong friend Elicia (Miller) Riethof to embark on their careers in dance.
On March 7, 1953 she married her high school sweetheart Richard "Dickie" Molinaro. Following his service in the Korean war, the couple lived in New York City. Ritta became a ballerina at Radio City Music Hall's Corps de Ballet (which was a part of Radio City's stage spectaculars for 42 years with the Rockettes and symphony orchestra). She worked there for 9 years until her dancing career ended with an accident on stage. Ritta and Dick later moved to Englewood, NJ in 1968. Their child Suzanne was born in 1972 after 19 years of their 55 year marriage. In 1979 the family moved to their home in Ringwood, NJ.
Ritta was a kind, caring and passionate woman. Her love knew no bounds. She never did anything the easy way and was driven in all her goals. She had numerous chapters in her life, all rich in their experiences. She was an avid collector and loved antique clocks, dishes and furniture. Her teacher Karl Heinrich was quoted as saying,"The universal appeal of the dance comes from the fact that the living body itself is the material of the art." Ritta was a true artist, beginning with dance and continuing through everything she did. In her later life, her innate brightness and ability to light up a room never dimmed.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the American Heart Association in Ritta's name http://honor.americanheart.org/goto/RittaMolinaro would be greatly appreciated by the family.