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Dec. 3, 1936 – June 24, 2013

Rita M. Deschamps, a retired switchboard operator for The Buffalo News, died Monday in her Buffalo home, while under hospice care after a lengthy illness. She was 76.

Born Rita Gallagher in Buffalo, she was a graduate of South Park High School.

Mrs. Deschamps worked as a phone operator in the newsroom of The News from October 1981 to May 1999, when she retired.

She was a former president of the Valley Community Association in Buffalo.

Her husband, Desmond, died in 1995.

Survivors include four sons, Douglas, Rick, Randy and Joshua; four daughters, Kelly and Michelle Benzo, Sharon and Patti-Ann; and a sister, Geraldine Thompson.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Friday in St. Clare Parish, 193 Elk St.