Rep. Michael Capuano's (D-Mass.) mother died on Friday, according to an obituatry provided by his office.
Rita Garvey Capuano, a longtime resident of Somerville, Mass., recently celebrated her 90th birthday. She died "surrounded by dozens of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren."
A Massachusetts native, Mrs. Capuano was raised in Boston where her father "helped organize community and church musicals," instilling in his daughter, "an appreciation of music ...and a lifelong love of piano and singing."
Andrew Capuano, her husband, was the first Italian-American elected official in Somerville, and the couple "openly challenged voters to rise above that ethnic divide and see themselves as Americans first."
Rita Capuano also volunteered on Rep. Capuano's campaigns, "canvassing senior buildings and attending events."
After one of her son's campaigns, "she had to receive medical treatment for her hand because she had addressed so many envelopes." Capuano lost to Massachusetts Attorney Gen. Martha Coakley in the state's Democratic Senate primary in 2009. Sen. Scott Brown (R) eventually won the seat.
The notice also pointed out that "Rita was known for her independence, her sharp wit and high-spirited personality. She would often lead a group to song or challenge people on the issues of the day."
Funeral services will be held Wednesday in Somerville.
ITK offers condolences to Rep. Capuano and his family.