“The world just lost a force of nature”
She was born in Suffern, New York on August 26, 1957 to Anthony E. (Tony) Argiros and Rita E. (Betty) Argiros. She earned a B.A., M.A. and PhD from Binghamton University and served on the faculty of SUNY Cortland and later St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. She was a specialist in immigration and race relations. In addition to her published scholarship she worked on several projects with the Minnesota NAACP. In 2000 she accepted the position of Executive Program Director at The Family Foundation School which had been founded by her parents. During that time she mentored many students, she helped reshape the practices and procedures of the school and founded the Dog Corps Program.
A passionate dog lover, Rita took up the practice of search and rescue and became a search and rescue dog handler. She was the Founder and President of Eagle Valley Search Dogs and she was the K9 coordinator for the New York State Federation of Search and Rescue Teams.
She is survived by husband Sidney F. Parham, her mother Betty Argiros, a sister Ann Marie Janauer and a brother Mike Argiros. She is survived by her son, Alex Carroll and two stepdaughters Sarah Lichty, and Maggie Cichosz and her grandchildren Sydney and Avery Lichty and Beatrix Cichosz and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her father, Anthony E. Argiros.
Calling hours will be held on Thursday, September 24, 2015 from 5-8PM at the Henderson-Biedekapp Funeral Chapel, Hancock. A funeral mass will be held on Friday, September 25, 2015 at 10:30 AM at St. Paul’s Church, Hancock, NY.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be sent to: Eagle Valley Search Dogs 11 Yankee Lake Road Wurtsboro, NY 12790.
To the SAR Community:
It would be Rita’s joy to see the SAR Community at her funeral on Friday in their team uniform. Please come and help us celebrate Rita’s life and join us at a luncheon afterwards.