Rheta R. Hamberg

AGAWAM – Rheta R. Hamberg of Agawam, 94, (1927-2022) longtime resident of Southwick, passed away peacefully Tuesday, January 25, 2022, surrounded by her loving family, in The Atrium At Cardinal Drive where she had been living due to declining health. Rheta was born in Springfield on October 23, 1927, the daughter of the late Ray and Olive (Worthington) Fuller. She was predeceased by her beloved husband of 66 years, Douglas H. Hamberg who died in 2012. Rheta was raised in Springfield and graduated from Commerce High School with the Class of 1945. Her parents had retired to a home on Congamond Lake in Southwick. She met Douglas at the Methodist Church in Southwick and they were married there in 1946. Rheta and Doug purchased land and built their family home on Vining Hill Road, living there for over 60 years. She worked in the bakery of the Putnam Farm Store in Southwick for 25 years. She was a very active member of Christ Church United Methodist through all her years in Southwick. She also was a member of the Southwick Senior Center, Southwick Women’s Club and the Westfield YMCA, where she was a dedicated lap swimmer.

She is survived by her three loving children, Claudia R. Stevenson and husband Paul of Exeter, NH, Cynthia M. Neary and husband Kenneth, Jr. of Westfield, MA and Charles D. Hamberg and wife Pamela of Athol, MA. She also leaves six devoted grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and a large and close-knit extended family.

Rheta was a strong woman of unwavering faith with a giving heart. We remember her with the words of Etienne de Grellet, Quaker missionary. This is how she lived every day of her life and how she would have us honor her memory.

“I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”

Rheta’s family would like to sincerely thank the staff of The Atrium and Heritage Woods for their caring support. A Celebration of Rheta’s Life will be held in Southwick in the spring. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the charity of one’s choice. Southwick Forastiere Funeral Home, Southwick has been entrusted with arrangements. For online condolences please visit

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