Rita Christian, age 89, of Westerly, Rhode Island and Texarkana, Texas, passed away peacefully at the Royal Health Center in Westerly on December 27, 2021.
Rita was born on April 30, 1932 in Redwater, Texas to Clara E. and William H. McKinney. Rita is survived by her son, Dr. Jeffrey Christian and daughter-in-law, Karen Christian of Westerly; son, John Christian of Los Angeles; brother, Bill McKinney; grandchildren, Alyssa and Jeremy Christian; niece, Doris Turner and her husband, Ronald; along with her wonderful extended family, and her cousin and best friend, Nelda Woods.
Rita married John Christian in 1949, and they were together for 61 years, until his passing in 2010. After their sons were born, Rita and John moved to California for job opportunities and raised their family in Palmdale. Rita worked for 25 years in the guidance department at Palmdale High School and took special pride in working with a young women’s group, The Kiwanettes. After finishing up their tenures in the education industry, Rita and John moved back to Texas. In retirement, she and John enjoyed RVing across the country, visiting nearly all 50 states.
Rita was a long-time active member of the Red Hat Society, enjoying many years of laughs and fun. In her free time, she made jewelry under the name, “Designs by Rita” and continued to repair and make jewelry into her later years. She also had a fondness for elephants, collecting numerous elephant-themed items everywhere she traveled. Rita made friends in all the places she lived and traveled. She thrived on taking care of family and friends and is remembered by all who knew her for her thoughtfulness and for her faith.
The family would like to express their thanks to the caring staff of Royal Health of Westerly for the loving care given to her, especially during these trying times.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Shriners Hospital for Children or to Buchanan First Baptist Church of Texarkana.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Chapelwood Funeral Home, Texarkana, Texas.
Services are pending at this time.