November 17, 1926 ~ March 6, 2022 (age 95)


Rita died peacefully at home surrounded by love from family, praying and playing songs dedicated to the Blessed Mother, as she was called to our Lord. Her faith was her strength, and even when she was unable to talk with us, she never stopped the ability to pray – she would attempt to pray with us as we said the rosary or just prayed in general.  As a devoted member of the St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish, Rita’s Catholic faith guided her throughout her life. Her faith taught her to think of others and this was most apparent in her philanthropic endeavors - she always gave to others before giving to herself.   Rita was a stay-at-home Mom who raised seven children with her husband, Jim, here in Riverside, CA. A gifted designer and seamstress, Rita was always elegantly dressed in her own creations or Vogue designs. Sewing was her favorite hobby – she was meticulous and detailed; her stripes were always matched and buttonholes were always tailored. She was of a generation that believed hats, gloves, and a pretty dress should be the dress code for church or going out.; all of daughters never failed to have beautiful dresses, coordinating the colors and seasons.  We were always considered well-dressed thanks to Mom’s skill with her sewing machine and fabrics.  This special talent afforded her a small business making clothes and doing alterations for family and friends. At 60, she began a new career as a buyer and seller of estate jewelry, ultimately becoming the estate jewelry buyer for Crystal’s Antiques in downtown Riverside. She also ran the store for the owner and knew every inch of the store.  She loved that job and when she had to retire, at the age of 80 (the store was being sold), she was at a loss for what she might doing with her time.  But she grew to enjoy her free time.  She still sewed, would take a walk and always had time for prayer.  Rita was blessed with 4 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren Rita was naturally curious and never lost interest in what was happening in the world. She read the Press Enterprise daily, enjoyed puzzles to keep her mind sharp, read books on true crime, and always asked great questions. Guilty pleasures included dancing (especially the Jitterbug) into her 70s, trading Us & People magazines with her daughters, See’s Candies, fabulous hats because she was fabulous, and cooking the foods of her Mexican and Italian heritage.   Though Rita had 95 wonder years with us, it still was not enough for those that loved her.  Spending time with her always revealed something new or even another insight to her.  She lived a simple life but it was full life!

Memorial Mass will be on Friday, March 18, 2022 at 10 O'Clock in the morning at St. Catherine Of Alexandria Catholic Church, Riverside, California.

Arrangements entrusted to the care of Akes Family Funeral Home, Riverside, California.

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Memorial Mass
March 18, 2022

10:00 AM
St Catherine of Alexandria Catholic Church
3680 Arlington Ave
Riverside, CA 92506

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