September 4, 1926 – November 15, 2019
Our wonderful mum, Rita, passed away peacefully on November 15, 2019 at the age of 93. She was pre-deceased by her husband John, her parents Florence and Cecil Ironmonger, and her sister Ruby. She is survived by her daughters Christine and Hilary, sister-in-law Jean, grandchildren Laura (Ryan), Steven (Megan), Trevor (Christya), Kayleigh (Matt) and great grandchildren Jaxon, Eloise, Abigail and many loving relatives in England.
Rita was born on September 4, 1926 in Leicester, England. At age eleven, Rita earned a scholarship to the Newarke Girls Grammar School. Her favourite subjects were English and History. After working for a while she joined the British Army (A. T. S.) in WWII as a driver.
In 1946, Rita was discharged and worked delivering new cars to various dealerships. In 1948, she met her soul mate, a policeman named John, and they were married January 8, 1949. They had 68 wonderful, loving years of marriage until John died in 2017.
A daughter, Christine was born in 1950. Two years later, they immigrated to Canada, settling in Vancouver, B.C. Their second daughter, Hilary, was born in 1953. While the girls were young, Rita sewed curtains for travel trailers, worked as a dental receptionist, and then a retail credit clerk. She volunteered for the school P.T.A. and Elizabeth Fry Society. Rita attended her daughters’ many school and sports activities and also taught Sunday School at their church.
A change of John’s career in 1969 brought the family to Chilliwack. Rita worked in banking, then as a Provincial Court Recorder and opened an English “sweetie” shop for a year. She had a passion for all things theatre and in 1971 joined the Chilliwack Players Guild where she spent many years directing, producing, acting and was an award-winning costumer. Rita was later made an honorary Life-time Member of the Guild for her many years of service. A dedicated volunteer, she joined the Chilliwack Hospital Auxiliary and became a member of the Hospital Board. Rita and John loved sailing (their “happy place”) and travelling, enjoying many trips to the United Kingdom, two beautiful sailing trips around Greece and a 50th anniversary cruise aboard the Queen Elizabeth II.
In 1993, Rita and John moved to Kamloops to be closer to their girls and four grandchildren. They became active members of St. Paul’s Cathedral congregation. Retirement allowed more time to enjoy their family, travelling, community theatre (Kamloops Players) and volunteering with the Canadian Cancer Society.
Our family would like to thank Dr. Baker and all the wonderful, caring nurses and volunteers at Marjorie Willoughby Snowden Memorial Hospice Home. They are very “special” people and made mum’s final journey comfortable and free from pain. We also give a big thank-you to all who have sent messages of condolence through social media and e-mail.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, December 21, 2019 at 1 pm at St. Paul’s Cathedral, 360 Nicola St, Kamloops. Reception to follow. In lieu of flowers and if desired, a donation to a charity of your choice would be appreciated.
Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.DrakeCremation.com.
Tel: 250-377-8225 Tel: 250-214-4411 Toll free: 1-877-674-3030
Drake Cremation & Funeral Services
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