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Rita Baldwin

1917 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Rita Baldwin Obituary
Baldwin, Rita OCEANSIDE -- Rita Baldwin, 96 years old, passed away Sunday, April 6, 2014 on her mother's birthday at her home in Oceanside, California. Born in Chicago, Illinois on July 7, 1917 to Isabelle and Richard Cracknell, she was a devoted, eldest daughter, of five children. At age seven, she moved with her family to East Los Angeles. Rita Cracknell graduated from Garfield High School and married her high school sweetheart, Noel J. Baldwin at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church on November 22, 1936. Their life together was a beautiful love story. They celebrated sixty-five wonderful years of marriage in November 2001 when they renewed their wedding vows for the third time surrounded by their entire family. He called her "ReeTee Sweetie." Rita served as President of the P.T.A. at St. Stephen's Catholic School in Monterey Park. Noel was a mail deliverer and built houses on the weekend. In 1950, she and Noel and their four children, Jim, Noel, Al, and Pamela moved to Temple City and started the Baldwin Family Egg Ranch. Rita and Noel subdivided the chicken ranch and built custom homes there. They, along with their two sons, became a major homebuilding company in Southern California. Their daughters became realtors. As a former model, Rita carried herself with confidence, always fashionably dressed. She had an adventurous spirit and loved to travel with her husband on paleontology trips to dig for sharks' teeth, mastodon bones, fossils and old bottles. She enjoyed ocean vacations to exotic ports like Indonesia and she loved fishing in Alaska and trips to Wyoming and Mexico. Known as "Gramma Rita," she received immense joy and pride from the achievements of every member of her large family. At her homes in Canyon Lake and later in Fallbrook where she and Noel retired, they hosted numerous family parties. After Noel's death in 2002, she moved to Fairwinds Ivey Ranch in Oceanside. Rita was respected for being a loving wife, mother of twenty-five grandchildren (includes spouses) and great- grandmother of thirty- five great-grandchildren. She always made time to give each person her attention, radiating her warmth, compassion and ability to enjoy life. The family would like to extend its special thanks to her caregivers, Josephine Frayna and Alicia Irip for their companionship and tender care. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, 314 Marine Avenue, Balboa Island, CA 92662-1206 on Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 11 A.M. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to: San Luis Rey Parish, Old Mission Montessori School, In Memory of Rita Baldwin 4070 Mission Ave., Oceanside, CA 92057.

Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on Apr. 11, 2014
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