Rita Ann Van Liew
1923 - 2013
Lovely Rita Van Liew, aged 89, passed away Tuesday, July 30, 2013 from natural causes. She was a delightful joy to all that she met and will be truly missed. Rita was born in Santa Monica, California on November 5, 1923 to Myrtle Marts Evans and Roland Kenney-Evans. Her school years were spent in Santa Monica and later in South Gate, CA where she graduated from South Gate High School in 1941. While working briefly in San Francisco, a co-worker, Flora Wilcox, arranged a blind date for Rita with her nephew, Lyle Hutchison. Rita and Lyle were married three months later on July 13,, 1947. After a brief residence on Balboa Isle, they moved to Long Beach, which would be Rita's home for the next 63 years. Together they had three daughters. Rita was deeply involved with raising her children, volunteering many hours for school events, PTA fundraisers, and church outings. As her children entered high school, Rita went back to school and eventually re-entered the workforce. Not only did she work full time, she also helped her husband, Lyle, with the family trucking business, all while maintaining a welcoming home environment. She was an original Super Mom who always made time for her family. After the death of Lyle, she took over the reins of running the trucking business until her retirement in1984. Her retirement years were filled with travel, adventure, community involvement and much love. It was on a Parkcrest Church trip to Australia, where she fell in love with her future husband, Ralph Van Liew. They were married November 1990 and had thirteen wonderful years together traveling, camping and enjoying family and friends until Ralph's death in 2003. As her health declined in the following years, Rita's positive attitude and bright spirit never failed to impress all with whom she came in contact. She died peacefully with family at her bedside. Rita will always be remembered and cherished for her beautiful smile and upbeat, optimistic, positive outlook on life.
Rita is survived by her three daughters, Gayle (Bill), Jill, Laura (Tim): three grandchildren, Shannon, Heather (John) and Nick: three great-grandchildren, Tyler, Allison, and Lauren; nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents, sister Patsy, first husband Lyle, and second husband Ralph. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the
. Graveside services will be held on Wednesday,, August 7, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at Westminster Memorial Park, Westminster, CA (714) 893-2421, followed by a Remembrance Reception at Parkcrest Christian Church, 3936 Woodruff Ave., Long Beach, CA 90808. Please sign the guest book at www.presstelegram.com/obituaries
. Westminster Memorial Park