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7815 Highway 290 W
Austin, TX 78736
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Rita Bob (Whitfield) Alston


1934 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Rita Bob (Whitfield) Alston Obituary
Rita Bob Whitfield Alston passed away peacefully on October 29, 2016 surrounded by her loving family. She was born on September 24, 1934 to Bryan and Alice Whitfield in Bethlehem, Texas. She graduated from Sweetwater High School when she was 16 and attended McMurray College in Abilene where she was in the marching band. It was then, at the age of 18, through hard work and dedication she was able to recover from polio. During her recovery she met the love of her life, Gary Alston, and they married on July 17, 1954 in Sweetwater, Texas.  While in Sweetwater she met some of her best friends and recently she was able to spend time with them all. In 1972 Gary and Rita moved to Austin to build Lost Creek Country Club. She was a faithful volunteer at Laguna Gloria, Alpha Delta Pi and Delta Delta Delta Sororities, as well as First United Methodist Church. She was passionate about music and played the piano and taught music at Circle C Child Development Center for many years. She supported all of her children in their endeavors and cherished working with Gretchen for a time at her gym, Champions Westlake. Her favorite singer was Ann Murray. When her grandchildren were little, she would sing, "I'll always remember the first time I saw you." Gary built her dream house in Oak Hill where she lived out the rest of her years. She was a surrogate grandmother to many of the neighborhood children and a trusted confidant to all. Her greatest enjoyment was having her family around and she would host the most magical Christmases staying up late to talk with her children always saying, "If we don't go to sleep, then we get in twice the visit!" She enjoyed swimming throughout her life and taught all of her grandchildren to swim at the YMCA in Oak Hill. Her greatest gift was loving and encouraging family and friends; she did this not only in person, but also by sending letters and cards to let them know how important they were to her. She recently attended her granddaughter's wedding and danced with her husband of 62 years. She is preceded in death by her parents Bryan and Alice Whitfield, her sister Gwen Cress and brother Jim Whitfield. She is survived by her husband Gary and her children Lisa Sartin, Kirk Alston, Gretchen Huddleston with Dan Brannon and Ann Spencer all of Austin. Rita adored her 10 grandchildren and their spouses: Tanner Sartin of Danbury, Texas, Hayley Sartin of Houston, Taylor Sartin of Austin and Courtney Sartin Ponzi and husband Joe and their children Kalie, Cameron and Owen of Richwood, Texas, Holcombe Huddleston, Wilson Huddleston and Georgia Huddleston all of Austin, Blake Spencer and Brooke Spencer of Austin and Brittany Spencer Brewer and husband Doug of Midland. Other survivors include her sister Anita Pendergrass of San Antonio, her sister-in-law and brother-in-law Kay and Fred Armstrong of Broomfield, Colorado and many nieces and nephews whom she adored. The family would like to thank the staff at Seton who lovingly took care of Rita. A celebration of her life will be held at 4:30pm on Saturday, November 19, 2016 in the Fellowship Hall at Oak Hill United Methodist Church in Austin. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations are made to Oak Hill United Methodist Church.
Published in Sweetwater Reporter on Nov. 4, 2016
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