Myretta "Rita" Kate McCarthy


Myretta Kate McCarthy, age 81, transitioned across the universe the morning of May nineteenth, two thousand and nineteen, at home surrounded by family, friends and neighbors in Elizabeth, Colorado. Myretta, or Rita as she liked to go by, was born May 23rd, 1937 in Moultrie, Georgia, the daughter of Boyd & Katie Mae Richter.
Rita grew up the only child and was doted upon by her father who adored her zeal and humor.

In 1960 Rita married the love of her life David McCarthy and throughout their marriage they were stationed on six different military bases throughout the United States. During this time frame Rita and David raised three children; Lynn, Robin and Joe.
While helping to raise three children Rita worked as a receptionist and thoroughly enjoyed her work and helping to contribute to her family. She was the social butterfly of the office and was always hosting office parties and bringing up morale of all those around her. 
Her strength was exemplified when David was stationed in Vietnam for one year and she worked and raised three kids on her own as she dealt with the hardships that come with a deployed husband, in a war zone. 
After David’s retirement in 1976 they decided to make his last assignment, Colorado, home. She fell in love with the mountains and the people. Their homes, in Aurora and Elizabeth were always places of congregation for friends, kids and neighbors. 
Rita was happiest surrounded by friends and family at parties where everyone was laughing and having a wonderful time. She also enjoyed going to the casino and loved her trips with friends to Blackhawk. She also reveled in the fact that all her grandchildren loved visiting her house and staying up late watching TV, playing Wii Bowling, and drinking milkshakes. 
She enjoyed attending religious services where she thrived in the sense of community and her gregarious spirit truly flourished. She was always one to make people laugh. She enjoyed RVing, spending winters in Tucson and she especially liked extended caravan trips with multiple families to Santa Fe, Woodland Park, Arizona or Las Vegas. 
Rita is survived by her loving, devoted husband, David and three children: Lynn of Ozark, MO; Robin of Spokane, WA; and Joe of Parker, CO. She is also survived by three granddaughters, two grandsons, one great granddaughter, and a number of other relatives and close friends.

Love ya, Mom 


A Celebration of Rita's Life was held at Encompass Church (11150 Hilltop Road, Parker, Colorado 80134) on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.  A reception followed services at the church.

Family & friends are encouraged to share stories and photographs of Rita here on her website (click "Tribute Wall" tab to access).

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  1. I had the pleasure of doing Rita's nails for many years. She was so funny and provided lots of entertainment. She had such a big heart and always had a smile on her face.
    I will miss you Rita but glad you don't have to endure any more pain.

  2. Mrs. Rita was like another grandma to me. Growing up next to her and Mr. Dave I enjoyed ringing their doorbell almost everyday to be given gum and candy and coming over in the evening for some cookies and milkshakes which were always so good. Mrs. Rita gave the best presents from stuffed animals to fuzzy pajamas which I still have at Christmas. But I was able to get to know Mrs. Rita on a deeper level when I worked for her during the summer a couple years ago. Being able to hear her stories and memories about her life in Georgia and freezing winters in North Dakota were so interesting and I loved it when I could see a glimpse into the past of her life. She would spoil me rotten when I would work for her especially when we would go out on shopping trips or to get her hair done. If she was getting a new shirt, she would make sure I was getting a new one also. If she wanted to get icecream from McDonalds, she would make sure I would buy me one as well. I loved watching the Price is Right with her in the morning and deciding what we would do with the money the people were winning on the show and she would always say a new SUV. She would always compliment me on my outfits and say “oh I need to make sure I get a pair of those” when I would come over with different sandals on. Working for her turned in to hanging out with a dear friend and someone I could share my thoughts and stories with and would hear hers as well. Her kind heart and sweet personality will always be cherished and remembered in my heart and I will always hold tight to the memories I got to create with her through my years being her neighbor.

  3. My favorite memory of Rita was her enthusiastic presentation of a rocking chair to Dave when he retired from the Air Force.  Her happiness with and love for Dave was so apparent during that retirement party.  She was a joy to know.

  4. In my early 20's, while stationed in Colorado Springs, my Uncle David and Aunt Rita took me under their wings. They were the pillars in my wild adventures that lasted well past the Air Force. I know I was a mystery to them at times but they went along for the ride anyway and were always consummate in their love, support, and hugs. I always admired the way Uncle David and Aunt Rita loved and took care of each other. That love and commitment spread to their amazing children, who in turn spread it to their amazing families. It always starts at home.

    Aunt Rita was my second mom. Aunt Rita was loving, caring, gracious, stoic, feisty, and always had a way of telling it like it was. She had a great laugh and a sparkle in those eyes. She and I would talk and before you know it Uncle David was in the background saying “now Rita, I don't know if you should be saying that” and Aunt Rita would reply, “why not David, it's true.” That was my Aunt Rita.

    When I was twenty, Aunt Rita asked me if I wanted to get my ears pierced. I think she already knew what she was going to do. Off we went to get my ears pierced. She bought my first pair of earrings; I was excited and she was so proud. Forty years later, I still have the same holes in my ear lobes. When putting earrings on, not many times go by that I don't think about who was responsible for making me feel good and my ears look better.
    What can I say about Aunt Rita and the slot machines. She loved to plug those slots. The times I did get to gamble with her were always fun. Black Hawk was a particular enjoyable destination. The time Roberta and I visited, Aunt Rita was bound and determined to go to the casino no matter what condition she was in. Uncle David rented a wheel chair and off we went. I will never forget her joy and the memory. Just to let you know Aunt Rita, I will be making donations in your name at the slot machines. Don't worry, I have my limits and my little pot of money just like you did.

    I will always remember Aunt Rita living in Houston with her children while Uncle David was in Vietnam. I'm sure it was difficult, but Aunt Rita echoed courage, stamina, and love, in those uncertain times and carried it with her through the remainder of her journey.

    I have many good memories of Aunt Rita, but nothing will match the love she gave me and how she always made me feel. She may have lived in Colorado but she had the heart the size of Texas. I'm truly blessed to have been a part of her life. To Uncle David, my cousins Lynn, Robin, Joey, and their families, if ever there was an angel it was your wife – your mother- your grandmother- your great grandmother- my Aunt Rita. She is the angel always dangling around my ears. She will be missed.

    May the road rise to meet you
    May the wind be always at your back
    May the sun shine warm upon your face
    The rains fall soft upon your fields
    And until we meet again Aunt Rita
    May God hold you in the palm of his hand

  5. Over the last few years, and especially over the last few weeks, I have been reflecting on my mom's life (as all of us have). For me, it has become apparent that there is so much of my mother in me. From every day actions to lifelong traits, I find myself thinking, “Wow, that was just like my Mom.” 

    The most significant of these, I've realized, is that she was always the consummate mom, even through her last few days of life. I smile as I recall sitting with her near the end, where she found the strength to tell me: “Robin sit up straight” and “Robin push your hair back”. Always her daughter's mom. Luckily for Breena, (my only daughter) I find myself constantly giving her sage, motherly advice, just as my mom did for me.

    There are smaller things as well. My Mom always thought that a persons' birthday was very important. Maybe many of you also remember this. Be it family or friend, she would celebrate the heck out of a birthday; always taking that extra step to make that person feel special. She invested her time: getting the perfect gift, special wrapping, a card that would bring joy. That has manifested itself in me to the extent that my family even celebrates half birthdays. This will not be lost through the generations…as you've seen how much love and care Breena has invested in the tribute video, coincidently today, my Mom's birthday. 

    Last, I am so saddened as to how much my mom struggled over the last couple of years. As I said to her, my last words, I know your pain has ended and I truly believe that you are in a happier place where you can walk, appreciate the colors, hear the birds singing and feel the breeze on your face (and no Winter). I will always be thinking of you in that way, as I am out running or biking and feel the breeze on my face. 

    Though I say goodbye, part of you remains in me. 
    Mom, I love you.
    I miss you every day!! 
    Your daughter forever, Robin

  6. For those that don't know me, my name is Joe McCarthy.  Joey to my mom. I want to echo Matthew and thank everyone for making time to attend today.  It means a lot to me and my family. 
    Thinking about delivering a eulogy for my mom is the hardest thing ever, but very important to me to try and honor her. 
    I tried to think of stories to tell but couldn't settle on just one.  Instead I tried to capture things I remember that were humorous to me, or to help you understand her a little more.  So here goes:

    Here, taste this & tell me if it's bad.
    Christmas was her favorite. Always had the most presents, deservedly so.
    Adored her grandkids.
    Worked full time
    Loved to shop
    Too many to count mismatched shoes
    Thought I would never get a steady girlfriend, much less get married until I started driving a nicer truck.
    Very picky about her yard.  
    Was not afraid to speak her mind.
    I learned to sit up straight, use the proper eating utensils, proper use of napkin, drink without slurping & chew the appropriate number of times before quietly swallowing.  
    I learned to be an adventurous eater as we tried multiple types of  cuisines.  Entrees & appetizers only though.    As for deserts, other than the occasional scoop of ice cream or cookies, was usually a half a peach or pear topped with cottage cheese sitting on a strip of lettuce.  
    Cookies….  cookies were saved for Dad & semi special occasions. She used to hide them in the piano bench or china hutch.  Robin, Lynn & I knew exactly where to find them though.  I know that we either threw away the empty bag after eating them all or just left the empty bag there, but we never heard Mom complain.   Now that I think about it, I think it became more of a game to see how long her hidden cookies stash would last.
    Always wanted the best for her kids.
    Was one of the loudest parents cheering her kids on at sporting events.
    My fondness & love for:
    Good food
    A tidy house
    Good taste,  At least I think so.

    I'm leaving out a ton of memories & traits.  But all you really need to know is that she was an incredible Wife & Mom & Grandma who loved her family.
    Happy birthday Mom.
    I love you, Joe 

  7. Writing a farewell when someone has come to the end of their life seems impossible. For grandma, it
    would either take volumes full of stories of love, of friendship, of trials or something shorter that will
    be lacking. I cannot adequately say how I felt about grandma, how we all felt about her. She takes our
    love with her, wherever she goes now. But we also keep some for ourselves, and even now, in my
    absence from this celebration, I feel it.
    I will never forget grandma's last days, when her family gathered around her to ease her way into the
    next phase of existence. I'll never forget the laughter, the smiles, the tears, the embraces, all of which
    were only possible because grandma. She was our matriarch, and she continues to live on in all her
    Grandma: thank you for creating and raising my beautiful mother. Thank you for welcoming my dad
    into your family. Thank you for supporting my sister in all her adventures. Thank you for continuing
    a line of strong, intelligent, formidable women that now culminates with my daughter, in whom I see
    moments of your strength, your persistence, your humor, your candor. Your legacy lives on, and we all
    benefit from it. So in my last words to you, I would like to say that your time in this world has inspired
    joy. As you depart from us, know that you leave behind a world with more happiness and love because
    of your influence over us all. I love you Grandma.  

  8. Mrs. Rita,
    Thank you for being a wonderful neighbor, friend, and mentor for me over the years. I always enjoyed coming over to your clean house when I was a kid. You may not know this but we would sneak into your backyard and play games when we thought you wouldn't know. I really enjoyed being able to talk to you about anything and everything when I got older. Thank you for always sharing your honest opinion and giving me advise. It was very inspirational for me to see how you really relied on God the past few years. I say Psalm 23 almost every night because of you. I am looking forward to seeing you again one day and I like to think you are always looking down on me now.
    Love you,

  9. I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time at Gramma and Grandpa McCarthy's house when I was growing up. Like most gramma and grandpa households, there were no rules! Milkshakes before dinner? Sure!! Walker Texas Ranger reruns until 1 in the morning? Why not?! 
But what I did discover as I grew up is that, although Gramma didn't tell us what to do she had a way of leading a horse to water. She led by example and let us learn by trial and error. 

    For example, Inertia. You see, she didn't have to teach us the theory of motion. No, instead she just allowed us to strap a skateboard to the back of a battery powered barbie jeep and go! When Kam and I took a hair pinned turn at full speed and the jeep went one way and the skateboard, with cousin Kailey on it, went the other, we learned inertia.

    That was the thing about Gramma, she always led you to conclusions, led you to the best version of yourself. And she mostly did this by example. 

    She didn't say “Work Hard,” instead she told stories of working for the Walters Construction Company as the top receptionist and how they called her Reetz and gave her more and more responsibility as she worked there through the years.

    She didn't say to support family, instead she pulled out her credit card and paid for my first sailing lesson when the $400 fee wouldn't clear on my credit card. Even though she didn't “understand a damn thing about this boat thing.”

    She didn't say “Be a strong and assertive woman”…and I mean I don't even really have to give an example for that one, we all know she led by example on that front!

    But, maybe the most profound lesson she taught by example was that of devotion and love. She choose a partner in life that was her best friend and showed, at the morning breakfast table, over the Denver Post how a couple could laugh at each other's jokes, feel anger at their misfortune and celebrate in their successes. 60 years of a loving marriage showed us all how to be better and kinder to one another. 

    Thinking over these lessons, I know she has taught me so much throughout my life, and I was truly grieving over the loss of this great woman and the wisdom that I will no longer receive, but in the last couple of days, as family flocked to her side and we spent nights talking, laughing and crying, it dawned on me. 

    She has this amazing legacy. 

    I will still see her wit and humor in Nicki. I still see an example of determination and hard work in Matthew. I get to witness someone standing up for what they believe in when I watch Kailey, and I get to admire the love and support that Kam gives, unconditionally, to his family and in raising two smart little girls. 

    When I think of what she has passed on to all of us, I feel so grateful that she was my Gramma and so grateful we were all lucky enough to have her in our life. 

  10. Best next door neighbors for 21 years. My daughters and I enjoyed being able to talk with Rita about anything. She loved her family so much, but treated us all like her family as well. Rita said she felt so loved, when she saw her husband David praying for her.  I have the utmost praise and admiration for the way her family cared for her, but especially for her husband. His love, care, patience, strength and devotion could only have been by the grace of God. Truly a Biblical picture of how husband's should love their wives. 
    Rita put her faith in Jesus Christ and His promises to her as a believer. Saying goodbye is hard and I do miss Rita, but believe she is healed and I'm looking forward to seeing her again!

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