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Rita Cordett Leary passed away on Jan. 6, 2023. Rita was born shortly after dinner on Feb. 3, 1950, to Fletcher Leary Sr. and Wilie Jane Leary in Carthage, Texas.

She was the sixth child from this union.

Rita’s undying love and passion for God was formed in her primary years through the guidance of her maternal grandparents, the late James and Gertrude Hudson. At the tender age of 14, Rita dedicated her life to Christ and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit under the leadership of Pastor/Superintendent Tom Henderson at Mission Church of God in Christ in Banning.

Rita received her education through the Banning Unified School District, graduating with her high school diploma in 1968. Shortly after graduation, Rita continued her studies at Mt. San Jacinto College, with the hopes of pursuing a career in nursing. Rita was a natural nurturer, a “mother” to many before she had children of her own.

She would often share fond memories about chastising her nieces, nephews and younger cousins in her early adulthood, as well as her adoration for children in general.

She loved traveling, photography and, most importantly, journaling, all while single-handedly raising her own kids and maintaining a regular job.

As an avid journaler, she captured just about every aspect of her life on paper, leaving behind countless writings filled with many colorful and cherished memories about her life story.

Rita has a quiet and reserved side to most. However, those who really knew her could attest to her zest for life and most energetic laugh that would fill up a room.

Her personal relationship with God is accredited to how she stood the test of time, endured hardships and overcame obstacles when she didn’t always have an answer. She would testify, “The lord made a way when I didn’t see no way. Please continue to pray for me as I grow stronger and stronger with the Lord.”

Rita was preceded in death by her parents Fletcher Leary Sr. and Wilie Jane Leary and her brothers Don Leary Sr. and Fletcher Leary Jr.

She leaves to cherish in her memory her children Alondra and Tyrell; her siblings Doris, Wendell Sr., Neal, Shirley, David Sr., Paul, Jacqueline, Odie and Gordon; a host of nieces, nephews, friends and her Mt. Zion Church family.

A funeral service was held on Thursday, Jan. 19, at First Missionary Baptist Church in Banning.

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