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Rita Ann Matthews November 22, 1930 - June 29, 2022

Rita Ann Matthews, 91, of Modesto passed away on June 29, 2022.  Rita (“SeniorRita”) was born on November 22, 1930 in Ludlow, IL to Clifford Curtis (CCA) and Bessie “Lenore” (Pearson) Arnold.  She had many adventures and made lots of memories working in “Arnold’s Happy Hour Store” in Ludlow while growing up. She graduated from Paxton High School, and attended University of Illinois and Long Beach City College.

Rita married Robert Matthews on January 26, 1951 after meeting him on a blind date.  They raised their children in Long Beach, CA and retired to Modesto, CA in 1989. They loved to fish and camp and entertain friends and family.  Rita enjoyed knowing her family’s history and had a collection of family photos, diaries, newspaper clippings and journals going back to the 1880’s.

Rita had many part time jobs but nothing permanent until 1976 at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Long Beach, CA  She worked in Medical Administration, the Office of the Director, the Management Analyst’s Office and finally the Radiology Department.  She retired in 1989.

She was involved in numerous community organizations, her favorites being MICL (Modesto Institute of Continued Learning), McHenry Mansion and Funstrummers.  She loved her ukulele and “Never stop learning!” was her attitude about life.  She jumped into new things headfirst and made friends wherever she went.

She was a member of the Modesto Church of the Brethren and is survived by her son Steve (Linda) Matthews of Modesto, CA; daughter Susan (Michael) Hipp of Washington, UT and grandchildren Timothy (Katherine) Hipp of Costa Mesa, CA; Janis (Jeb) Price of Long Beach, CA; Victoria (Bryan) Banes of Hurricane, UT; and Kristin Hipp of Chicago IL.  She had three great grandchildren.  She is preceded in death by her parents, beloved husband, precious granddaughter Halie Ann, and cherished brothers (Glen and Jim).

One of Rita’s favorite traditions was to “butter your nose” on your birthday.  And she did it up good!

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to MICL (Modesto Institute for Continued Learning) and sent to Dorothy Ford, 1832 Harbor Cove, Modesto, CA 95355

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  1. John Bartlett says

    Rita you will be missed. You are a treasure.
    I will always remember the Complimentary Therapies dinner. We had assigned seating next to each other. We all had name cards at our table. Your card said Mrs. Rita Bartlett ! We had fun with that
    I loved when you called me blue eyes!

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