Beloved wife, mother, grandmother and friend Murreita “Rita” Joyce (Cale) Nelson went home to be with the Lord on Oct. 13, 2013, after a brave battle with Pancreatic Cancer. Rita passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her family.
Rita was born Jan. 11, 1946 in San Bernandino to Leland Cale and Nellie Grant. She grew up enjoying horses and gymnastics. She moved with her family to the Central Coast in 1961. Rita graduated from Paso Robles High School in 1963 and shortly after married the love of her life Gary Nelson, a local native and Realtor.
Rita was a stay-at-home mom during her children’s early years. She was known by the neighborhood kids to always have an endless supply of popsicles. Her station wagon was often full of kids on their way to some adventure. Many locals remember attending the Good News Club in her Templeton home. Rita was very vocal about her faith and her desire for all to accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior.
Long-time North County residents may remember seeing Rita cheerfully at work in Don Thorp’s lab on Vine Street, Redi Western Wear on Spring Street, and for 20 years in various roles with the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District, including 11 years at the Paso Robles High School.
Rita was an avid gardener. She enjoyed keeping a beautiful home and hosting large family dinners. She loved adventure and travel. She toured Europe, traveling with family to Florida, Alaska, Hawaii and cruises on the Mexican Rivera. Rita loved to fly in small planes and took several private flying lessons. She enjoyed flying with her daughter Tina to various lunch spots.
In her retirement years, she enjoyed spending time with her grandkids and volunteering for the Quail Run Social Club.
Rita is survived by her husband Gary Nelson of 49 years, her daughters Tina Leatherwood, Jennifer Christensen and Jill Mazur, her grandchildren Morgan Leatherwood, Raye Ann Leatherwood, Noelle Mazur and Michael Mazur and her brother James Cale.
A celebration of life and lunch, will take place at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25 at the Paso Robles Golf Club, 1600 Country Club Drive.
In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Estrella Warbirds Museum, 4251 Dry Creek Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446.For the complete article see the 10-18-2013 issue.
Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 10-18-2013 paper.
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