Rita Ann Morse Smith, Age 87, passed away in her home on August 28, 2021. Rita was born in Newton, Kansas to Glenn and Geraldine (Jerry) Morse on May 3rd, 1934. Rita and her younger siblings loved playing together in the fields and barn of the family farm and enjoyed a simple rural upbringing, miles away from their nearest neighbor. Rita had a special relationship with her Grandmother Keatley, who joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The Morse family moved to Utah when Rita was 13 years old to give her and her siblings a chance to marry someone of their faith.
After arriving in Taylorsville, Utah, it wasn't long before Rita was noticed by a handsome young man. Her sweetheart and future husband, Raymond Smith, saw Rita, on a rainy day, from the school bus and boldly told the driver to stop and let him off so he could walk her to school. After this, he spent as much time as possible by Rita’s side to keep other suitors away. Rita went to Granite High School where she was voted Homecoming Queen during her senior year. She sang in the school choir and was fond of singing and beautiful music throughout her life. She was also a great tennis player and took great joy in her extracurricular activities while in high school.
Rita briefly attended BYU but didn’t like being away from her sweetheart, so when Ray was drafted into the army during the Korean War, the young couple had a Valentine’s wedding and made their first home together in Monterey, California while Ray was stationed at Fort Ord. The area was beautiful, and it was a special time for the newlyweds. They shared a little house in Monterey with another army couple and it is here that they had their first child, Derek.
After returning to Utah, Rita and Ray welcomed 4 more children into the world. Rita cared for her young family while supporting her husband in his business and church callings and, as her family grew, Rita gained extensive and insightful knowledge and learned about health and nutrition. Rita has helped countless people with their health. She loved teaching and she passionately taught anyone who would listen about nutrition, supplements, and other natural remedies. Rita took great joy in helping everyone regardless of their need and was very generous in all aspects of her life including her time, her knowledge, her energy, her money, her home, and mostly her love.
Rita’s children were the greatest beneficiary of her love, and she tirelessly supported their passions. Whether it was school, private lessons, or a simple hobby, Rita did everything in her power to help her children succeed and live happy and productive lives.
Words cannot express what it was to be loved by Rita. She had a special gift to make everyone around her feel special and loved – everyone felt like they were her favorite. Children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were thrilled to be with her. To be with Rita was to be in a place where you felt safe, loved, and important. Her home was a peaceful refuge to many.
Rita had great faith in her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and knew she was going to a wonderful place. Rita lived her faith; she knew there’s life after death and that she will be reunited with her loved ones. She was kind to everyone she met, and she was an exceptional example of what it means to love thy neighbor.
Rita is being reacquainted with her Savior, beloved grandmothers, grandfathers, parents, a brother, a grandchild, aunts, uncles, cousins, and dear friends. She is survived by her loving husband, Ray, sister Kay Albrechtsen, children, Derek (Lena), Lance (Susan), Wade (Georgia), Nicole Gregory (Travis), Stephanie, 22 grandchildren, and 28 great-grandchildren.
Beautiful Rita, sweetheart, mother, and grandma, until we meet again, you will be deeply missed. Please know that we appreciate all you have done for each one of us and we will carry all that you taught us throughout our lives. May we always be a tribute to you and your amazing life. You deserve nothing less.
With all our hearts, "Love You Forever!"
Visitation will be Friday, September 3rd, 2021 from 11:00 AM to 12:45 AM. Funeral services will be at 1:00 PM.
Visitation and funeral location: Taylorsville Stake Center: 4845 Woodhaven Dr, Taylorsville, UT 84123 (Approx. 1375 West 4800 South)
Graveside services location: Valley View Memorial Park: 4335 W. 4100 South, West Valley City, UT 84120