Mrs Rita "Cha Cha" Rita Emilia Lavagni Arden

May 22, 1922October 7, 2012

In Loving Memory of Rita Emilia Arden . . .

She was born in Puntarenas, Costa Rica on May 22, 1922. She passed away in Auburn, California on October 7, 2012. She lived to the age of 90. She is now at peace with her husband of 65 years who passed away on Jan. 24, 2012.

They just could not live without each other . . .


  • Graveside Service Monday, October 15, 2012

Mrs Rita "Cha Cha" Rita Emilia Lavagni Arden

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Lisa & Todd Martin

November 26, 2012

We will miss you and Uncle Mike. We will keep you both in our thoughts and prayers.

November 12, 2012

"We will always treasure in our hearts all those great moments that we shared with Tia Rita and Tio Mike. Now they're together in the presence of the Lord." Gina Marone and Family (Altadena, CA)

November 6, 2012

Sarah and Family,

May your fondest memories shine brighter than your sorrow and may you find peace and strength in every tomorrow.

Thinking of you and hoping that time will bring you comfort.

Love, Mary and Chuck

Joan Leonard

November 4, 2012

I will always think of Rita as the "rosary maker". Her gift to me was very special.

Tami & Mitch Kofford

November 2, 2012

Sarah & Family,
Passing time can never fade
All the special memories made;
Loved ones never really part
For they live inside your heart.
With heartfelt thoughts,

Marc Arden

October 24, 2012

I will always remember your smile and thoughtful comments. May you watch over us in spirit and peace be with you.


October 24, 2012

Rita left with these simple words to live by:


Not just your sweetheart or your children or your family, but love those in the world who may need love the most..

Thank you Rita for all your love and "sassy-ness"...

October 24, 2012

I also wanted to say how sweet it was to see and receive condolences from my cousins and friends that i hadnt seen in a long time.Thankyou to everyone that could be there.

maria julia alonso

October 23, 2012

Hi, Sara. It was a pleasure worked for mrs . Rita and Mr. Mike so beautiful couple. I know that now they are together rejoining in the presence of the LORD. Where there 's no more pain, suffering,worries,crying just joy, peace, love from my Father in Haven. I remember them with love every day I was in their house how Mr. Mike was with Mrs. Rita and vice-versa and the smile every time Mrs. Rita was in the beauty salon and Mr. Mike told her she looks beautiful. Those memories I love to share. May GOD bless you and your family. Julia:-)

Sarah Tomich

October 23, 2012

The words to follow were sent to my daughter Paula, from my dearest friend Veronica, to be read at my mother's graveside service on Oct. 15, 2012.

Remembering Rita Arden . . .

It is my deepest regret not to be here in person to honor Rita Arden. I've asked Paula to read this message to you in my place.

I hope that my words carry with them the love in my heart I have for all of you who love her and who will cherish her for all your lasting days.

It is impossible to think of my childhood without the presence of Mike and Rita Arden. They are and will forever remain part of my extended family.

And if not for them I would not have the best friend any person in the world would be so blessed to have as I am to have their beloved daughter Sarah. We have been friends for nearly 48 years!!

I cannot in short form tell you of all the memories I have of Rita over my lifetime but I will share a few.

But I will say that what I will miss the most is her laughter and her playfullness that was unique to her character. She was terminally hopeful, joyful and loving and it was infectious.

She was outspoken at times because that was also part of her character but it became for me part of her charm. And while most people would keep their opinions quiet, Rita had no qualms of speaking her mind.

I believe that was the Latina in her because I think Sarah and I inherited some of that. (Sarah, let's just accept it)

Her remarks however were never given in malice but always with a bit of humor and love.

And I will miss her yummy tamales that I hope Sarah has the recipe for.

When Sarah and I were young, Rita always made me feel like one of the family. I don't even think I ever knocked on the sliding glass door. I would walk up the driveway and either Mike or Rita would be at the sink and say "hi" and I would just walk in. I spent hours and hours at that house.

I loved going to the horse races with them; Hollywood Park, Sarah remembers.

I also remember she bought me and Sarah matching orange and white dresses. She was very generous with me and I will cherish that about her as well.

I will always remember her being so beautiful and always dressed very fashionable. I also remember her sassy friend Lillian? Oh my gosh, they were a pair -- so sixties and so glamorous. Gosh, time goes by so fast. But it was fun to see them together.

And what I admired most about Rita was that she was a committed wife and mother and Grandmother who put her family first.

She was deeply devoted to her faith which carried her through the darkest days of her life after losing her beloved son Michael. It was inspiring to me.

Now as we grieve the loss of her beauty, laughter, and her friendship, we can also celebrate her homecoming where she is now with her son and her husband. She is now in Peace.

Thank you Paula for reading this, I love you all and miss you very much. May the comfort of her Spirit be with you always as it will be for me.


(Lucas Shoemaker, the driver who escorted my mother Rita to her resting place, read for my daughter Paula Tomich. Thank you Lucas. We appreciate your kindness.)