Rita M. Creagh
May 31, 1934 – January 16, 2021
Rita M. Creagh, 86, of Tarzana, CA passed away peacefully January 16, 2021 of COVID-19. She is survived by her beloved sisters: Ina C. Boyd Mashpee, MA (f/Fox Hill Village Westwood, MA), Ann C. Brennan Washington, DC (f/Southbury, CT) & Mary Rondeau-Kiley (Jerry Kiley) Onset, MA (f/Holliston, MA), and by the nieces and nephews she loved so much: F. Keats Boyd, III (Wendy), J. Christopher Boyd (Kristen), Michael Brown (Laurie), Debbie Egan, Richard Brown (Patty), Marty Brennan (Jada Breegle), Sheila Brennan (Ian Bird), Andy Rondeau (Tiffany), David Rondeau, Robert Kiley (Michelle), Stephen Kiley (Rebecca), Todd Kiley (Sarah) and 29 grand nieces and nephews. Rita is also survived by the love of her life, Jack Farrell of Tarzana, CA.
She was predeceased by her loving parents James C. and Marguerite (Tighe) Creagh, her beloved sister Terry C. Brown (Sherm), brother-in-law F. Keats Boyd, Jr. and nieces Bonnie J. Skane (Edward) and Annmarie O’Shea Rondeau.
She is also survived by her close friends from the Academy of the Assumption, College of New Rochelle, El Rodeo Elementary School Beverly Hills, and St. Mel’s Parish Woodland Hills, CA.
Rita received her BA from the College of New Rochelle and went on to earn a Master’s degree from Boston University. She taught elementary school in Waltham, MA for 7 years before moving to Los Angeles in 1962. For 32 years, she taught at El Rodeo School in Beverly Hills where she was named Teacher of the Year.
Rita loved to travel the world with friends and family, whether visiting her cousins in Scotland, experiencing the Galapagos or sampling other far-flung locales. She could always be counted on to be with family for special events, and she excelled at being a gracious host excited to share the wonders of California with all who would visit.
She organized an annual Creagh Sisters Getaway on the East Coast and she hosted family members from the US and the UK at her home on the West Coast, including all her nieces, nephews, and their children, for California adventures.
Rita was a foodie who loved trying new restaurants, especially when she traveled. She was always in search of good food and good wine. She kept restaurant reviews and notes that she shared freely when anyone was taking a trip, and she wanted a full report so she could update her files. It was quite a treat for her when a famous chef stopped at her table to greet her.
Throughout her life, she was an avid sports fan who enjoyed attending games and cheering for her favorite professional teams, the Patriots and Red Sox, Dodgers, and Lakers.
All who knew her bathed in the glow of her generosity and kindness which were hallmarks of Rita’s life that stemmed from her strong Catholic faith. She was a supportive and faithful friend, daughter, sister, aunt, great aunt and cousin.
Rita’s family is grateful to the caregivers and staff of Atria Tarzana for their care and compassion.
Donations in Rita’s memory can be made to: St. Mel’s Conference St. Vincent De Paul Society c/o St. Mel’s Parish 20870 Ventura Blvd Woodland Hills, CA 91346
Due to Covid-19 memorial services will be held at a later date. Gates, Kingsley & Gates Praiswater Mortuary Canoga Park, CA is in charge of arrangements.
One may request notification of services as they are updated at: https://www.dignitymemorial.com/funeral-homes/canoga-park-ca/gates-kingsley-gates-praiswater-mortuary/2240
- F. Keats Boyd III, Nephew
Monday, March 1, 2021
Monday, March 1, 2021
Rita M. Creagh
March 1, 2021
Today was the day to say a final goodbye to Rita. I want to thank Rita's family for arranging such a touching and personal service. That must have been so difficult to accomplish during these COVID days, The things you shared were so meaningful and the music performed by Rita's nieces and nephews so beautiful.
I would like to share this quote by Washington Irving. It was given to me by a friend of both Rita and myself - Letty Thornton. It expresses my feelings so well.
"There is a sacredness in tears. They are not markers of weakness but of power. They speak more eloquently than 10,000 tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love."
Rest In Peace my dear friend
March 1, 2021
Thank you to Rita’s family for the beautiful service you arranged. I was lucky enough to be one of Rita’s teaching colleagues at El Rodeo. She embodied kindness and inclusiveness. She was a one-woman social committee. Nothing slipped by without a note, card, an invitation, or condolence that Rita wasn’t behind. Whether a colleague or one of her students, Rita made certain that you were seen and cared about. May the many people who loved her be of comfort to you in her absence.
When I heard of Rita’s passing, I went to the Mission in San Diego and reflected on her many beautiful contributions to so many and offered thanks for my having been one who received some of them.
In love and prayers,
February 26, 2021
Rita and I taught together as team partners for over 25 years....she was one of a kind...her kindness, love for her profession and above all, love for her friends surpassed anyone I have ever known. She was constantly giving, of her friendship, caring for others and sense of humor which lifted all of us everyday.
We worked so closely as we shared ideas, lesson plans and daily meetings to be sure things were going “just right”
A wonderful traveler, cook, knowledge of wines were always shared with friends.
Rita was an inspiration to everyone who knew her. She always had time for people, to help them out, listen to problems and guide them in their lives.
I always called her Saint Rita because that’s what she was and will always be to everyone whose life was privileged to cross her path.
Rita, I always loved you and our times together and will miss you every day.
February 24, 2021
You all have written such fabulous tributes to Rita, but I am at a loss for words. Every night I look at the stars and see her shining down on all of us. So much love.
February 23, 2021
Rita was truly a very special woman and I was so lucky to enjoy a wonderful friendship with her for over 50 years! We started out as teaching colleagues, worked closely together on many school projects, and our personal friendship blossomed over time. I was always so impressed with her kindness, generosity, thoughtfulness, and grace. Besides all those wonderful qualities, she was great fun and that led us to scoping out new restaurants for dinner all over the city, and then because she loved people and was so inclusive, the formation of our Dinner Group. She loved so many different activities, so we went to the Music Center, gave medals out at the LA Marathon, traveled to Arizona, San Diego, Monterey, Canada, and Alaska! Oh how Rita loved to travel and always picked up new friends along the way! After she retired, she still kept in touch with our El Rodeo family by planning monthly dinners, and bimonthly lunches. I don't know a single person who did not enjoy her friendship! She was always cheerful and happy to be with her friends - always generous with her time and always so loving! So I toast my dear one-of-a-kind friend Rita....with a glass of white wine! She would surely chuckle at that because she preferred her red. Thank you Rita for being such a wonderful role model and friend! You will never be forgotten and you will always be missed!
toni staser strimple
January 31, 2021
A beloved friend. I was fortunate to have been a colleague with Rita at El Rodeo and always felt most honored to also be a part of her Breakfast Group . Those early Friday mornings over the span of many years were a highlight of each week. Rita, always dressed so stylishly and with her endless knowledge of exceptional restaurants and recipes, made each Friday morning a travel and food experience!
Rita was adored by all and led a stunningly beautiful life. She touched so many people. To say she will be missed is truly an understatement for once you've shared time with Rita..... you know the meaning of goodness, love and friendship.
Deepest condolences to the entire family. Also, a note of thanks for sharing this east coast treasure.......with the "other" coast.
Toni Staser Strimple
January 31, 2021
Rita Creagh was an outstanding mentor, teacher, and a wonderful person. When I received my teaching credential in 1979, I was fortunate to substitute teach next door to Rita. She took me under her wing, guided me, and taught me how to be a compassionate, fair, kind, and successful teacher. She always took an interest in my career, my family, and especially my daughters. I'm so glad I got to see and talk to her in recent years and I feel blessed to have known her. She was very well loved and will certainly be missed. May her memory be a blessing!
Michele Rosenroth Mendelsohn
GERI ZISKIND BOLTAX
January 31, 2021
WHEN THE LOSS OF A LOVED ONE LEAVES A VOID, IT IS UP TO US TO FILL IT WITH FOND MEMORIES. IT IS MY BELIEF THAT WE ALL HAVE SUCH INCREDIBLE MEMORIES OF RITA THAT WE CAN PULL UP FROM THE PAST, AND ALLOW THEM TO RESONATE WITH US.
I WAS HONORED TO HAVE KNOWN RITA AND TO HAVE BEEN A RECIPIENT OF HER KINDNESS. SHE WAS THE EPITOME OF A GOOD PERSON. SHE WAS A WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE.
BY SO GRACIOUSLY ARRANGING AND ORGANIZING OUR BI-MONTHLY LUNCHES AND DINNERS, RITA BECAME THE GLUE THAT BONDED ALL OF US TOGETHER.
RITA LEFT A LEGACY OF GENEROSITY, WARMTH, AND KINDNESS. THIS, IN ITSELF, WILL BRING MEANING TO HER LIFE.
WE WERE ALL SO LUCKY TO HAVE HAD A “RITA” IN OUR LIFE. SHE WAS AN INSPIRATION TO US ALL.
GERI ZISKIND BOLTAX
JANUARY 31, 2021
January 28, 2021
Rita was a nearly perfect human being, always saying and doing just the right thing! She was beloved by so many -- respected and admired; her company enjoyed and appreciated. I adored dining, traveling, and working with her, and have found some of her classic recipes to make again this month. She fearlessly trusted climbing, camping, and hiking wherever her fellow adventurers led, always with a generous spirit and a sense of humor. Her intelligence, patience, and wisdom were cherished by all. Please accept my deepest condolences on her passing.