Gerald "Jerry" Joseph Rita Sr.

January 16, 1939December 31, 2018
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Gerald "Jerry" Joseph Rita was born on January 16, 1939 in Pakala, Hawaii and passed away on December 31, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona


  • Vistiation Thursday, January 10, 2019
  • Rosary Thursday, January 10, 2019
  • Prayer Service Thursday, January 10, 2019
  • Committal Service Thursday, January 10, 2019

Gerald "Jerry" Joseph Rita Sr.

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Chuck Rita

January 11, 2019


Jerry Rita


Jerry - 1942, 3 years old, Kauai, Hawaii


Mildred, Jerry and Alvin - 1943 Kauai, Hawaii


Jerry and Friend - 1940's Hawaii


Jerry at 16 in 1955 with his fathers 56 Ford. Waimanalo, Hawaii


Jerry - in the 1950's Waimanalo, Hawaii


Rita Family - 1957
Left to Right Back Row: Jerry, ?, Alvin
Left to Right Front Row: Yvonne, Adele, Joe, Ronald.


Jerry - Early 1960's


Steve and Jerry - Northern California 1960


Gerald Joseph Rita Sr., "Jerry" was a modest man, quiet and observant in his ways. He was trustworthy and traditional in his approach to his life and in his relationships. He was tough-minded with the kind of “get it done” attitude that earned the respect of those who knew him. He was realistic about life, and, he was always at the ready, prepared to take on responsibility, as he did when his parents became older and he took over as their sole care giver until their passing.

His parents were Joe and Mary Rita. "Jerry" was born on Kauai and later raised in Waimanalo, Oahu, HI. He was brought up to be self-motivated, hard working, wise and dependable. These were traits that would serve him well throughout his life.

"Jerry" was raised with seven siblings. He had one older sister, Mildred, one older brother, Alvin, three younger brothers, Ronald, Joe and Danny, and two younger sisters, Yvonne and Adele. He was always loyal to his family.

As a teenager, "Jerry" was never someone who needed to be the center of attention. He wasn’t pushy and never forced his way into games or other activities. "Jerry" developed a variety of interests, and the things he enjoyed doing, he did well. He was always curious about the world around him and was often eager to explore it. "Jerry" took part in playing football and baseball. In his spare time he liked driving, horseback riding among other things. What "Jerry" enjoyed most was driving his dads 56 Ford and spending time with his family and friends.

Always considered to be a solid friend, "Jerry" was fortunate to have several very close friends during his life. Since he disliked making generalizations about people and preferred to draw his own conclusions based on direct observation, "Jerry" was able to see beneath the surface of relationships and became a true friend to those who knew him. He was committed to his friends and valued the trust he placed in them. It was not uncommon for "Jerry" to go the extra mile for others. While growing up, two of his best friends were Benny Borges Jr. and Jerry DeMello. Later in life, he became friends with the Pujol's, Richard Derego, Tim Blanchard, the Perriera's, Paul St. Peter, Dave Jacobson, Johnny Perilli (JP as Jerry called him) and others, while remaining friends with Benny and Jerry.

"Jerry" brought traditional values to how he raised his children. He was a good parent to them, always firm yet fair in his dealings. He would always listen carefully and think things through before he acted. "Jerry" was blessed with four [Children]; Jerry Jr, Chuck, Chris and Greg. He was also blessed with 6 [Grand Children]; Kraig, CG, Chucky, Cori, Kody, Christopher.

"Jerry" greatly enjoyed what he did for a living. He was a hard worker who expected the same in return from his co-workers. He was skilled at working effectively in small groups and in one-on-one situations as well as handling solo assignments efficiently. "Jerry" was always able to attend to the task at hand and he was excellent at meeting deadlines. He was an efficient worker, one who paid careful attention to detail, allowing sufficient time to complete one task before moving on to the next. He had strong leadership abilities and supervisor skills that helped him to advance to a supervisory position. His primary occupation was that of a Diesel Mechanic Supervisor. He was employed for 30 Years by Phoenix Transit and 5 Years for the Honolulu Bus Company to name a few. "Jerry" worked hard to be a team player, doing what was necessary in order to get the job done.

"Jerry" liked to experience things first-hand as well as to learn about them. This trait carried over into his hobbies. He enjoyed his private time and his favorite things were cooking and visiting his friends in his home state of Hawaii. "Jerry" was content to enjoy his hobbies alone but preferred to share his interests with family and friends.

"Jerry" found pleasure in sports. Tops on his list was watching football with his buddy Dave.

"Jerry" was a man who was dedicated and devoted to his faith. Through out his life, he was a practicing Catholic. He valued his beliefs and enjoyed listening to his audio bible.

"Jerry" sought out practical solutions, not individual recognition. He was always grounded and objective, feeling a strong sense of responsibility for taking care of what needed to be done. This selfless attitude earned "Jerry" many accolades for his efforts and achievements. One of his most impressive accomplishments was having had Perfect Attendance for 30 years at Phoenix Transit.

"Jerry" enjoyed traveling and taking vacations. His favorite vacations were spent visiting his friends in Hawaii.

"Jerry" was a lover of animals and cherished his pets. One of "Jerry’s" favorites was Ha'ole, a blue merle Australian Shepherd. His other animals and pets included his dog patches, horses, goats, rabbits, chickens, pigeons, as well as many other animals over the years.

"Jerry" worked all of the overtime that he was offered, as well as took side jobs on his days off. He did this to ensure that he was providing as best he could for his family. Because of his strong work ethic and childhood upbringing "Jerry" worked until 2009, when he finally retired at the age of 71. "Jerry" was living in Phoenix when he retired, then relocated to Glendale, Arizona in 2015. In retirement, he found new pleasure in watching movies, especially old westerns and spending time with family and friends. Even in retirement, "Jerry" continued to stay in touch with his close friends.

Gerald Joseph Rita Sr. "Jerry" passed away on December 31, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona surrounded by his family and friends. He is survived by his
[Children]: Jerry Rita Jr., Chuck Rita, Chris Rita, Greg Rita
[Grand Children]: Kraig Cole, CG, Chucky Rita Jr., Cori Cummings, Kody Rita, Christopher Frizzell
[Great Grand Children]: Megan, Madisyn and Mekayla Cole; Emma, Logan, and Temperence Rita; Cooper Rita and Gentri Cummings; Chevy, Brooklyn, Cheyanne Rita.
Services were held at Resthaven Mortuary & Memorial Gardens. "Jerry" was laid to rest in Resthaven Cemetery in Phoenix, Arizona.

Commitment is a key word that can be used to describe the life of Gerald Joseph Rita Sr. "Jerry". He was committed to living the life of a good man who was both practical and trustworthy. He was committed to the traditional values that he upheld his entire life. He committed himself to being a hard worker who expected the same effort in return from those around him. Most of all, he was committed to those he knew and loved.