Rita Inese Kirst

April 2, 1931August 2, 2018

Rita Inese Kirst, age 87, passed in the early hours of August 2, 2018 of natural causes. Rita will be greatly missed by her family and extended family. She touched many lives and created lifelong friendships at every opportunity. Rita came to the United States as a refugee in July of 1949. She deeply cherished her Latvian community here in the Phoenix area and across the world.

She earned her BSN from the University of Connecticut in 1954, and was a proud Husky. She met her husband of 45 years, Phillip James Kirst, while working as a school nurse; they were wed in May of 1956. The pair relocated to Phoenix with their children Phillip James Jr. and Diane Elise, in 1967. Rita worked in visiting nursing and as an RN at Doctors Hospital until her retirement in 1994.Rita is preceded in death by her parents; husband Phil, and son Phil Jr. She is survived by her sister Eve Gagnon, daughter Diane Johnson, grandchildren Amber, Jill, Torrey, Erik, Adrianne and Shelby. Her legacy includes nine great grandchildren who she dearly loved. A celebration of Rita’s life will be held at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 3539 E. Stanford Drive, Paradise valley, at 10am on September 15, 2018. Memorial donations to honor Rita’s life may be sent to American Latvian Association, Inc. 400 Hurley Avenue, Rockville, MD 20850-3121


  • Celebration of Life Saturday, September 15, 2018

Rita Inese Kirst

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Dubhe Coates

August 7, 2018

Dear Diane, glad you could be with your mom. She was so sweet and funny the few times I saw her. So many things happened.
Take good care, love Dubhe

forest kirst

August 4, 2018

My deepest condolences for you loss.
My love to all of you