December 6, 1928 – January 31, 2019
With heavy hearts, the family of Rita Dean announces her passing on Thursday, January 31, 2019, at the age of 90. Rita was a founding member of the Park Springs retirement community, and before that a long time Smoke Rise resident.
Wife of the late Howard G. Dean Jr, Rita is survived by her son, Howard G. Dean III (wife Amy Dean) and daughter Alicia Sheppard (husband Mitch Sheppard); grandchildren Chris Dean (wife Amber Dean), Kevin Dean (wife Kristin Dean), Melissa Sharp (husband Andrew Sharp), Maren Kaiser (husband John Kaiser), Michael Sheppard, and Maggie Sheppard; 8 great- grandchildren; and sister Alicia Patterson.
A native of the Philippine Islands, Rita was born on December 6, 1928. She survived the Japanese occupation of the PI in World War II and worked for the US Army after the war as America helped to restore government and communications. She and her boss, a young US Army lieutenant, Howard Dean, fell in love, and they eventually were married before he was shipped back to the US. Despite her family’s pleas not to leave, Rita traveled half a world away to begin a new life with her husband in Atlanta, GA. She was always glad she followed her heart.
A garden club enthusiast, school volunteer, and talented square dancer, Rita later shifted her attention back to a career and was office manager of the district office of Crown Central Petroleum. Following retirement, she and Howard became world travelers, journeying to every continent except Antarctica, and cruising the world.
Well loved at Park Springs by friends and staff, Rita modeled for the benefit fashion show, gardened year round, and organized the Staff Appreciation campaign for years. She offered everyone smiles and friendship. Rita’s first love, though, was always her family. A devoted mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, she is sorely missed.
Visitation will be at Eternal Hills Funeral Home in Snellville on Tuesday evening, February 5 from 5:00-8:00 PM. Interment will be at Eternal Hills on Wednesday, February 6 at noon, and a memorial service will be held at Pebblebrook at Park Springs that afternoon at 1:30 PM. A reception celebrating her life will be held immediately afterward.
Flowers may be sent to Eternal Hills Funeral Home, or in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Rita’s memory may be made to the American Heart Association.
- American Heart Association
- Visitation Tuesday, February 5, 2019
- Burial Wednesday, February 6, 2019
- Celebration of Life Wednesday, February 6, 2019