Rita Ann Altpeter

May 14, 1938August 26, 2012

Rita Ann Altpeter, 74, passed away at her home in Ventura on August 26, 2012. She was born at Saint John’s Hospital in Oxnard on St. Rita’s birthday, May 14, 1938. Rita lived her entire life in Ventura except to attend Pacific Lutheran College in Tacoma, Washington. She taught elementary grades for the Pleasant Valley School District in Camarillo for 37 years and retired in 1996. Rita spent at least half her salary on her class for school supplies and never complained. During her summers Rita was a swimming instructor for the city of Ventura and organized synchronized swimming shows in Ventura. She was also a talented competition diver and had been considered for Olympic training. Rita was also known to swim 200 laps daily. Rita was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, in Ventura and taught Sunday school. She was known for her generosity, optimism, creativity, with a great sense of humor and light heartedness. Rita and her companion for 44 years, Dr. Jim Villaveces enjoyed traveling to Hawaii, Cancun, Acapulco, and Puerto Vallarta. In California they vacationed in San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Pebble Beach, Carmel, Lake Tahoe and various locations around the state to attend conferences with Jim. Rita and Jim enjoyed ballroom dancing, bicycling, boogie boarding, hiking and swimming. Jim and Rita exchanged wedding rings, but constant re-hospitalization kept interrupting their wedding plans which were never to be. Rita was preceded in death by her parents Alice and Peter Altpeter. She is survived by her companion for 44 years Jim Villaveces; sister, Barbara Nordquist and her husband Myron of Bethesda, Maryland; Barbara’s children, Sylvy, Ingrid, and Nels of Boston, Massachusetts; and her cousin Mary Lou Owens, R.N. of Indiana and Linda Meyers of Portland, Oregon. Funeral services for Rita will be held on Friday, September 7, 10:30 A.M. at the Trinity Lutheran Church, 196 N. Ashwood Avenue, Ventura, with the Pastor Dave Hall officiating. Interment will follow at Ivy Lawn Memorial Park, 5400 Valentine Road, in Ventura. Arrangements are under the direction of the Ted Mayr Funeral Home.


  • Funeral Service Friday, September 7, 2012

Rita Ann Altpeter

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September 9, 2012

Rita was ahead of her times. Her laugh, smile, and loving will be missed

Doreen McNary

September 8, 2012

Dr. Villaveces, I could not be there today, but my thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. God Bless and comfort you.

Marlene Olson

September 4, 2012

Rita was the older sister of my good friend, Barbara, when I was growing up in Ventura. I regarded Rita with awe and wonder during those years as she was so graceful and talented. How could anyone make such incredible dives off the high school diving board?? In addition, Rita always seem to have time to give me a friendly word or smile. As an adult I would visit Ventura with my children and when I saw Rita with Barbara's children it was obvious how much she adored her nephew and nieces.

Steve Covington

September 4, 2012

She was a beautiful woman inside and out and I will miss her ever present smile. My heart goes out to you.

Ingrid Houghton

September 3, 2012

My Aunt Rita was the best Aunt a girl could ever wish for. Every summer my sister, brother and I would stay at Grandma and Grandpa's house for a month, and every day we would swim with Aunt Rita. She would also take us to the beach, take us to Pick-n-Save to buy us fun things (smelly erasers, small notepads, etc), and Thrifty for ice cream (mint chocolate chip for me, rainbow sherbet for Silvy). She taught us all how to swim. She bought us new bathing suits every summer. Watched our "performances" in the backyard. Made mud pies with us. Built sand castles with us. She just simply spent time with us. She was incredible. I cherish my memories with her. As I got older, she always sent wonderful notes with lots of stickers and smiley faces, and never forgot a birthday. I am so very glad that she got to meet my husband, Carter, and my kids, Amelia, Grayson & Matilda Ann (named after her). I will miss her for the rest of my life. We all love her so much, and we will miss her immensely. She will never be forgotten by her sister (my mom) Barbara, her nephew Nels, neices Silvy & Ingrid (me), and great-neices & nephews Annika, Lars, Britt, Charles, Walter, Amelia, Grayson & Matilda Ann.

Jodeen Frank

September 1, 2012

Rita taught me to swim when I was 5 years old (58 years ago!) at the Saticoy Country Club pool. My thoughts are with you, Dr. Jim. My daughter was a patient long ago. The next time I'm walking on the beach, I'll think of both of you! Fondly, Jodeen

September 1, 2012

Barbara: So sorry to hear about Rita's death - way too early I think. I learned about this from Paula Cook Voigt whom I saw in Spokane a few days ago while we were over there for an event with Earl's family. Paula said Judy Greene had called to tell her about Rita's passing. I remember Rita's synchronized swimming skills and her beautiful dancing! Hope all is well with your health now. Barbara (Bamford) Touchette, North Bend, WA

~~Joan Portugal~~~

September 1, 2012

I know God had us meet for a season & reason.Your inner beauty matched what was on the surface.It was a BLESSING to have met you on this journey.Thank you to Maxim Healthcare & Dr. Jim V."Doc" for allowing us to be a part of Rita's life.Rita, now that you're an Angel, may you swim laps in Heaven's Glorious pool and THANK YOU for all your KINDNESS &TENACIOUS SPIRIT you shared with us(especially your wit & charm).You will be missed!Please give my pops a hug and my best friend Paris a hug too:).See you again, in Heaven!GODSPEED!!!:)