Rita Elaine Lauderdale, 68, of Gallatin, TN, passed away peacefully, and with family present, on Thursday, May 11 at Sumner Regional Hospital in Gallatin, TN.
Rita touched many lives in meaningful ways, and was loved and cherished by her family and friends because of her kindness, goodness, and beautiful spirit. Rita and Mark Lauderdale were married for 38 years, and their enduring love for each other, and for their kids and grandkids is admired and respected. Rita was a wonderful mother, and grandmother, and showered her kids and grandkids with love and support. Her happiest moments were those when she was with family, which was the focus of her life.
Rita was born on Aug. 3, 1948 in Nashville, TN. She attended Pleasant Grove Elementary and Westmoreland High School, and graduated in 1966. She worked as a bank teller for over 40 years, and retired in 2009. Rita had many talents and interests. She loved to make wonderful meals to share with family, she loved nature, and created a beautiful flower garden in which to watch her birds and butterflies. She was an avid reader, and enjoyed working with paints and colored pencils. She enjoyed movies, attended many concerts, took wonderful trips, and enjoyed the little things. She was a selfless person who gave of her time to Habitat for Humanity, crocheting hats for premature babies, and was involved with Relay for Life. In recent years, Rita volunteered frequently at Bethpage Elementary School, where she was loved, and known by the students as Grandmommy. Rita had many cherished friendships, many of which have lasted for since her youth. She appreciated each and every day. Rita was a selfless source of comfort and strength to her extended family, offering love and support. She faced all of her challenges with admirable dignity, bravery, and courage. Her life is a legacy of how to live and love well. Her family has expressed that as much as they loved her, she loved them even better.
Rita is preceded in death by her father, J.R. Morris, step-father, Aubrey Morris, paternal grandparents, John and Ovie Morris, and maternal grandparents, Tom and Addie Dorris.
She is survived by her husband, Mark Lauderdale of Gallatin, TN, daughter Paula (Perry) Fletcher of Nashville, TN, daughter Valerie (Travis) Pelletier of Gallatin, TN, son Chris Lauderdale of Gallatin and 4 beloved grandchildren, Cameron and Tyler Lauderdale, and Cole and Quinn Allen, all of Gallatin. Rita is also survived by her mother, Reba Morris of Hermitage, TN, and 3 sisters, Brenda (David) Hammock of Mt. Juliet, TN Teresa (Ed) Mitchell of Hermitage, TN, and Sally (Matt) Fischer of Mt. Juliet, TN.
Visitation was held Sunday, May 14 from 1 to 8 p.m. and Monday, May 15 from 10 a.m. until time of service both at Family Heritage Funeral Home.
Funeral Service was held at Family Heritage Funeral Home Chapel, on Monday, May 15 at 12 p.m., with Bro. Larry Pedigo officiating. Burial followed at Pleasant Grove Church, in Westmoreland, TN.
Online condolences may be submitted at familyheritagefh.com. Family Heritage Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.