Rita Mae K. Norris passed away on July 25, 2020. She was born May 3, 1956 in Whiteriver, Arizona to the late Andrew & Edith Kinney. She was the fifth child of 10.
Rita lived in McNary all her life. She was an avid fisherwoman and was a tomboy when she was young. She had a slingshot handy, instead of dolls; played marbles with her brothers, went hunting; made wood; and continued in sports with her brother. She was one of the first State Champions in Arizona when girls were allowed on the basketball league.
She attended all her school years in McNary and graduated in 1975. She worked at McNary Southwest Forest Industries Sawmill, McNary Laundromat, Eagar Sawmill, Sunrise, Hondah Store, Charlie Clarks, and in Forestry. She worked as store manager at the McNary Convenience Store and had over 25 years with Apache Enterprises until they closed down.
Rita fell in love with Giles Norris while in high school and eventually married him after his tour with the Navy. They had four children. Julie lives in Nebraska with her son, Julian; Raul Norris, Myrtis Norris and Thalia Norris all from McNary. Rita and Giles became foster parents to many children. They both loved children, as they had generous, humble hearts. Rita lost her husband in February 2011. Her life changed so much and her health began to spiral downward.
Her passion in life was to cook. She wanted to feed everyone who came to visit. She was known for her fish frys, barbecue chicken, green chili burritos, fry bread and Pineapple Upside Down Cake.
During her retirement she started beadwork necklaces and bracelets. Even in sickness she kept busy doing housework, cooking, and taking care of her grandchildren, Aidan & Elena. Those who knew her said "she has her Mother's hands" because she was not a lazy person and was like her mom. Rita went to Globe three times a week for dialysis and was concerned about the other patients who rode with her, so she took snacks and drinks so that no one got hungry.
Rita was a Christian, believed in Jesus Christ, prayed always, and studied her Bible daily, even on her hardest days. Her favorite Bible story is in Daniel 3 & 4. She always put her trust in God.
A Viewing will be held on Thursday, July 30, 2020 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at Owens Livingston Mortuary, White Mountain Chapel, 320 N. 9th St., Show Low, Arizona.
Owens Livingston Mortuary of Show Low handled the arrangements.
For those who have special memories and would like to send private condolences or sign our online guest book, we invite you to visit our website at www.owenslivingstonmortuary.com.