Rita Poole passed away suddenly on February 24, 2012 in Quesnel, B.C.
Rita was born on March 26, 1941 in Lower Hutt, New Zealand to parents Jack and Connie Coman. She was raised in Petone (near Wellington) and was the eldest of four sisters (Ellen, Jill and Kathy). During high school Rita excelled in typing and shorthand, skills she used throughout her life at both work and home. She was active in sports in her youth and represented the Hutt Valley District in both tennis and netball (outdoor basketball). Soon after high school, Rita traveled with her long time friend Merle to Australia where she worked as a secretary in Melbourne and Sydney before making her way north to Townsville, where she was a barmaid in a rough and tumble pub. On her days off, she would take the ferry to Magnetic Island where she would laze under the coconut palms on the gold sand beaches and swim in the clear blue waters of the Great Barrier Reef.
In 1965, Rita sailed to Canada to join her sister Ellen in Vancouver, B.C.; she arrived at Vancouver Wharf on the P&O Line, Oriana, and was greeted by Ellen’s friend Joan, whom she immediately made a best friend for life. In 1967, Rita was preparing to move on and tour Europe when Joan’s brother Bill put a kink in Rita’s travel plans by proposing to her; she accepted, and she and Bill were married on October 7, 1967. They lived in Hope, B.C. for a short time before moving north to Quesnel, B.C. in 1968. They welcomed Murray to the family in 1969 and soon afterward moved to the home they built on Ten Mile Lake, filling that home with further additions Trevor, Kevin and Jen over the years.
Rita spent a large part of her time in Quesnel taking care of her ever growing family but she also found time to work as a secretary at Weldwood and at various local schools. She was a life long sports enthusiast; balls, birdies and rocks were never at ease within her company, because as soon as they weren’t looking Rita would bounce them into a backboard, whack them with a racquet, strike them with a club or hurl them down a sheet of ice. She enjoyed playing cards (especially bridge, which she had perfected at playing horribly), having lunch on the town with good friends, and wearing silly red hats with others who also like to wear silly red hats. Rita loved to escape the cold Quesnel winters by vacationing in hot climates where she could swim in the water instead of stand on top of it. She often traveled back to New Zealand to reconnect with family and childhood friends. She was a fixture at the annual Poole family reunion that has been tossed out of many fine camping resorts throughout B.C. While at home she was happy to just sit quietly on the deck overlooking the lake, and to have dinner with Bill while watching the evening news.
Rita was predeceased by her parents Jack and Connie, and her sister Kathy.
Rita is survived by her sisters Ellen (Gord) and Jill (Tom), her husband Bill, her sons Murray (Eva), Trevor and Kevin (Angie), her daughter Jen, and her grandchildren Tyler, Jordan, Rachel, Megan, Ashley, Katie, Julia, Will, Naiya, Trevin and Joey. She leaves behind a large extended family, sporting teammates, travelling companions and countless friends scattered about the globe. Her distinct and infectious Kiwi voice may have been silenced, but her spirit will live in our hearts and memories forever. May Rita rest with the Lord in Heaven.
A service to remember Rita and celebrate her life will be held at St. Ann’s Church (Quesnel) on Saturday, March 10 at 10:00am. In lieu of flowers, kindly make a donation to a worthy charity of your choice.