Ms. Rita M. Eady, age 89, passed away at home on August 4, 2021.

Rita was born in Gallman, Mississippi the oldest daughter to Albert R. and Ina M. Mackey. The family moved to Crystal Springs, Mississippi after purchasing the beautiful Charles Morris Huber House in 1946. She attended Crystal Springs High School, graduating in three years, and voted class friendliest. Earning a degree from Copiah Lincoln Junior College she was recognized as a talented seamstress and voted best dressed both years.

In 1952, she married the boy next door, Taylor Gibbs Eady, Jr. They remained in Mississippi for several years. During which time she was employed as a senior secretary for Mississippi Chemical, Yazoo City, secretary to the administrator of Kings Daughters Hospital, Yazoo City and finally as secretary to the president of Millsaps College, Jackson. When their daughter was born, she became a full-time mother and homemaker, briefly working part time as the office manager for Dr. Eugene G. Wood.

The family moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana when her husband began his career with CF Industries. While there she was active in the Broadmoor United Methodist Church, teaching Sunday school and assisting with children’s ministry programs. She was active as president of the Garden club and Antiques club, and especially enjoyed her Bridge club. Rita was also active in her daughter’s life as girl scout leader, homeroom mother, PTA leader and substitute teacher for Sherwood Forest Elementary. CF Industries transferred Gibbs to Lakeland, Florida, to Chattanooga, Tennessee and again back to Lakeland where Rita spent the remainder of her life. She was a member of First United Methodist Church.

Rita was preceded in death by her parents, husband, sisters, Janet M. Herdman of Lakeland, and Mary M. Midtbo of Boca Raton.

She is survived by her daughter, Melissa E. Murray (Brad), grandson John T. Murray (Kerry); nieces Julie M. Lambert (Mark) of Dallas Texas and Amy M. Kellogg (John), and brother-in-law, Kevin L. Midtbo of Cocoa Beach.

The family would like to thank the nurses of Cornerstone Hospice, her caregivers and especially Kathy Lincoln whose kindness, skilled caregiving and companionship were so meaningful to Rita in the last two years of her life.

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1

Services will be held on Saturday, August 7, 2021 at 11 a.m. at the Heath Funeral Chapel (328 S Ingraham Ave Lakeland, FL 33801). Condolences may be sent to the family at Heath Funeral Chapel.

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