Rita Maxine Murray

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Rita Maxine Murray, 98 of Hume, Missouri passed away January 15, 2019 at Medical Lodge in Butler, MO. Rita was born Feb 10, 1920 to Lester and Anna Sheehy Murray in Baxter Springs, Kansas. From there her family moved to the Sheehy farm south of Hume which was her mother's family farm owned by her mother's brother, Ed Sheehy. Rita lived there through the dry years of the Depression. Her father died on that farm at an early age. Rita and her mother and younger brother, Tom, then rented a farm north of Hume taking all their livestock with them. That farm sold and they then rented a farm south of Stotesbury. 

World War II was going on at this time; and Rita went to Kansas City, MO to work, helping make the bomber planes for the war. The day the war was over the doors were locked on the factory and all the planes they were working on were dumped in the ocean. Having lived through the depression, Rita thought this was a real waste! 

Rita had saved most of her money from working and her mother had saved some money from her livestock and chickens. They put their money together and paid cash for a 120-acre farm south of Hume. The farm had a beautiful 2 story house and large fruit orchard. They had Hereford cattle, sheep, hogs, chickens, geese, cats, and a faithful dog. Rita was a great fence builder and a good shot. She shot many a coyote and bobcat on her land. During this time electricity came to the rural area and Rita bought an electric cook stove. However, her mother refused to give up her wood burning cook stove. So, they each had their own cook stove in their big kitchen! 

Rita and her sister, Frances, began hanging wallpaper and painting for other people. The demand was so great that when her mother died, she cut back to having just cattle and her cats and dog. Rita and Frances really enjoyed working for other people and continued until they decided to quit in their mid-60s.

Rita never married, but she really enjoyed her nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, and her great-great nieces and great-great nephews. She was always happy to see them and always had a cold can of Pepsi and a treat to share. Sometimes, there would be as many as seven or eight visitors come at the same time and everyone always got a cold can of Pepsi! At Halloween, she always made the most delicious popcorn balls!! Aunt Rita was a joy to everyone that knew her!

As Rita grew older, she had cancer and survived it. She also had a broken hip and it mended. She continued to remain on the farm and at the age of 90, she sold her cattle and rented her pasture to her nephew, Frank. At the age of 93, Rita moved to the nursing home in Prescott, KS. She lived there 5 years and 5 months. The nursing home closed, and she moved to Medical Lodge of Butler and lived there for almost 7 months. At both nursing homes, she was content and had the best of care. Everyone loved her wit and sense of humor and her good nature. Rita always said "lt's a great life - if you don't weaken." She never weakened and had a good life. Rita was a longtime member of the St Bridget’s Catholic Church in Rich Hill.

Rita was preceded in death by her parents, Lester and Anna Murray, her older sister Frances Brooks, and her younger brother Tom Murray. Rita is survived by 4 nieces: Norann Brooks, Rita Burns, Mildred Bell, all of Hume; and Helen Owens, Westwood, KS; and by 5 nephews: Gene Brooks of Independence, MO; Frank Brooks, Jim Murray, both of Hume; Tom Murray, Lamar, MO; and Mike Murray, Liberal, KS.