Rita was born in Pawhuska, Okla., to Lowell and Lois Wedge. The family moved to Yakima, Wash., where Rita spent her childhood. She was an outstanding student and loving big sister to her younger brother Joe. She spoke often about their family camping and fishing trips and was especially fond of their trips to Lake Curlew in Republic, Wash.
In 1966, Rita married Royce Keating. Together, they raised six children in Renton, Wash. Once all their children were in school, Rita began her career as a loan officer for Seattle City Credit Union, where she worked until Royce retired and they moved into the home they had built in Freeland, Wash. She finished her career working as a bookkeeper for Island Construction in Oak Harbor, Wash.
Rita was a Girl Scout leader and enjoyed family camping trips. Royce and Rita would often pack their six kids and themselves into their Jeep Wagoneer, hook up their six-man trailer and hit the road looking for a beach, river or stream to pitch camp and enjoy some family fun. Their CB handle during these excursions was “The Six Pack.” The couple also loved taking fishing trips together at their son Mike’s charter in Sitka, Alaska. During all these trips, Rita was always on the hunt for an owl figurine to add to her extensive collection.
Rita enjoyed canning fruit, sewing and quilting. Her quilting ability was tremendous, and the only time she entered a quilt in a contest, she won a blue ribbon. Rita was an avid sports fan and attended her children’s athletic events religiously. She was their biggest cheerleader. Rita also loved to get all dressed up to watch her Seahawks and very rarely missed watching them or the Mariners.
Rita was preceded in death by her husband of 51 years, Royce; mother Lois; father Lowell; brother Joe; and grandchildren Brian and Jennifer Keating.
She is survived by her four sons, Mike, Pat, Mark and Rama Keating; two daughters, Susan Mason and Laura Kaplan; 11 grandchildren, Scarlet Carpenter, Benjamin Gendro, Pamela Adams, Danielle Iseman and Aaron Kaplan, Julie, Michaela, Alexis, Joey, Lauryn and Spencer Keating; and six great-grandchildren, Casey Keating, Delilah Adams, Emersyn Iseman and Keenan, Aaron and Evan Carpenter.