Our beloved Rita Elaine Whitley-Francis, affectionately nicknamed "Nana", was born on April 2, 1945, in Kansas City, Missouri. Her blessed arrival was bestowed to her loving parents, Ann Aldridge -Whitley and Jessie Whitley. Parents precede her in death and also one sister, Zelphia (Ann) Holloway, and three brother's Gwendale Watson, Jessie Whitley and Mark Whitley.
Rita was raised and educated in the Kansas City, Missouri School District. She was a proud graduate of the renowned Manual High School. After graduation, Rita failed to sit idle. She continued her education at Penn Valley Community College receiving a degree in Business Administration. This success motivated her to seek additional certifications. Therefore, she received a secondary Business Degree from the University of Missouri (UMKC). Our dear Rita was a "woman on a mission." Rita's ability to project, set, and obtain goals, proved to be one of her major accomplishments. As a successful entrepreneur, in the early 80's, she developed and managed the "A & J Janitorial Service." Through her strategic management, over 15 years, this company was well-respected for providing exceptional care, and detailed operations. In addition to this accomplishment, for 35 years, she provided remarkable services as manager for the Volume Service Company, and due to her outstanding performance, upon her retirement, management was reluctant to bid her fare-well. Rita functioned best in the vein of "Simultaneous." While working for Volume Services, she completed providing 35 years of supreme employment with the Social Security Administration.
During her professional success, Rita met and married Mr. Charles Edward Francis Sr., to this union two beautiful children were born. Proudly, they were the apple of her eye; one precious daughter Deirdre Francis and one adorable son Charles E. Francis Jr. (both of Kansas City, Missouri). Mr. Charles Francis Sr. proceeds her in death. Later, she married Mr. Calvin Stuckey. Although the marriage dissolved, they're friendship was blessed with unspeakable joy.
Rita was always busy. She never, ever, met a stranger, and she absolutely loved children. Her genuine compassion for children, helped her to secure state certification in becoming a Foster Parent, she provided a loving home for more than 200 children. .
To know Rita was to know she loved the Lord, JESUS CHRIST, and accepted Him as the head of her life. Until her health began to fail, she enjoyed attending her church services at Mt. Horeb Baptist Ministries in Kansas City, Missouri where Gregory Nichols is her pastor.
Rita had many hobbies. As a young teen, one proved to be a "God-given-talent." She was the First African American to dance ballet at the prestigious, "Starlight Theater" in Kansas City, Mo. Additionally, she enjoyed listening to music, especially, "Old School Music." A few of her favorite R&B greats: Temptations, O'Jays, Chilites, Manhattans, and Smokey Robinson. Her appreciation for gospel music was also well noted. She enjoyed the inspirational tunes of: Shirley Caesar, Andre' Crouch and Yolanda Adams just to name a few. Overall, she most enjoyed being with her family and especially her grandchildren. She really enjoyed shopping with her daughter! While at home on Tuesday, December 28, 2021, our beloved Rita Elaine Whitley-Francis made transition to her heavenly home to rest eternally with Jesus Christ, her Savior, surrounded by her loved ones.
The memory of our beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, godmother Rita Elaine Whitley-Francis, will forever be cherished in the hearts of (daughter) Deirdre Francis, (Son) Charles E. Francis Jr.; (grandchildren) Maurita Francis, Monta' Francis, Adrian (Candis) Francis, Kyra Francis and Jeremy Dockery; (great grandchildren) Mauriah Francis, Isaiah Francis, Aiyana Francis, Adriana Francis, Camiryn Francis, Adrianne Francis, Samaya Bell, Kenneth Bell and Kamari Francis.
Memories of her will also be cherished by daughter of the Heart Winonia Currie. Three daughters in Love who hold very fond memories of her as well, Michell Fernandez, Mary Jennings and Vickie Shackelford and a host of other relatives and friends.
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