Rita Jean Petty

December 9, 1949 ~ March 15, 2024

Rita Jean Petty, aged 74, peacefully departed this life on Friday, March 15th, 2024, surrounded by her loved ones at home, following a brave fight against ALS. She was born in Zanesville, Ohio, to Robert and Irene Boyd.

Rita treasured her family, celebrated her Irish roots and was passionate about writing. Her love for literature and poetry brought joy to those around her. In her community, she impacted numerous families through her role as a children’s librarian at the Calcasieu Parish Public Library. She was a seasoned traveler, well-versed in worldly affairs and loved to engage in lengthy discussions about politics.

Surviving Rita and holding her memory dear are her husband, Steve Petty; her children, Theo Klaase, Terra Klaase and Erin Gibson; her stepchildren; Jesse Lambert, Allen Petty, William Petty and Scott Gibson; her siblings; Irene Boyd, Pat Bentrump, Katie King, Elizabeth Boyd, Bob Boyd, along with his wife Helen Schwartzhoff; and special friend, Marty Berry.

Rita was preceded in death by her parents, as well as her former husbands, Max Gibson and Norbert Soileau.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on March 19, 2024, at 2:00 P.M. at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, 221 Aqua Dr, Lake Charles, LA. 70605. An Irish wake will be held following the mass.


Funeral Service: Tuesday, March 19, 2024
2:00 pm

Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church
221 Aqua Dr
Lake Charles, LA 70605

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  1. Candle 1Sorry to hear about Rita. She was such a good person and always friendly. Prayers for the entire family. We will be thinking of you all. The Soileau Family. Barbara, Cora and Gail (Norbert’s sisters)

  2. To God be the glory for what he has done rest in peace my dear friends. She was a very sweet, kind, and loving person. She and I worked together at the Library for many years she, was my department head supervison before she retired. She will always be remembered. Such a beautiful person she was.

    Prayerfully Submitted
    Lisa M. Chachere

  3. Candle 2I’ve known Rita my whole life. My mom met her in line to register both me and her daughter in T.S. Cooley.
    She was such a bright soul and always had so much wisdom to share.
    I’ll never forget her expansive collection of self-written poetry and books she had.
    I’ll always remember how she never had the ability to get anywhere without getting ridiculous lost lol.
    But it’s her laugh that I will miss the most.

  4. Candle 7I am so very sorry to hear about the passing of Ms Rita! She was a very special lady and always held a special place in my heart. Many condolences to her family and friends!

  5. Candle 3Our dear friend Rita will be missed forever. She was such a wonderful lady, an example of what a Christian woman should be! We loved her dearly and always enjoyed our many visits over the years. She was such a wise person and it there was something she wasn’t sure if, she looked it up. She would update us either by phone or at our next visit.

    We were blessed to meet you, her family at her service and wake and were able to see in them all the wonderful things Rita had told us about them. Most of all, we saw LOVE! We want you to know we loved her and treasured her and are very sad at her passing. We believe she was a gift from God to you and us and everyone who met her.

    We send out sincere condolances! In the Love of Jesus Christ, Kathy and Lee Thibodeaux

  6. Candle 5Rita and my sister Cathy went back to the late 60s In Nashville Tn .Both were about as good as it gets and loved each other dearly.I met Rita in Ireland back in 2001 with my sister Cathy and fell in love with Rita immediately.When Cathy was in hospital before she passed she was worrying about Rita.God bless both there souls and I’m sure they are both in very good hands.A tragic double whammy.The planet lost two good strong woman.
    Dennis Flanagan

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