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Rita Jean Blakesley

April 3, 1942 ~ December 14, 2014

Rita Jean (Dunbar) Blakesley passed away suddenly December 14, 2014, just three days after her loving husband, Phillip Royce Blakesley, Sr.

She was born in Caldwell, KS on April 3, 1942. She was the daughter of Alvin Dale Dunbar and Lillian Ann (Gandy, Dunbar) Williams.

Rita was a devoted wife and mother. She and Royce were married 57 years and had two children together, Phillip Royce Blakesley, Jr. and Jefferson Lee Blakesley. She held various part time jobs, but her life’s work was spent caring for her husband and their two sons.

She was a cherished wife and mother, and an equally beloved aunt and grandmother. As much as her husband, Royce, doted upon her, she returned all of his affections and was his equal in life. Rita was a strong woman and an inspiration to many.

She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Phillip Royce Blakesley, Sr.; children, Phillip Royce Blakesley, Jr. and Jefferson Lee Blakesley; parents, Alvin Dale Dunbar, Aletha Dunbar, and Reed Williams; brother, Jimmy Dean Dunbar; and Sister, Saundra Kay (Dunbar) Holman.

Rita is survived by daughter-in-law, Colleen Angela (Wooley)

Blakesley; grandchildren, Ashley Danielle (Blakesley) Laughlin, Phillip Dale Blakesley, James Robert Land and Dylan Arthur Young; and great grandchildren, Thomas Phillip Laughlin, Michaela Rose Blakesley, Leilani Kathleen Land, and Gideon Hugh Land.

Funeral services will be held 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at the Schaeffer Mortuary Chapel, Caldwell, Kansas.

Memorials may be given in memory of Rita to the South Haven Senior Center, South Haven, Kansas.

Leave Condolences


Kathy Michaelson

Family and Friends - 12/16/2014

Rita will be greatly missed. Between her and Royce, i don't know who had the better sense of humor. It is comforting to know she would not let him take this journey alone. I love them lots and will miss them much!!!!


IHenrietta M. (Holman) Shingleton

Family and Friends - 12/20/2014

My heart is filled with love and memories of Rita and Royce, especially when we were in high school. Rita was my first good friend in So. Haven, after my parents moved there just before school began fall, 1956. Our houses were only half a block apart and the park was right across the street from my house. Rita helped me feel wanted in my new community and school. We had enough special times my memories are wonderful now, of both Rita and Royce. Their example of true love was evident over many years, and I treasured the many e-mails they sent me when I returned to college in 1986. They were wonderful, frequently sending messages of encouragement, humor, memories, and loving friendship. Of course, my heart is sad, but not more than happy they can be together again. I know they are watching over us and we can share our Lord's Kingdom. May their family find their memories can ease their pain; may they feel joy for them. My prayers are with you all. Thankyou for sharing this special lady!


Judy McGregor Hill

Family and Friends - 12/23/2014

I met Rita when I started high school in South Haven. Rita was one of the most friendly and welcoming person, and quickly became a friend even though she was in the class ahead of me. She was a beautiful girl when she eloped with Royce in her sophomore year, but she truly became his lifelong Princess, just as he was her Prince Charming for 57 years of a beautiful, loving marriage. I think Rita just couldn't go on without him. My condolences to their families and friends; please find comfort in that they are together.



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