Welcome to the memorial page for

Henrita A. Charleston

July 18, 1930 ~ September 29, 2017 (age 87)
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Henrita “Rita” Agnes Charleston, born in Milwaukee, WI on 7/18/1930, passed away at home in Camarillo, CA on 9/29/2017.  Lovely Rita chose a life of teaching because she wanted to share her passion for knowledge and discovery.  She paid her own way through college and was the first in her family to receive a college degree. Rita personally knew the immense value of an education and the opportunities it afforded a person in life. She preferred to teach first through third grade, when the children are full of awe and wonder.

Rita loved to play piano and she played tunes from memory until the end. She supplemented her income over the years by providing piano lessons and playing for children during dance classes and chorus practice. It gave her great joy to play. Some of our fondest memories are of Mom playing piano while Dad played trumpet. As we grew older and learned to play various instruments, we joined in the jam sessions and filled the house with music. 

Rita smiled more than most and she had a definite zest for life.  She enjoyed singing, dancing, playing the piano, traveling, gardening, and playing with her grandchildren. Rita was incredibly kind, generous, loving, and warm. Her caring for others extended broadly and she gave of herself freely.  She loved spending time with family, extended family, and friends, all of whom love and miss her terribly.

Rita raised five beautiful children. Unfortunately three of her children, Dodds “Chip” Charleston, Christine “Tina” Bailie, and John Charleston, preceded her in death. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Dodds Charleston. She is survived by two of her daughters, Colleen Charleston-O’Neill and Celeste Charleston.  She leaves behind seven grandchildren who called her Grandma Sunshine and one great-grandson.  In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you donate to, Ventura County’s Food Bank. Even in death, Rita’s first concern was for others, and she requested donations be made to one of her favorite non-profits dedicated to feeding, nourishing, and educating the hungry of Ventura County.  

A niche-side service will be held at Conejo Mountain Memorial Park on Tuesday, 10/10/17, at 11:00am.

Godspeed, Mom. We will hold you in our hearts for you are forever a part of us. Thank you for your selfless love and for filling our lives with joy, hope, and laughter.    


...Family in the care of Erin Arteaga, Funeral Director

 Service Information


Conejo Mountain Memorial Park
2052 Howard Road
Camarillo, CA 93012

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