Rita C. Johnson February 10, 1918 - June 13, 2012 Rita was born in Butte, Montana, the youngest of seven children in the McCarthy family. Blessed with a lovely voice, she sang in choir and got her first job at Western Union delivering singing telegrams. She vividly recalled the onset of WWII and the bombing of Pearl Harbor as a young professional in San Francisco. She met and married Don H. Johnson in Los Angeles and moved to Manhattan Beach in 1950 because she and Don could afford a lot at the beach. A sixty year parishioner of American Martyrs, Rita was president of the Mother's Club as well as secretary at the Rectory for many years. She served several pastors and most fondly recalled her time with Monsignor Barry. Rita is survived by three children, Chris, Peggy and Katie, their spouses Jo Ann, John and David along with a number of nieces and nephews. She loved her grandchildren Riley and Shea with all her heart. Memorial Services are on Monday March 18th at American Martyrs Church. Rosary: 9:30 am, Mass: 10:00am, Reception: 11:00 am in the Blessed Kateri Room. Interment following at Holy Cross Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the building fund at American Martyrs parish.

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  1. I was so sorry to read of your mother’s passing in today’s paper. I was literally thinking about her just the other day. Though I’ve not seen her out and about in awhile, I have enjoyed bumping into Peggy and getting an update now and then. Your mother is a memory as far back as I can remember. She was a good friend to my mother. I can remember vividly as a little girl, sitting at the rectory while the two of them laughed and discussed the business of my mom covering for your mom’s summer vacations. God blessed her with a long life at the beach, but I know she will be terribly missed. God bless each of you during this time. Denise Lavell and Family

  2. Dear Johnson Family, Was sorry to hear of your Mother’s passing, and remember the many happy times we had as families growing up in Manhattan Beach, traveling and taking ski trips. Before moving to MB, our parents were members of St. Paul’s in LA. Your Mom always reminded me that when it was Communion time, my parents would leave me, a 2 year old, in the pew when they went up to receive Holy Eucharist, and I’d sit there good as gold! Who would leave a child these days for 5 minutes! As an adult, I had lots of contact with your Mom through the Mother’s Club and Rectory. Your dad drew the plans for the house additions for my parents, and for Ed and I as well. I remember many happy times over the years, and will miss your Mom’s smiling face. God Bless, Nancy and Ed Myska (Nancy, Rita, Tom Van Voorhis)

  3. Peggy, Katie, Chris and family, My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. I have such fond memories of growing up with your mom…..she was always there. Love, Gina

  4. I remember going to Christmas Eve Mass with Peggy, Katie, Shea and dear Rita. Rita was always so kind to people and always made sure people were OK. She made me smile all the time. I loved being able to visit her. I also remember she loved chocolates from See’s Candies. I always felt at home when I was with Rita. She was a fantastic person and I will miss her really dearly.

  5. We’ve known Rita and Don for a long time. So sorry about your loss. Our thoughts are with you.

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