Obituary of Rita Flood
Rita (Holtgreve) Flood originally from New Orleans, LA died on March 20, 2023 at the age of 98. Beloved mother of Ralph Flood and Rebecca Flood (Ruth MacKenzie), she was preceded in death by her husband Ralph A. Flood, daughter in law, Patti Flood, brother Bill, and many friends and family.
Rita was born in the upper ninth ward of New Orleans and grew up there, as well as in Springfield, MA, and Miami, FL as the family followed her father’s career as a newspaper pressman. Rita, her mother and brother returned to New Orleans in 1938 after her father deserted the family, leaving them struggling during the height of the depression. Rita completed high school at an early age, and started nursing school at 16. She met Ralph Flood when he and 2 of his Chicagoland buddies rented a room nearby, working as welders at the Port of New Orleans at the start of World War II. Rita showed Ralph the wonders of Southern foods, especially how to eat crawfish and peel shrimp. They were married in 1943. Ralph was stationed at several different military bases in the US before being sent to Manilla, Philippines in 1945. Rita braved a 3 week ocean voyage to join him in 1946, where they lived for 5 years. In 1951, they returned to the Chicago area where Ralph was raised. When they bought their first and only home in 1952, they were joined by Rita’s mother who lived with them for the rest of her life. Rita and Ralph welcomed son Ralph (b. 1953) and daughter Rebecca (b. 1955) to their family. Rita and Ralph were happily married for 65 years, living together in Lansing until Ralph died in October, 2008.
In August of 2009, Rita moved to St. Paul to live near Rebecca. She is grateful to have had the chance to live in such a wonderful city and state, a place that cherishes the outdoors, the arts and the care of its citizens. She was especially grateful to have joined Rebecca and Ruth in worship at Unity Church Unitarian, where she was welcomed with open arms. Rita was a pledging friend of the church and a member of the Heritage Society. She was especially grateful for the Care Associates Team and the people that befriended her and with whom she had a special bond, especially Russ Heuckendorf, Mary Pollard, Carol Mahnke and Ron Prieve.
She loved to travel, to read, and to knit. She loved her family. She loved God. She loved St. Paul and the great welcome extended to her by the communities of Unity Church, Episcopal Homes, and Hometown Senior Living, with special love for the caregivers at the Belmont House who provided such tender care in her final months. Her final words were the Lord’s Prayer, the love she had for her children and how proud she was of them and her family.
A memorial will be held at Unity Church Unitarian and via livestream at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wri_vVhDf8s, on Friday, March 31st at 2:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Unity Church Unitarian or the Communication Center Fund of the State Services for the Blind.