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In Memory

Rita Rufe (Sanders)

Rita Rufe (Sanders)

Rita J. Sanders, born January 14, 1944, in Winfield, Kansas, passed away at her home in McAlester, OK, on December 29, 2023. She was born to Thearl and Vivian Marietta Rufe. She married Jackie Sanders in September 1975 in Pampa, TX.

She was raised in Wichita, KS and graduated from West High School. She moved around throughout her life, but settled in McAlester, OK in 1977. She immediately signed up at The Rocket Bowl for several bowling leagues. She always enjoyed bowling and the friendships she made. She competed in state and national bowling tournaments for decades. She also helped with junior bowling league and high school bowling. She was awarded the Bowling Volunteer of the Year in 2012. She also proudly bowled a perfect 300 game in 1998.

She was very active in GFWC at the local level for over 25 years, being involved in several clubs, but most recently the Arts & Crafts club. She was the state GFWC President in 2015-2016 and enjoyed going to the annual state and national conventions.

Rita also found joy in her longstanding involvement with TOPS, sharing Thursday evening dinners with her TOPS ladies. She loved her Wednesday night Bible study group, BUNCO nights, and her trips with her friend, Jackie, to Tulsa.

Known for her adventurous spirit and love of travel, Rita was always planning the next trip, inviting others to join her on the journey. She brought laughter and liveliness wherever she went.

Preceded in death by her husband, Jackie Sanders; Her brother, Thearl Leroy Jr. and her parents.

She is survived by her children, Christopher (Pam) and Heather (Jeremy); Grandchildren, Brittany (Marc), Colby (Taylor), Jack and John; Great grandchildren, Coen and Kate.

An original member of Lakewood Christian Church for 43 years, please consider giving to Lakewood Church Youth or Lakewood Kids, 840 S. George Nigh Expressway, McAlester, OK 74501 or lakewoodok.com Rita's legacy of love, laughter, and community involvement will be remembered fondly by all who were fortunate enough to know her.

The family will welcome friends for visitation at Lakewood Christian Church on Thursday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.  A memorial service will be held on Friday, January 5, at 10:00 a.m. at the Lakewood Christian Church.