Rita Marie Crossland, age 88, of Kansas City, Kansas, who formerly lived in Denver, Colorado, Overland Park, Kansas, and more recently lived in Andover, Kansas, passed away on Sunday, February 26, 2017, where she was surrounded and celebrated by those who loved her most.

Born on November 10, 1928 to James Daniel Cheesman and Susan Rosetta Cheesman, Rita was a playful soul from the start, and she continued to enliven every gathering with her irresistible stories and captivating smile until her death.

She graduated from Ward High School in 1946. Rita owned and operated her own personnel agency, Plaza Personnel. She earned her Missouri state realtor’s license and went on to sell real estate in the Bahamas and Florida. She also worked at Mid-America Container and Citicorp Retail Services as an administrative assistant until her retirement in the early 1990s. Even then, Rita stayed on the go. She worked at the Denver Convention Center and the Denver Merchandise Mart part-time. With Rita’s love of travel, she joined and served as the president of Ports of Call Singles for several years in Denver, where she planned and attended trips all over the United States. She also had her own travel business, Rita’s Getaways. When she moved back to Kansas, Rita worked part-time at the Kansas City Convention Center and the Kansas City Gift Mart.

Rita was an avid dancer, dreamer, and traveler. Among other places, she visited San Francisco, New Orleans, Miami, and Graceland. Rita was a big fan of Elvis Presley and Doris Day and could brighten any song with her bouncy vibrato. Rita loved living in Colorado for almost twenty-five years. She moved back to Kansas to help her elderly brother and spent most of her golden years offering love, wisdom, and attention to each of her eight grandchildren, as well as taking them on adventurous trips all across her adopted state.

Rita was often recognized for her extravagant Halloween costumes and themed holiday jewelry, and she enjoyed writing, playing games, and entertaining others.

She will be remembered always for her loving, independent spirit and devotion to her family. Rita was preceded in death by her mother, Susan Rosetta Cheesman, father, James Daniel Cheesman, sister, Mary Elizabeth Dean, brother, James Daniel Cheesman, and former husband, William Francis Crossland. She also joins her grandson, William Andrew (Drew) Crossland, and beloved poodle and companion, GiGi, on the next phase of her journey.

Rita is survived by her children, George Daniel Crossland, Patricia Marie Doll, and Barbara Joyce Weitkamp. She is also survived by seven grandchildren, Jessica Healzer, Jason Doll, Travis Crossland, Cassidy Healzer, Kacie Doll Kneidel, Nicholas Crossland, and Dallas Crossland, as well as her six great-grandchildren.

The funeral mass will be held at Holy Spirit Catholic Church located at 11300 W. 103rd Street in Overland Park, Kansas at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 4, 2017. A visitation will precede the Mass, beginning at 9:30. The burial will take place immediately following at Resurrection Cemetery, West 83rd Street at Quivira Road, Lenexa, Kansas 66215.

Contributions are suggested to:

Kindred Hospice,2622 W Central, Suite 501, Wichita, Kansas 67203. Envision Low Vision Rehabilitation Center, 610 N Main St, Wichita, KS 67203. Assistance by Funeral Advocates, LLC.

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