Rita Whitney-Kelley | TahoeDailyTribune.com

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Rita Whitney-Kelley

June 21, 1957 ~ Jan. 23, 2017

Rita was born at Queen of Angels in Los Angeles. Her family moved around due to her father's job with Southern Pacific Railroad. After graduating from Indio High School, she moved to Yosemite and spent a few years working and enjoying nature to its fullest. Her love of nature became a lifelong affair. She decided to attend school, first going to Long Beach State College and then transferring to Reno University to secure a degree in geology/hydrology.

She went to work for our government in USGS. Her favorite time was doing field work. Being outdoors, doing any work was second nature to her. She left the federal agency to work at TRPA. She love Lake Tahoe and was trying to do her part to conserve the lake from its rapid deterioration. She returned to the federal agency in Vallejo. Meanwhile, her husband Patrick and son Sean continued to live I Tahoe, she stayed in Vallejo during the week to be near to her office, loving the work she was doing.

Rita was a social animal and was up and ready for any party or event. However, she did also love her alone time, whether kayaking , skiing, walking, biking, anything to be out in her beloved environment.

She is survived by her husband Pat and son Sean; her sister Rose Bloom of Lake Forest; her brother Christopher Whitney of Phoenix; her cousins Patricia, Helen, and Barbara and George Plesko, Sheila, Joe, and Kathleen Corrigan.

Once a friend, Rita never let go of or forgot them, and her friends are many and plenty, spread far and wide.

Now we toast her ascent to the greatest nature walk of all. We'll miss you, Rita; until we all meet again.

Memorial Celebration of Life will be held in Vallejo, all details will be announced at a later date.