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This memorial site was created in memory of our loved one, Carridder "Rita" Jones 84 years old, born in 1935 and passed away on May 8, 2020. 

Throughout life she was a daughter, sister, mother, aunt, grandmother, great grandmother and friend.

Please join us in remembering Rita through stories, photos, videos for a lifetime of memories that we can share forever.
May 8
May 8
This is always a tough week for me, as you received your wings a few days prior to Mothers Day. My love and prayers continue to go out to you. I miss you and love you Mom ❤️ ❤️ ❤️
July 10, 2022
July 10, 2022
Mom, I feel your presence around me every day, and not a day goes by that I don't think of you. You always called me an "Optimist" and "Free Hearted" which rings so true, because you taught me to have a sense of love and compassion for everyone no matter their circumstances. I love you and miss you dearly!
July 10, 2022
July 10, 2022
Rita and I met in the 1980s at a small writers’ workshop at Chautauqua Institution in New York. We hit it off immediately and spent a lot of time together those two weeks; then stayed in touch for years, frequently exchanging writing and life-news. When I think of Rita I remember her fierce intelligence, her way of making things happen, and her sly sense of humor - that bubbling laugh! Rest easy my friend - you did well!
May 14, 2022
May 14, 2022
Mom, your spirit is constantly with me and in everything I do. You blessed all of us with courage, creativity and caring. Love you always!
May 8, 2022
May 8, 2022
Mom, another year has gone by since you’ve moved on. Happy Mother’s Day to a woman who was fierce, proud and a force to be reckoned with.
May 8, 2022
May 8, 2022
Such a beautiful spirit - thank you for all you shared with us!
May 8, 2021
May 8, 2021
It's been a year since mom physically passes away but her spirit still lives in us and everyone she touched. I celebrate her life everyday and am grateful that I had such a strong and caring woman as a mother. A woman who looked for the possibility in her life and ours. I love her and thank God for the precious gift of Carridder Jones.
May 8, 2021
May 8, 2021
In loving memory of a cherished aunt. Rest well with the ancestors and our Lord who brings us comfort and peace. I love all these wonderful pictures and stories. They warm my heart. Thank you family and friends for sharing these memories.
May 8, 2021
May 8, 2021
It’s been one year since Mom’s passing. Let us continue to celebrate her spirit and the amazing woman she was.
July 27, 2020
July 27, 2020
It has taken me a minute to bring myself to write something. My heart has been heavy ever since my mother left us. I was present when I saw my Mother take her last breath and began her journey to her next life.

My Mother was a woman of many virtues. She came from very humble beginnings and strove to not only improve herself but to help all those she touched to be beacons for others. She was strict and wouldn't fail to lay the law down :) (my bother and sisters know this all to well), but at the same time she was had this very kind and had a kindred spirit with a gentle heart.
She was always very supportive of me, even when I didn't deserve it. She showed me unconditional love and support when I did something that was very good or accomplished a major goal, she was there.

She showed me unconditional love even when I did things that were not becoming of a man that she had raised to be loving, caring, forgiving, and a good Christian. Even when I was at my worst and had done things most Mothers would have frowned upon, scoffed at or distanced themselves from a Son who had committed such wrong doings that discredited all the good values and morals that a Mother teaches her children.

She was always, always, always there to show support and give that unconditional only a Mother such as her could give. She constantly strove to encourage me to be the best that I could be and to never give up. She never failed to tell me how proud she was of me, even when I couldn't see it for myself. Now that I say is True Love right there!

When I moved her from Pasadena, Ca to Henderson Las Vegas I made a promise to myself that I would do anything and everything to ensure she had everything she wanted or needed, although majority of the time she would tell me she was good and didn't need anything. That's a very humble person right there!

My wife, Carolyn and I never missed weekend without seeing her. We would wine and dine her like the Queen that she was. She could sure put down some food though :)) Seeing her smile was joy, but hearing her laugh was the world! Laughter is something we all need more of because it can soothe and mend the sorrows we experience every day. We enjoyed spoiling her, bringing her flowers, taking her out to eat, or going shopping. I will say this, I strive every day to have the heart and soul she possessed, so when you speak of her, speak not with tears, for thoughts of her should not be sad. Let memories of the times you shared give you comfort, for her life was rich because of you.

In my parting words I will say this, Mom, in life we loved you dearly, in death we love you still. In our hearts you hold a place, no one else will ever fill. I cried endlessly when I saw you take your last breath but I promise, I won't let the tears mar the smiles that you gave me when you were alive. I know you are listening from above. You are missed dearly without a doubt, and I love you today, tomorrow and yesterday, for my love for you will be always and forever Mom!!!

May 18, 2020
May 18, 2020
Tribute From Robin R. Harris, Co-Chair Kentucky Women’s Book Festival/ May 12, 2020

I met my dear friend and mentor, Carridder “Rita” Jones, in 1999 through the President’s Commission on the Status of Women at the University of Louisville. A true leader, Rita set the standard of excellence with her dedication to changing in a fundamental way the “status of women” at UofL. As we collaborated on projects designed to chip away at the sexist underpinnings of the university, I learned from Rita the power of gentle, but determined, persuasion. Even before we met, I was very aware of Rita’s campus presence, as a leader in UofL’s Human Resources Department, and as a well-known author and playwright who, with the UofL Women’s Center, in 1992 founded the group Women Who Write, which is still flourishing today.

Though she found her writer’s voice later in life, Rita knew exactly what she wanted to say. Her writing demonstrated her commitment to changing minds and hearts, and conveyed the honesty and integrity forged by her own history, growing up in rural South Carolina in the 1930s. Rita’s understanding of the challenges our community faced related to issues of diversity and equity always informed her work. From her first published play, Lady of the House, performed at the Martin Experimental Theatre at the Kentucky Center, to Black Hamlets in the Kentucky Bluegrass, performed at the 2008 Juneteenth Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville, to her final book project in 2015, Voices from Historical African American Communities near Louisville, Kentucky, Rita championed women’s rights and social justice.

For years, Rita talked to friends and colleagues about her dream to create a festival dedicated to showcasing Kentucky’s women writers. As I heard her say many times, “there are festivals celebrating Kentucky authors, and festivals celebrating women authors, but no festival at all celebrating Kentucky women authors. We should fix that!” Her dream became reality in September 2006, with the first Kentucky Women’s Book Festival, a project that required energy, imagination, and diligence. Rita’s friendship with some of Kentucky’s most prominent women authors paved the way for the festival’s success. The long list of authors who have spoken at the KWBF includes bell hooks, Sallie Bingham, Sena Naslund, Crystal Wilkinson, Alanna Nash, Betty Baye, Maureen Morehead, Bianca Spriggs, George Ella Lyon, Kim Edwards, Mary Ann Taylor Hall, Tania James, Emily Bingham, Ronni Lundy, and Tori Murden McClure. From 2006 through 2016, Rita remained actively involved in the festival’s planning process. When Rita moved to the west coast in 2017 to be near family, those of us on the planning committee pledged to continue the festival, always with Rita’s spirit at the forefront.

Rita Jones’ legacy extends far beyond her many accomplishments, honors and awards. Her most enduring legacy lies in the friendships she built and nurtured, with people of all ages and all persuasions.

May 17, 2020
May 17, 2020
The writing community has lost a kind and inspiring cohort. Her concise and encouraging critiques ( Women Who Write meetings) will be missed as well as her belief that women should use their voices to fill the many spaces of untold stories. She will be missed.
May 15, 2020
May 15, 2020
As I sit here and fight with myself on where to begin in writing this tribute a sense of peace comes to mind. I can hear grandmother say, "It doesn't matter where you start, its all about how you finish." I never knew how much power that phrase would carry not only in writing but in life as well. Your lifes work was about being a voice, teaching us the strength and values of our history and standing on seeing all of your dreams come to pass. As I reflect on your personal and professional accomplishments those memories bring me back to that very same phrase and What... A Way... To Finish!!! May your soul continue to bless the spiritual seeds you have sewn. Your work inspire values, creativity, faith and humanitarianism. Thank you for the gift of love, family, history, arts, respect, strength, integrity and legacy. You are forever etched in our hearts and our minds. Love always, from this life into the next.

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Recent Tributes
May 8
May 8
This is always a tough week for me, as you received your wings a few days prior to Mothers Day. My love and prayers continue to go out to you. I miss you and love you Mom ❤️ ❤️ ❤️
July 10, 2022
July 10, 2022
Mom, I feel your presence around me every day, and not a day goes by that I don't think of you. You always called me an "Optimist" and "Free Hearted" which rings so true, because you taught me to have a sense of love and compassion for everyone no matter their circumstances. I love you and miss you dearly!
Her Life

Carridder Rita Jones - Author and Playwright

Carridder "Rita" Jones, 84, of Henderson, Nevada transitioned Friday, May 8th, 2020 at Saint Rose Dominican Sienna Hospital. 

Born in the South, she was raised on a small farm near the cotton and tobacco fields of Timmonsville, South Carolina. As a young girl, her love of reading began the day she attended the county’s three-room schoolhouse (built for children of freed slaves). After high school, she married Albert Jones and began to raise a family and travel. Her love of reading led to a major in English and Theatre Arts at the University of Louisville where she blossomed into a historical researcher and writer.

Sharing her love and talent for writing, Carridder co-founded Women Who Write, an organization started at the University of Louisville Women’s Center in Louisville, Kentucky for women writers. 

Rita was a playwright and a published writer.  Her plays were produced at Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Kentucky Center for the Arts Mex Theatre, University of Louisville Theatre and the Market House Theatre in Paducah, Kentucky. 

She received grants from The Kentucky Foundation for Women, Tennessee Williams Playwright Scholarship, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Pilgrim Project of New York and the University of Louisville Women's Center. Her grants went toward the successful completion of several historical research projects. 

In 2003, she completed a historical research project for the Filson Historical Society on Early African American Communities in Jefferson County. She co-produced a documentary in the Kentucky Bluegrass Region and adapted a play for the Oldham County History Center from “Narrative of the Life and Adventure of Henry Bibb, an American Slave.

In 2006, Rita  received the Sallie Bingham Award from the Kentucky Foundation for Women for positive social change. She authored the 2009 book A Backward Glance and the 2015 book Voices: From Historical African American Communities near Louisville, Kentucky.

Her 2009 award-winning play, “Voice of the Fugitivewas presented at Actors Theatre of Louisville to a sold-out audience. She was also awarded the Elijah Marrs Award by the Oldham County Historical Society. One of her plays, “The Mark of Cain,” was chosen by the University of Louisville’s African American theater program for the Second Annual Juneteenth Festival of New Works. 

Throughout her career as an established author and playwright, she presented her research and writings at conferences, programs, workshops, and productions.

Her parents were the late John & Esther (Lewis) Mashack.

She is survived by her children; Elizabeth DeRamus (William), Gwendolyn Hollins (Lawrence), Mark Jones (Carolyn), Anthony Jones (Jennifer) and Linda Hale (Jerry), grandchildren; Alexandra, Corry, William, Andrea, Brandy and Kailea and great grandchildren; Jordan and Derrell.

She was preceded in death by her husband Albert Jones, daughter Selina Griffith and sisters, Flossie M. Hickerson and Annie Dell McIntosh.

Dreams Come Free- By Rita Jones

When I was growing up in South Carolina
My dad was a sharecropper
Life was hard for us
Books helped me dream of a better place
One where I could be anything I wanted to be
My dad thought I was lazy
Reading books every chance I got
You see he never had time to read and dream
The book world was an entirely different world
From the one I knew
A way of life that was eons from my wishing and hoping
My dad passed away before my dreams became a reality
He never would have believed
I walked on the desert sands of Africa
Visited Venus of Milo and Mona Lisa in Paris
Walked on cobblestones at Versailles
Where crowned heads, statesmen and presidents walked
Watched a bullfight in Madrid at the Plaza De Toro
Moved the knight on a giant chessboard in Bern, Switzerland
Drank tea in Tokyo
Bought a jade Buddha in Hong Kong and
Walked on the Great Wall of China

Great Grandmother Status

In October 2007 my Grandmother became a Great Grandmother. As Jordan was 5 weeks old, we traveled down Lousiville to have family photos taken by the Jones family photographer. I will always cherish this experience as it was so much fun to capture these memories. Jordan wasn't in the best of moods but the pitctres turned out beautifully.
Recent stories

Surprise pre-Reunion on the WV Turnpike

June 2, 2020
Cleveland OH and Louisville KY Jones family members traveling separate routes to the reunion in Hampton VA in 2010, unexpectedly end up at the same exact time at the same rest stop on the West Virginia turnpike! Happy “pre-reunion”! There are no accidents! God planned this. ❤️

Thank You for Sharing Your Gifts with Us ❤️

May 16, 2020
You created such a beautiful family. Thank you for all you have shared with us ❤️

For My Favorite Aunt

May 15, 2020
Within our loaded lives, it’s is a rarity to be amongst those who who bear a character of compassion, talent, and inspiration. I was one of many lucky enough to gain, even if just a bit, of insight to these gifts, possessed and passed on by Aunt Rita. Thanks for the conversations, and Thanks for you.  

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