Remembering Rita Wilson, who lived life to the fullest

Proudly of Berkeley since the early ‘60s, Rita was born singing and didn’t waste a moment after that.

Rita Wilson
Rita Wilson. Photo: Courtesy family

Rita Wilson, Nov. 16, 1937 – Jan. 23, 2021 

It is with incredible sadness that I am letting people know that Rita Wilson, proudly of Berkeley since the early ‘60s, passed away suddenly on Jan. 23.

Born in the Bronx in 1937, Rita was born singing and didn’t waste a moment after that.

Whether it was her 30-year membership of her breast-cancer support group, her loving friends at Kol Hadash, Richmond Public Library, Travis AFB Center school and elsewhere, or her active (rabid) membership in the Jimmy Buffet Fan Club, my mother lived life to the fullest – and she made sure she told everyone else to do the same.


Before she fell ill, Rita celebrated the Biden inauguration with bagels and mimosas, with a flag and a Kamala Harris Thousand Oaks elementary school shirt in her hands.

Rita is survived by myself, her daughter, her granddaughter Emily and many loving friends that more than count as family. She was preceded in death by her son Richard, also quite the character. Rita was a personality and a force of nature and will be missed terribly.