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Rita Hawkins

07/13/1952 - 06/25/2024
Service Date: 07/13/2024
Service Time: 11:30 am
Service Location: Mt. Gilead Cemetery in Elwin, IL
Interment: Mt. Gilead Cemetery in Elwin, IL

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Rita Hawkins (nee Rivard) on June 25, 2024, in Scottsdale, AZ. Born to George and Alyce Jo Rivard in Peoria, IL, on July 13, 1952, Rita lived a life filled with love, kindness, and determination.

Rita was preceded in death by her husband, Paul Hawkins, her brothers, Jay Rivard and Tom Rivard, and her parents. She is remembered as a devoted wife, daughter, sister and friend.  She is survived by her brothers Jimmy (Lynda), Mike (Bridget), and Andy along with her sisters Linda (Paul), Anne, Mary (Jim), and Jeanne (Murray). Rita was also a beloved aunt to many nieces and nephews.

Rita worked as an administrative assistant for an engineering firm in Mesa, AZ, where she was known for her meticulous attention to detail and her sense of humor.  Her love for animals was unparalleled. She adored her dogs, treating them each as cherished family members, and was always ready to open her home and heart to any animal in need.

Family would like to thank all the staff at Azalea Blossoms who cared for Rita as well as those with Hospice of the Valley; without exception they were wonderful to her.

A graveside service coordinated by Brintlinger and Earl will be held to honor Rita’s memory on July 13, 2024, at 11:30 a.m. at Mt. Gilead Cemetery in Elwin, IL.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Arizona Humane Society (www.azhumane.org) or Rescue A Golden of Arizona (www.golden-retriever.org) as rescue causes were close to Rita’s heart.

Rita will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her. Her compassionate spirit, unwavering love for animals, and sharp wit will always be remembered.


  • Morgan Fryman Bantz

    My deepest sympathies for the entire family of Rita. She sounds like such a lovely woman. I will keep the family in my prayers. Losing someone you love is a pain that never really goes away. You now hold on to the cherished memories and favorite moments close to your heart, but she is with you always.

    Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and being alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You have to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes too near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself that you tasted as many as you could. ~Louise Erdrich

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