Margaret Rita Ferrell was born on Wednesday, October 30, 1935 to Mayson "Sprigg" Lockette and Lavinia Brown in Gulfport, Mississippi. Shortly after birth, Rita's mother passed away which led to Rita moving with her aunt and uncle Roxie & Ed Cohen in Palmer Crossing Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Though an only child, being raised with her cousins Billie Marie Butler, Yvonne Lofton, Lewis Franklin, and Lucinda Hardin, she felt like she had a brother and three sisters. Rita graduated from Depriest High School in Mississippi in 1953. During those high school years she met and fell in love with Eugene C. Ferrell. The two wed on Sunday, July 4, 1954, in Mississippi. Eugene enlisted in the Air Force which caused the family to relocate often. Rita lived in Mississippi, Virginia; Riverside, California and then finally settling in San Francisco, California. <br />
Rita was a devoted mother. She loved her children dearly and dedicated her life to being a housewife while her husband served. She was fun, loving, cool, yet fiesty and strict at the same time. Rita made it clear she was the boss. Talk back if you want to, there would be a swift yet unseen but felt hand to follow. Rita was also very smart and creative. She often made her own clothing and cooked all meals from scratch. Canned anything had no place in her kitchen. Rita also took such pride and joy in her grandchildren. She would light up anytime she spent time any of them. They truly had her heart. <br />
In her later years, Rita had come to appreciate the little things in life. Spending time with friends and family and being refuge to anyone in need became what she cherished most. She also became quite fond of Coca-Cola and Milky Way bars. Touching her last would be a huge mistake. However, sweet potato pies were still her all-time favorite. <br />
Rita is survived by her children: Wanda Ferrell, Margie Ferrell, David Ferrell, Darrell Ferrell, Gregory Ferrell, Erwin Ferrell, Acklin Thiebueux, John Funchess, James Prevost, and Pamela Duerod. She is preceeded in death by Francesca Ferrell; Freddie Ferrell and Zethra Baptist; Clement Seniga; and Nicole Seniga. She also leaves behind a host of grandchildren: Lance Duncan, Misty Duncan, Raquel Dawson, Geno Ferrell, Haniya Ferrell, Makayla Ferrell, Greg Ferrell, Anthony Jones, Cedric Jones, Tiffany Payne, and Aleta Hardy; along with many great grandchildren, cousins, and friends.