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Last October I had a call from Rita Moore. She was really excited about the quilt that she was going to present at the Veteran's Assembly at the school. "I'm going to be presenting a quilt to Dr. Song!" She had talked with me often about her doctor and what a great guy he was, how much she liked him and how he was the smartest guy around. So I knew this one was a special quilt for her to present.

Over the last 6 years, this lady has called me every time she was going to present a quilt to a veteran in our area. Dr. Song's quilt was her 104th quilt that she made and donated through the "Quilt of Valor" program. She was so in love with the idea of being able to comfort veterans who have served and have been touched by war. She's made quilts for veterans and even for their service dogs, because she felt like, "The dogs should be recognized for helping too!"

I spent time talking to her about her life and it wasn't always an easy life. Something I hadn't known before. I wouldn't have known that from seeing her at church on Sunday morning. And she said the same about seeing me in church. We compared notes and swapped our own war stories. We had a connection that I will definitely miss. She was like I am, a no-nonsense, no sense in wasting words type of lady.

She talked about quilting and how it was part of her family as far back as her grandmothers. Rita told me about her grandmothers. One she said was a professional quilter and the other one, well, she was not. She laughed as she said that you could tell which quilt was made by which woman by the quality of the quilt.

Rita wasn't shy about telling you that she was a perfectionist when she sews, she laughed about it, but her work speaks for itself. She had contacted me, to brag about her great-granddaughter Ava whom she was helping to make a quilt for yet another branch of the "Quilts of Valor" program, called "Under our Wings," a part of the QOV program. This program is designed to include youth and adult community service organizations that desire to do a community service project. She said when she passed away her sewing machine was going to Ava because she felt that her great-granddaughter would use it. Rita was practical. Another reason I loved this lady.

She was completely surprised when she was also recognized at her last Veteran's assembly. The local veteran's organizations recognized her for all of her work on behalf of the veterans and then gave her a gift of money to help pay for the supplies that she put into her quilts. "I can't believe they did that, I was shocked!" she said. She was smiling so big when she said it, so I knew that they had touched her heart. I was glad that she felt the appreciation for her. This little lady was unassuming, so being recognized for her work was something she wasn't ready for.

Each month either she would call me, or I would call her about the logistics of our church lady's night out. Every month she'd show up and enjoy some laughs with all of us.

From the time that I found out that Rita was sick, I worried about her. I feared the worst. I knew that this lady had left a legacy that won't be seen in just one place, but all over the state. Through her quilts, she's brought many men to tears. There was always something about wrapping the quilts around our grown men, especially those from the Vietnam or WWII era. Many would just break down and cry as she wrapped them in her quilts. She also made dresses to be sent overseas at Christmas time, using pillow cases for these. I'm sure there were many other things that she sewed, and sewed perfectly that I didn't know about.

The woman gave and gave and gave. The rest of us were on the receiving end of her generousity. She wasn't picky about who she could make a quilt for and was often in search of someone that she could help. She's definitely going to be missed in the veteran community. And I'll miss her.

So rest in peace, dear Rita. Thank you for all of the many quilts that you sewed lovingly for our veterans. Thank you for the healing that you brought to them. Thank you for sharing your stories with me. Thanks for the laughs, and the many conversations.

You will be missed.

To read Rita's obituary, click HERE.


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PK February 2, 2024, 1:16 pm Thoughtful piece, Val!! Always sad when kind and caring people pass on!!
CL February 2, 2024, 7:08 pm What a beautiful article about a beautiful, amazing, generous woman! We’ve lost a treasure for sure!
GB February 2, 2024, 10:34 pm What a beautiful read! She was the type of person who blessed people's lives. You just know in the heart that everyone who knew her was a better person because of her in some small way. She will be missed by many.
SH February 5, 2024, 12:59 pm We have lost a wonderful and giving woman. She was one of the kindest and sweetest ladies I've had the benefit of knowing. Always giving and never a bad thing to say about anyone. You will be missed Rita.
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