Rita Josephine Kendrick, 92 from Monroe City, passed away early morning on October 24, at
Monroe City Manor Care Center. Rita was born February 4, 1928 in Indian Creek (Swinkey), the first daughter of Joe and Ola Hagan Montgomery. She and her five siblings grew up on a
farm and she graduated from St. Stephens Catholic High School, Indian Creek.
Rita Jo graduated from Swinkey, in a one room school, in 1945 and attended 2 college terms at
Kirksville, which qualified her to teach school at Lakenan, for 2 years. She was united in
marriage to L. E. (Tug) Kendrick on February 17, 1946, in Indian Creek. He preceded
her in death February 1, 1997.
She was a faithful member of St. Stephens in Indian Creek and
later, Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Monroe City, where she was active in Daughters of
Isabella since 1981, the Altar Society, and helped for many years with funeral dinners, donating
her famous coconut cream pies.
Rita believed in hard work and hard play. One would find her doing farm chores, churning
homemade ice-cream or butter, dressing chickens, snapping beans, working the garden, or
having overnight stays with the many cousins and her childrens’ friends. She could easily
spread a full course dinner under a shade tree to the hay crew, complete with homemade pie.
Later in life, she was the cook at Indian Creek Elementary School and was known to make
homemade rolls often for the students.
She enjoyed working for the Monroe City School District as “lunch money lady” and treated
students just like her own children. Equally, she felt right at home as a paraprofessional for
students with special needs and enjoyed working many years in the Ag department. After
retirement, Rita continued her giving spirit by delivering meals on wheels, but as someone once
said, “Rita Jo could pull a casserole out of her pocketbook” for anyone in need or experiencing
difficulty. She along with many helping hands organized and provided the meal to the yearly
Corp of Engineers sponsored People with Disabilities Deer Hunt.
Her Christian roots run deep, from childhood to her senior years: from providing food for the
Swinkey Picnic, attending daily mass, to relishing the prayer group that met at her home weekly.
Survivors include eight children, Ed (Barb) Kendrick, Bob (Diane) Kendrick, Tim (Sheila)
Kendrick, Glenn (Michelle) Kendrick, Jeff (Mary) Kendrick, all of Monroe City, Jane (Jeff)
Dotson of Riverside, IA, Joe (Grace) Kendrick of Sedalia, and Susan (Earl) Gerke of
Olathe, KS. Rita Jo is survived by two brothers Melvin (Mary Ann) Montgomery from
Lexington, and John (Sue) Montgomery from Blue Springs. Being a proud grandma, she smiled while speaking of her 21 grandchildren, and 40 great-grandchildren.
In addition to her husband and parents, Rita was preceded in death by an infant son, Robert
Gerard, two sisters, a granddaughter and a great-grandson. Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10 a.m. Friday, October 30, at the Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Monroe City, Fr. Mike Quinn will officiate. Burial will follow at the St. Stephens Cemetery, Indian Creek. Visitation will be from 5 until 8 p.m. Thursday evening, the Daughters of Isabella will recite the rosary at 4:45 p.m. and there will be a scripture service beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Monroe City.
Active pallbearers will be Lee Kendrick, Jeff Gares, Kip Kendrick, Bree Vollrath, Kyle Dotson, Kelsey Heil, Keegan Kendrick and Ryan Kendrick. Honorary pallbearers will be all of Rita Jo’s grandchildren and great grandchildren. Memorials have been suggested to the Mark Twain Handicap Deer Hunt, Monroe City Nutrition Center or the Holy Rosary Church. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Garner Funeral Home & Chapel, Monroe City, Missouri. Online condolences can be made at garnerfuneralchapel.com.
Due to COVID-19 it is asked that everyone would wear their face mask and practice safe social distancing during the visitation and funeral mass.
Funeral Services for Rita Jo Kendrick will be live streamed on: YouTube http://shorturl.at/zNQ57.