Rita Skousen Miller passed away May 2, 1998 at home following a stroke. She was 78.
She was born December 29, 1919 in Raymond, Alberta Canada to Royal Pratt and Margarita Bentley Skousen. She was raised in San Bernardino, California and married Woodrow Miller on February 5, 1941 in the Mesa Arizona Temple. She was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints and served in countless teaching and leadership assignments including: early morning seminary teacher for ten years, Relief Society president, stake and ward MIA, public affairs director and Los Angeles Temple worker. She served a Spanish-speaking mission in the Texas San Antonio mission from 1985-1987.She was also active n community and political affairs, serving as president and spokesman for Republican Women, family service volunteer counselor, active in various organizations dedicated to preserving family values, editor of the Freeman Report for several years, served in the Pro-Family Coalition and led a California chapter of Stop ERA (Equal Rights Amendment). She was in demand as a public speaker and lectured throughout California on religious, social and political topics. At age 54, she graduated from BYU with a degree in history.
Rita was co-owner, with her husband, of California-based Millers Honey Company from 1941-1984. They built a thriving family honey-packing business and she was the company's chief financial officer. Although the Millers divorced in 1976, their relationship remained amicable and they continued as business partners. They eventually sold the business in 1984 to their daughter and son-in-law, Marilyn Mimi and George Murdock. Mr. Miller died shortly thereafter. In 1994 she was authoress of a book about her father-in-law entitled: "Sweet Journey," Biography of Nephi Miller, Father of Migratory Beekeeping. It commemorated the centennial celebration of the company which started when a Utah pioneer farm boy traded several sacks of oats for a few colonies of honeybees.
Despite her many business, religious, civic and political endeavors, her first priority was always her family. She was affectionately known by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren as "Mama Rita".
She is survived by her three children: Marilyn Mimi (George) Murdock, of Orem; Melanie (Ron) Mulligan, of Los Angeles, CA; Markham (Shirley) Miller, of Cedar City; 15 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren; five brothers: W. Cleon (Jewel) Skousen, of Salt Lake City; Ervin (Madeline) Skousen, of Salt Lake City; Max (Dorothy) Skousen, of Cameron Park, CA; Keith (Joan) Skousen, of Rialto, CA; Kenneth (Nancy) Skousen, of Redlands, CA; one sister, Mildred (Milton) Jones, of La Canada, CA; sister-in-law, Helen (LeRoy) Skousen, of Lindon. She was preceded in death by her parents; and two brothers, Ezra and LeRoy.
The family would like to thank Tim and Krystal Martindale, live-in care-givers, for their loving and endless service for more than three years and also the many other devoted care-givers who assisted.
Funeral service will be held Wednesday, May 6, 1998 at 10:30 a.m. at the LDS Stake Center, 400 W. 1200 S., Orem. A viewing will be held at the church from 9-10:15 a.m. and also briefly after the service. Funeral arrangements under the direction of Berg Mortuary of Provo. Funeral service will also be held in Colton, CA, with interment at Montecito Memorial Park.
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