Rita Kay Willbanks, 73, of Kensett, passed peacefully in her home September 29, 2020. She was born November 14, 1946 to Floyd and Estene Evans Townsend at Searcy; both preceded her in death.
She was a loyal employee of Walmart for over 32 years. She could recite the “Walmart Cheer” and inspire those around her to be grateful for the work her team completed. Rita was a personnel manager, but her passion at Walmart was for the work she was able to do through them for fundraising events. She was especially involved with the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Fundraisers. Rita loved to travel with her family. Together, they made many memories and spent time catching up on stories. She loved being outdoors; from watching butterflies, tending to her garden, and being the family horse whisperer. Rita was also a Master Gardener. She took great pride in her gardens. Rita was also a great cook. Her cherry cobbler was a hit with the entire family; it was requested for every birthday and holiday event.
Along with her parents; she was also preceded in death by two husbands, John Willbanks and John Turpin.
She is survived by daughter, Janis Kay (Matt) Cowles of McRae; two sons, Jeffrey Leo (Tina) Turpin of Judsonia, and Richard Lee (Lisa May) Turpin; eight grandchildren, Michael Pruitt, Danielle Hudson, Blakley, Zachary, and Kayla Turpin, and Madison, Montana, and Cobi Cowles; ten great grandchildren; and two brothers, Billy (Mary) Townsend of Clarksville, and Danny (Pam) Townsend of Searcy.
In lieu of flowers the family would like donations to the Master Gardener Memorial Fund. Donataion information: Master Gardener Memorial Fund White County Depository 2400 Old Searcy Landing Searcy, Arkansas 72143.
Graveside services are 3:00 p.m. Friday, October 2, 2020 at White County Memorial Gardens.
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