Rita Pamela Utley (nee Wilson), fondly known by her family as Pam or “Teacher Pam”, was born in Buxton, Guyana on March 25th 1948. As a young girl she moved to Georgetown, where she lived with her aunt. She was the eldest of six siblings on her mother’s side; Beverley, Joylyn, Lenox, Derek and Adrian, and the eldest of five on her father’s side; Marva, Yvonne, Shirley and the late Randolph. She was mother to Roxanne, Eddie Jr. and Kareem, mother-in-law to Sheldon, and grandmother to Rhys and Luke.
Shortly after her 18th birthday she emigrated to the UK, where she trained to become a nurse. Once qualified as a Registered Nurse, in 1971 Rita fulfilled her dream to move to the USA, first settling in New York, where she met her lifelong sister/friend Florence. During her life in the US she also lived in California, and Pennsylvannia, where she spent the last 20 plus years of her life.
Two defining aspects of Rita’s life were her profession and her faith; her daughter often referred to her as a walking medical encyclopaedia, because you just had to mention that something was wrong with you, and she would be asking you a series of questions in order to get to the root of the ailment. As a life long learner, Rita obtained many qualifications linked to nursing.
Nursing Diploma from Hertford University, Hertford, England
B.S., Nursing degree from St Joseph’s College – Brooklyn, NY
M.A., Nursing, Adult Nurse Practitioner from New York University (NYU)
Doctor of Nursing Practice from Robert Morris University, PA
National Certification from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
RN License, Advance Practice Nurse with prescriptive privilege from New York Dept. of Education
RN License, Advance Practice Nurse with prescriptive privilege from New Jersey State
Affiliation with the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
Affiliation with the American Academy of Critical Care Nurses
National Association of Female Executives
In addition to professional qualifications, Rita’s dedication to her faith encouraged her to pursue leadership roles in the church community, in particular ministry. She was delighted when she had the opportunity to train under the tutelage of Dr Cindy Trimm. In recent years she was part of the ministry training program at Shiloh, the community that she regarded as her home.
As an avid prayer warrior she was a regular on the early morning prayer line, and would remember everybody in her prayers. Along with her neighbour and friend, Bea, Rita was a Director of the Virtuous Women’s Ministry, an organisation set up to support women and girls in the ways of the Proverbs 31 woman.
Although she did not really have hobbies, Rita was a good cook, in particular known for her fish dishes and curries. She also made a delicious Watergate Salad. Another skill that she learnt whilst growing up in Guyana was bread making, but there was no point in asking her for a recipe, as she didn’t measure, she estimated the quantities of each ingredient. She loved flowers, carnations being her preference, and plants. She also enjoyed attending the theatre and holidays with her family.
In recent years Rita was less able to participate in the activities that she loved, and was admitted to a care facility in October 2019. She sadly became ill on December 9th 2020, the day after her mother transitioned, and passed away on December 23rd 2020.
Funeral Services will take place on Saturday January 2, 2020 11AM in Greater Shiloh Church, Easton. Viewing begins at 10AM Interment will follow services in Greenwood Cemetery-Allerntown.
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