Official Obituary of

Retta P. Rhea

February 8, 1937 ~ March 26, 2024 (age 87) 87 Years Old

Retta Rhea Obituary

Family will receive friends on Thursday, April 4, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. until time of service at 11:00 a.m. at New Salem Missionary Baptist Church, 2596 Cleveland Avenue, Columbus, OH 43224. Interment: Franklin Hills Memorial Gardens.

Retta Pearl Burks was born in Marfrance, West Virginia on February 8, 1937. She was the daughter of Bruce Burks and Emma Ruby Shambly. She was a loving and devoted daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She is remembered as a kind, generous, classy lady with a strong brave spirit, and a beautiful woman of God. Retta grew up in Saint Albans West Virginia, and after graduating from Garnett High School in 1955 she moved to Columbus. Shortly after she moved her mother, sister, and nephews to Columbus.

Retta met and married William T. Rhea on February 24, 1958. They were married for 66 years. They had two children William Ted Rhea and Marta Lynn Rhea-Johnson.

Retta was a long time member of New Salem where she worked in the Women’s Guild. She was a deaconess, a nurse, choir member, and senior care group.

Upon moving to Columbus in 1955, she began working as a nurses aide at Saint Anthony Hospital, and later worked for the Columbus State School. After having children she began working as an educational aide with the Columbus City Schools and retired in 1999. She enjoyed cooking and baking and ran a popular catering company “Retta’s Catering” known for her sweet and soulful dishes and her popular pound and rum cakes. Retta was very proud of her children and loved watching her grandchildren progress and live their dreams.

Retta loved cooking, watching mystery shows, and camping and traveling across the country with Ted in their RV. After a long battle with Lewy Body Dementia, God called her home. She entered eternal rest on March 26, 2024. She will be greatly missed. She is gone, but never forgotten. Preceded in death by her mother, father, 3 brothers, a sister and her beloved son Teddy.

Those who remain to keep her memory alive include are her husband, William Rhea, daughter Marta Rhea-Johnson (Carleton): grandchildren Blake, Amber, Elijah, and Jeremiah: 3 great grandchildren, a great-great grandchild and host of sisters and brothers in love, cousins, nieces, nephews and many dear friends.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Retta P. Rhea, please visit our floral store.

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April 4, 2024

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
New Salem Missionary Baptist Church
2956 Cleveland Avenue
Columbus, OH 43224

Celebration of Life
April 4, 2024

11:00 AM
New Salem Missionary Baptist Church
2956 Cleveland Avenue
Columbus, OH 43224

Interment following funeral service
April 4, 2024

Franklin Hills Memory Gardens
5802 Elder Road
Canal Winchester, OH 43110


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