Rita Annette Franklin Williams passed away peacefully Sunday morning, September 5, 2021, at her Bardstown residence after a long illness. She was born January 18, 1950, in Ashland, KY.
At an early age Rita professed her faith in God and joined New Hope Baptist Church in Ashland, KY. She graduated from Ashland Paul Blazer High School in 1968 where she played the clarinet and bass clarinet in the marching band. After attending Ashland Community College for two years, she enrolled in Morehead State University earning a BA in Sociology/Social Work, a minor in English, and received her certification in the teacher education program.
Rita worked as a Social Worker for the city of Lexington before being hired at Bardstown City Schools as a Social Worker. Rita later earned her Masters in Education with a Minor in Guidance Counseling from Western Kentucky University. Her career in education started at OKH Junior High School as a Social Studies and English teacher, and Cheerleader Coach. She later taught English, Sociology and Psychology at Nelson County High School before finishing the last two years of her teaching career at Bardstown High School as an English teacher. After retiring she worked at Bardstown High School as a classified employee for 12 years. She was a member of Fairfield Second Baptist Church, the Bardstown Optimist Club, and the NAACP. Her teaching experience cannot be quantified by years taught, but by how many students she inspired and continues to inspire through love and encouragement.
In her free time, she enjoyed working on crossword puzzles, interior decorating, painting, crocheting, crafting, gardening, and reading, but especially enjoyed playing with her grandson Koa. She was most known for her sense of humor, selflessness, and stubbornness. She was considered a sister and best friend to many who will endlessly miss her presence on this earth.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Charles Richard Franklin and Della Mae Taul, and her brother Charles Franklin.
Rita leaves behind many who mourn her. Her loving husband of 48 years, Roland E. "Coach Roe " Williams; two children, Monika Lynnette Williams, and Roland RaShawn “Shawnie” (Shelby) Williams; one grandson, Koa Alexander Sage Williams; two sisters, Terri Lynn Franklin and Kimberly Franklin Mays; one sister-in-law, Renee Love (Art) and brother-in-law Simpson Eugene Williams. She also leaves behind a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and loving friends.
Her funeral service will be 11:00 am Friday September 10, 2021 at Barlow Funeral Home, with burial in Bardstown Cemetery. Visitation will be 4 – 8 pm Thursday September 9 and 10 – 11 am Friday September 10 at Barlow Funeral Home.
In Lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to St Vincent de Paul, 310 N. 2nd Street, Bardstown, KY 40004 or The Louisville Rudd Heart and Lung Association, 201 Abraham Flexner Way, Louisville, KY 40202.
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