Rita Lou (Somerville) Mace completed her life on this earth on September 25, 2021. She passed away peacefully in her home in Pleasant Grove, UT. She was born February 12, 1931 in Moab, Grand County, UT to Veva Elouise (Somerville) Hawks and Andrew Reed Somerville. Rita was the second of four children and Reed and Veva’s only daughter.
Rita grew up in Moab where she enjoyed having some of the most breath-taking national parks as her playground. As a teenager, she was a waitress in the Arches Café (family owned and operated) where she served some of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
At a young age, Rita developed a love of music. She came by this love naturally as she had a very musical family. As a result, she studied music, especially piano and vocals through high school. Like her mother, Rita had a beautiful singing voice. As a result, she received a scholarship from the University of Utah to continue studying music specializing in vocal performance.
Rita competed in and was crowned Miss Grand County. By winning this pageant, she was eligible to compete in the Miss Utah Pageant where she finished as second runner up.
Rita met the love of her life when her cousin, Jerry Walker, brought Mark Mace to Moab for a weekend leave from their airbase in Alaska. A few months later, she flew to Alaska to visit her cousin. During that trip, Mark proposed and they were married on September 30, 1952 in Fairbanks, Alaska.
After attending Brigham Young University for three years, Mark was offered a position with IBM. As starving students, they could not refuse the offer. Employees affectionately referred to IBM as the “I’ve Been Moved Company”. True to that nickname, Mark started his career in Oregon and later they were transferred to Michigan, Arizona, California, Maryland, New Jersey, and finally to upstate New York.
Rita was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints. She also served as a temple worker in both the Provo and the Mount Timpanogos temples for approximately 20 years.
She is survived by her children Caryl (Larry) Litchfield, Mark (Brenda) Mace, Rick (Susan) Mace, Collette (Bob) Parcells, 11 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her brothers Kent (Jikky) Somerville, Marvin (Leslie) Somerville, and her sister-in-law Clara Somerville.
She is preceded in death by her husband Mark Mace, her parents Reed and Veva Somerville; and her brother Wally Somerville.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, October 1, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. in the Mount Mahogany 6th Ward Building, 1541 N. 1300 W. Pleasant Grove. A viewing will be held Thursday, September 30th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Anderson & Sons Mortuary, 49 E. 100 S. American Fork, UT and Friday, October 1st at the church from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. prior to the services. A live broadcast of the services will be available on the Ward website at www.mm6ward.com. Click the “Join Now” button on the Sacrament Meeting portal.
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