Rita Elizabeth Goldstein, 78, of Fairfield, IA passed away peacefully in her sleep at her home Wednesday, July 3, 2019 after a long illness. Visitation will begin at 3:00 p.m. on Monday, July 8, 2019 at St. Mary Catholic Church (3100 W. Madison Ave.) with the family present to greet friends from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Funeral Mass will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 9, 2019 at St. Mary Catholic Church in Fairfield with Father Stephen Page officiating. Burial will be held in the Evergreen Cemetery in Fairfield immediately following the service.
After the burial, Rita’s family encourages friends to join them for a late lunch and camaraderie at their home at 2525 Glasgow Road where everyone can see Rita’s expression of her love and beauty. Friends are also welcome to visit Wednesday and Thursday at 7:00-9:00 PM, July 10 and 11, with the assistance of Rabbi Alan Green. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions in Rita’s honor be directed to Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch (www.calfarly.org) or the National Shrine of St. Jude (https://shrineofstjude.org). Friends are encouraged to sign the online guestbook at www.cranstonfamilyfuneralhome.com.
Rita was born under very modest circumstances in a small rural town in central Uruguay, South America. The eldest of 12 brothers and sisters, she spent her youth helping raise her siblings. At age 17, feeling a deep spiritual calling, she joined a convent hoping to help indigenous people in the Amazon. Instead, the Catholic church sent her to teach grade school in a farming community in northern California. Despite her lack of education, initially speaking only Spanish, and class sizes of 40, thanks to her characteristic determination and loving nature, Rita excelled helping her students.
As a nun, she became an American citizen and earned a BA in psychology. Leaving the convent in the mid-1970s, not knowing anyone, and understanding little about the culture, she decided to stay in the U.S. She went on to earn a graduate degree in health sciences while working full-time and sending money home to support her family. In her work, she helped the mentally challenged and advanced into management.
In 1982, while learning to ballroom dance, she met her future husband, Hal. Their first several “dates” consisted of Hal checking her meditation, which she had started but stopped. A priest and a rabbi married them on the Santa Cruz boardwalk. Rita and Hal honeymooned slowly driving from Palo Alto, California to their new home in Fairfield, Iowa to join Maharishi’s world peace project.
Together, in 1985, Hal and Rita started a publishing business, which still operates today. Since both Rita and Hal liked being in charge, they realized to stay married, they both could not run the business. Rita continued by providing Hal critical advice and support, traveling with Hal all over the world to trade shows, and running their rental properties. A wonderful storyteller, she loved to write creatively. Rita earned her master’s degree in the Science of Creative Intelligence at Maharishi University of Management. Later she developed a unique form of spiritual counseling and assisted people all over the world. Rita loved her dogs Judito, Angelo, Angelita, and Teracita and advocated for abused children.
Starting in 1988, Hal and Rita visited Rita’s loving family in Uruguay every winter. In 1993, two of Rita’s Uruguayan nephews, aged 11 and 12, became orphaned, and Hal and Rita adopted them. Eduardo (AKA Thaddeus) and Solomon (AKA Hector) brought lots of love, challenges, and blessing into Hal and Rita’s lives.
A private person, Rita lived a life serving God and humanity. Everyone that knew her felt her special presence.
Rita was preceded in death by her father Isidro Cecilio González Guerrero, mother Sara Reymunda Vallejos, brothers Wilton and Hector, and sister Olga. She leaves her husband Hal Goldstein, her sons Solomon Goldstein and Eduardo Figuiera, her brothers Ysidro, Juan, Roque, José, Julio, and her sisters Ramona, Sara, María.