Rita Fuesling Roberts
Rita Fuesling Roberts
Rita Fuesling Roberts passed away in Santa Rosa on May 8, 2012, after a long illness caused by progressive supranuclear palsy, a Parkinsons-like disease.
She is survived by her husband, Bob Roberts, of Windsor; her daughter, Kincaid Jones, of Los Angeles; her son, Carl Schlaudt, of Richmond, Va.; her 11 grandchildren, Hannah, Heidi, Dylan, Joel, ZuZu, Clare, Lily, Eric, Nate, Daniel and Laurel; and her brother, Loren Fuesling, of Houston, Texas.
Born in Chicago, Ill., on March 7, 1938, she spent her childhood in and around Houston, Texas. Her working life centered on education, first as an informational writer at the University of Texas, and later at Penn State where she prepared the timetable of classes.
She was graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California at Berkeley, with degrees in English and drama, and continued her graduate work in education at Berkeley and at the University of San Francisco.
Her first teaching assignment was in the Dixie School District in Terra Linda where she taught English, drama and history to middle school students, and directed testing for K-8 students. She was an early member of the Bay Area Writing Project and led in-services at schools and universities throughout the state.
Her love of theatre led to working with adults as director of Squirrel Hill Theatre in Kensington, where she met her husband, Bob. It was a family joke that “Rita was still trying to direct Bob!”
As a school administrator, she served as director of educational services for Modesto city schools before joining Sonoma Valley Schools in 1987 as supervisor of curriculum. She retired in 1997 as deputy superintendent. Throughout her professional life she was an advocate for children and all those who work with them. During retirement, she supported literacy programs, including “Once Upon a Time” which brought authors of children’s books to Sonoma County students. Other strong interests included theatre and opera in the Bay Area and in New York City, and travel with Bob here and abroad, by plane, boat, bus and motorcycle sidecar.
At her request, no memorial services will be held. Those who wish are encouraged to make donations in her name to local school libraries for purchasing children’s books.
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