Funeral services for Rita Denise Jones Westbrook, 56, a beloved member of the Duluth community, are scheduled for 11 a.m., Saturday, June 25, at Duluth First United Methodist Church followed by a graveside service at the Duluth Church Cemetery. Officiating at her services will be Dr. Tommy Green, Rev. C. Kay Fuino, and Mrs. Kathryn Willis.
The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, June 23, and from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Friday, June 24, at the Duluth Chapel of Bill Head Funeral Home.
Westbrook tragically died in a traffic accident June 21. She graduated from Duluth High School, attended the University of Georgia, and graduated from the Medical College of Georgia Dental Hygiene Program. She practiced dental hygiene for more than 30 years and formed countless relationships with patients who literally followed her wherever she chose to work. She especially enjoyed her young patients and would go to any lengths to amuse them and to make dental visits fun. Her "tooth" costume drew rave reviews from adults and children. She also created wedding and special occasion cakes over a 30-year period for hundreds of customers.
Since childhood, Rita was a member of Duluth First United Methodist Church where she was involved in almost every aspect of church and community service. She loved her confirmation students, Sunday school pupils, and singing in the choir. Rita cooked many meals at the church and lovingly organized bereavement meals for her church family. She made three mission trips, and her attempts to speak languages ranging from Spanish to Peruvian with her southern accent drew many quizzical looks.
Rita lost her husband David L. Westbrook following a long illness on April 23. She spent months caring for him, both in the hospital and at home, rarely leaving his side.
She leaves her parents, Robert C. (Bobby) and Frances Jones of Duluth; sister Linda Jones Tonge of Atlanta; brother Robert C. Jones Jr. and his wife Sandy Cecil Jones of Huntsville, AL. Rita loved her nephews and niece Jack S. Tonge III (Trey) of Lawrenceville, Zachary K. Tonge of Sandy Springs, and Emily F. Tonge of San Diego, CA. She considered Erica Dougherty, Edna, Frieda, Tim, Anna, and Jamie Westbrook family along with Steven, Melody, and Henry Gunter.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Duluth First United Methodist Church for a designated memorial to be determined.
(Editor’s note: Obituary information provided by the Duluth Chapel of Bill Head Funeral Home.)