Rita Prizgintas Gilmore passed away peacefully on February 14, surrounded by family in her final days. She was a 50-year resident of Pacific Palisades, known for her community spirit and love of the outdoors.
Rita was born in Vilnius, Lithuania, in 1940. Her family fled the violence of World War II, arriving in Los Angeles in 1950 as part of a refugee program.
She graduated from Immaculate Heart High School, after which she spent time working at Mammoth Mountain. She met her husband, Ed, in 1963 and married in 1964. They moved to Pacific Palisades in 1969, where they raised their three children, Kristina, Ann and Peter.
An artist with many creative interests, Rita loved ceramics, jewelry making, knitting, stained glass and silk painting. She was a pillar in the local running community, completing dozens of marathons around the world.
Nothing made her happier than running on the trails in her beloved Santa Monica Mountains. As an avid gardener, Rita created a backyard garden that was inspired by the native plants she loved in the local canyons and hillsides.
Rita’s love of the outdoors carried over into environmental causes, including her work for the grass-roots “No Oil” campaign that stopped oil drilling in Pacific Palisades.
In 1990, she organized the first school-wide earthquake preparedness program at Paul Revere Middle School. Her fund raising efforts to resurface the Palisades High School track were recognized by the Palisades community with the Spark Plug Award in 1993.
Her community spirit and love of the outdoors came together in her many adventures with the Machas, a group of lively and vivacious women who enjoy life together.
She will be remembered lovingly by her husband, Ed, her children, Kris, Ann and her son-in-law, Danny, with their children, Evan and Ella, and her son Peter and daughter-in-law, Liz, and their children, Josie and Sam.
Rita had dementia for many years. She attended Opica Adult Day Care, where she received outstanding memory care support. In lieu of flowers, please donate online to opica.org
Her memorial will be on Saturday, March 9, at 2 p.m. at Stewart Hall in Temescal Gateway Park, located at 15601 W. Sunset Blvd in Pacific Palisades.
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