Rita Kathleen (Boyle) Younkin-Bradshaw died June 12, 2023, at Kansas Christian Home, in Newton, Kansas. She was born to Margaret and William Boyle on March 2, 1921, in Carluke, Scotland. Her parents planned to make the voyage to the United States, but Rita was unable to make the trip with them because she only weighted three pounds at birth. Her grandparents insisted that Margaret and William make the transition to the United States and William began his job working for the railroad, and they would care for Rita until she was able to join them. Rita lived in Scotland with her grandparents until she was two years old, when her grandmother brought her to the United States to join her parents. To get everyone acclimated, Rita’s grandmother stayed with her and her parents for six months in the United States. Rita graduated from Newton High School in 1939. Prepared to attend Emporia State University in the fall, her plans changed when she was offered a job at Southwestern Bell Telephone Company working in the office. Having made the acquaintance of George Younkin through friends, the two were set up on a date, and as they say, the rest is history. The two married October 18, 1943, at United Brethren Methodist Church in Newton, now known as Salem United Methodist Church.
Rita left her job at SW Bell and they moved to San Francisco, CA where George was stationed with the Army. November 1945 both George and Rita were able to come back home to Newton. Their son Bill was born December 7, 1945. He was involved in sports, and Midget car racing. George and Bill spent countless hours working on the car, getting it ready for races. When Bill started school Rita went back to work, spending a few years at Montgomery Wards in Newton, then Guerdon Industries, working in the office for over 19 years until the offices closed. Rita then went to work at Bethel Deaconess Hospital in office and remained there for the better part of 13 years until she retired. The couple had property at Marion Lake, where they spent numerous weekends camping, fishing, and boating with friends and family, including grandsons Scott and Stacy. George was a police officer and naturally made the acquaintance of people around town, he learned that a newcomer to Newton, Walter Bradshaw, who was starting the Dairy Queen, had a wife and child that remained in their hometown of Pittsburg, Kansas, until Walt was able to establish a home in Newton so that the family could join him. Rita and George would have Walt over for dinner, and they developed a wonderful friendship over the years. Both George and Rita even worked for Walt at the Dairy Queen. In 1982, after 36 wonderful years together, George passed away. Rita found comfort in her family and friends during this time.
When Newton High School had its 100th anniversary celebration, Bill came home, and so did Walt’s children. The two families ran into each other at the celebration, and eventually Walt, who lost his wife in 1988 asked Rita to have dinner. The two married in 1991 and spent 17 happy years together. The two families blended well. Walt and Rita traveled together and also enjoyed spending time at Marion Lake together. Rita saw a program on the Suez Canal when she was in the 4th grade, and from that point forward always dreamed of seeing it. She and Walt were able to go see Suez Canal together, they also took several cruises together. Walt passed in July 2006, but the ties that were made with the family remained. Rita and Walt’s children remained in contact and enjoyed keeping up with each other’s lives. Rita loved animals, reading, playing cards, and oil painting. She remained an active member of Salem United Methodist Church, Beta Sigma Phi sorority, Kansas Elks, American Legion Auxiliary, and VFW Auxiliary. She also volunteered at the hospital gift shop for 5 years.
Rita is survived by grandchildren Scott (Crystal Ahlin) Younkin, Cooper Younkin, Dakota Younkin, Marcie Younkin, step granddaughter, Autumn Ahlin, Stacy (Phyllis) Younkin, Shelby (DJ) Zahn, William Younkin, and Nick Younkin.
She is preceded in death by her parents husbands and favorite little dog Rocket
Visitation for Rita is Thursday, June 15, 2023, at Petersen Funeral Home in Newton, Kansas. From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. A graveside service is planned for Friday, June 16th at 10:00 a.m. at Greenwood Cemetery in Newton.
Memorials can be made to Salem United Methodist church or Caring Hands Humane Society in care of Petersen Funeral Home.