Rita Monasterio

Obituary of Rita Ann Monasterio

Rita Monasterio died suddenly on Sunday March 5, 2023 of a pulmonary embolism.  She was younger than her age and her spirit was transcendent.   Rita was a dancer, singer, therapist, artist, healer, outdoor adventurer, and connector of hearts.  Born in Oakland, California, Rita was a second-generation immigrant from both the Basque Country of Spain and Central Mexico. Raised in San Diego and Lompoc California, in the 1950’s and 1960’s, she was a lover of the ocean, beaches, sunsets, and the music that reflected the time.  Her inner passion was dance.

Rita moved to Idaho in the 1970’s and began raising her family.  She became a professional ballet dancer and operated a dance studio. She was happily engaged in musical theatre.  While in Idaho she also worked for Grand Canyon Dories and became a part owner of Salmon River Dories, where she fell in love with how river running brought nature so close to her soul. Rita completed her BA from Lewis & Clark State College before leaving Idaho.

From Idaho, Rita moved her family to Eugene and enrolled in the Dance Science Master’s program at the University of Oregon.  Rita made Eugene her home for the past 35 years, and she gave the community all her heart.  Always evolving as a person and learning to connect the mind, body, and spirit Rita studied Integrated Manual Therapy and began incorporating it, along with a variety other healing and wellness modalities, in her holistic health practice.  Her approach and skills in improving the wellbeing of others were unique only to her. With her dancing career behind her Rita joined the Radar Angels and other performing artists engaging with the Oregon Country Fair as a performer.  She found her singing voice and spent the last two decades performing with Soromundi Lesbian Chorus of Eugene. Rita also loved to create and found her way into sculpting opportunities at the University of Oregon, Lane Community College and in a circle of peers, allowing her to express her personal insights into the human form.

For those who knew Rita, her approach to life was inspiring.  She always found a way to align with those she could learn from and share with. She was in a constant pursuit of artistic expression, deeper connectivity, and personal growth.  Her life ended in the midst of her perpetual upswing.

Rita leaves us as a daughter, a wife, a mother of two, a grandmother of four, and a deep friend to so many that she committed to share her heart with.

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A Memorial Tree was planted for Rita
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Musgroves - Musgrove Mortuary