Rita Jarboe

Rita Pauline Jarboe (Sims)

Saturday, January 19th, 2019
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Rita Pauline Jarboe (Sims) completed her journey on January 19, 2019, following a brief illness. She was 92 years old (“I am 92, you know”). Rita was preceded in death by her loving husband, the late James E. Jarboe, her parents, Damon and Roberta Sims, and all of her siblings, Marietta Sims Sturgeon, Vandalee Sims Thompson, Maxine Sims, James T. Sims, and Jean Sims Thomas. She is survived by her five loving children, Kaaren Jarboe Hellmueller (Jack), J. Michael Jarboe (Lydia), Janice Jarboe Wiseman (Charles), Jeffrey J. Jarboe (Anita), and Nancy Jarboe Gatewood (whose husband, Gregory, is deceased); her grandchildren, Tara Delk Robinson (Chris), Joseph C. Jarboe (Alicia), Jillian S. Jarboe (Jason), Sara Gatewood, and Samuel Gatewood; and her great grandchildren, Aidan Robinson and Molly Robinson; and her numerous and beloved nieces and nephews, and step families.

As a youth, Rita was an outstanding student, a spelling champion, and an enthusiastic tennis player. She played the cornet in her school band and attended Presentation Academy, where she was always at the top of her class. While at Presentation, she met the love of her life – the St. X basketball player from Holy Name Parish, Jim Jarboe, who stole her heart during their many outings. At the end of World War II, and Jim’s return from the Navy, they were married at St. Louis Bertrand in 1946. Their early life together took them to numerous locales as Jim became a Special Agent with the FBI, ultimately settling in the Philadelphia suburb of Haddonfield, NJ. There, they enjoyed a small-town lifestyle amidst the big city challenges of work and play and growing a family. Upon Jim’s untimely death at age 36, Rita returned to her native Louisville, where she raised her five children as a single parent and enjoyed living the challenges and triumphs that seemed to define every day. Although widowed at age 35, Rita continued her love affair with her late husband, Jimmy, by cherishing his memory for the rest of her life and by raising their children to embrace all the good in life. Her lifelong devotion to her family has become a matter of legend and she was a true participant in the diverse careers of each of her children.

As a woman of faith, Rita was a long-standing member of Holy Spirit Parish and maintained her strong devotion to the Blessed Mother throughout her life, which included a pilgrimage to Lourdes, France, with her gravely ill husband. Rita took great pride in being able to do anything and everything – whether it was painting every room in her house, hanging curtains, cooking gourmet meals for dozens, or explaining the consequence of world events in long conversations with family and friends. Later in life, she loved her patio home, reading her Kindle, going to Krogers, dining with friends, or simply spending time with her children and grandchildren. She most enjoyed Christmas and the ever-expanding Christmas Eve Presentations that were staged in her honor every Christmas Eve for over 30 years. While a beloved and revered parent, she was also -- and always -- and a true friend, mentor, caregiver, confidant, counselor, comforter, coach, partner, and champion in the lives of her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, her many friends, and all who had the pleasure to know her.

The family extend their gratitude to Rita’s long-time personal physician, Doctor Thomas Murrow, and to Doctor Jane Cornett, and to the staff of the Morton Neighborhood at the Episcopal Church Home who provided hours of comfort and direction to Rita and her family.

Friends and family will be received on Wednesday, January 23, 2019, at the Highlands Funeral Home, 3331 Taylorsville Road, Louisville, KY 40205 from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm and Rita’s life will be celebrated with a Mass of Christian Burial on Thursday, January 24, 2019, at 10:00 am at the Church of the Holy Spirit on Lexington Rd. The family suggests that, in lieu of flowers, remembrances be made in Rita’s honor to Catholic Charities of Louisville, Kentucky, or the Episcopal Church Home in Louisville, Kentucky.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019 | 2:00pm - 8:00pm
    Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019 2:00pm - 8:00pm
    Highlands Funeral Home
    3331 Taylorsville Rd.
    Louisville, KY 40205
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Thursday, January 24th, 2019 | 10:00am
    Thursday, January 24th, 2019 10:00am
    Holy Spirit Catholic Church
    3345 Lexington Rd
    Louisville, LA 40207
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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The Pegurri s, Bill, Melaney, Jana and Robbie, and other have sent flowers to the family of Rita Pauline Jarboe (Sims).
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Geraldine (Jerry) Merrill

Posted at 12:10pm
Remembering our bridge club stories that were so hilarious. We had a classroom full of kids between the 8 of us, and we hardly had time to play cards. Rita always had this twinkle in her eye and positive attitude. She touched the lives of so many of us. She was very special. Geraldine (Jerry) Merrill

Troy Baker

Posted at 10:28am
We were privileged to know Rita via the many stories and anecdotes shared by the Jarboe family over the years. The love and respect evident each time her name was mentioned is testament to an extraordinary woman. Our thoughts are with you as you celebrate a life well-lived.
Love, Troy & Cathy Baker

Mary Anne Dille

Posted at 05:59pm
I have heard stories about Rita for decades and had the pleasure of meeting her in her lovely home years ago. She was a warm and enthusiastic hostess and has left a rich, far reaching legacy of family devotion. With our sympathy, Mary Anne Dille

The Pegurri s

Posted at 05:44pm
Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. She was a special woman who will be missed. Much love from Rick & Bonnie and Rick & Amanda Pegurri.
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The Pegurri s purchased flowers for the family of Rita Pauline Jarboe (Sims). Send Flowers


Bill, Melaney, Jana and Robbie

Posted at 02:34pm
Please accept our most heartfelt sympathies for your loss... Our thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.
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Bill, Melaney, Jana and Robbie purchased flowers for the family of Rita Pauline Jarboe (Sims). Send Flowers


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