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Rita Thoman McGinty

Died: June 18, 2020

Rita Thoman McGinty passed away peacefully in her sleep on June 18, 2020 at the age of 90. She was born in Sterling, Illinois on the morning of October 29, 1929 – the day the Stock Market crashed. She often noted that the events were not mere coincidence. Her parents were Robert and Vera Thoman. When her father wasn…read more

Rita Thoman McGinty passed away peacefully in her sleep on June 18, 2020 at the age of 90. She was born in Sterling, Illinois on the morning of October 29, 1929 – the day the Stock Market crashed. She often noted that the events were not mere coincidence. Her parents were Robert and Vera Thoman. When her father wasn’t delivering mail as the local postman, he played piano in speakeasies and once chatted with Babe Ruth. No doubt influenced by her father, Rita began playing the piano and organ at an early age. She became her church’s organist in the 8th grade. Rita’s musical talent was so exceptional that at the end of her first college music class the professor motioned her over and told her privately: “You’ve got an A; no need to come back the rest of the semester.” Rita was the first person in her family to go to college. She graduated in music education from Northern Illinois University and joined the Women’s Army Corps (the WACs) so she could take advantage of the GI Bill and attend graduate school. In her later years, she said that joining the US Army was the best decision she ever made. While a 1st Lt. in the WACs her plans for graduate school were interrupted by another officer: a tall Irishman with a great smile, 2nd Lt. Andrew “Andy” McGinty, Jr. Andy and Rita were married in 1955. Although Rita took McGinty as her last name, she continued to outrank Andy throughout their 53-year marriage. After leaving the Army, Andy began working for Shell Oil, and Rita supplemented the family income by giving piano lessons in the various south Louisiana towns to which Andy was transferred. In almost every place they lived Rita also directed the local Catholic church choir. Rita also performed at innumerable weddings, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and Christmas Eve parties (with varying degrees of enthusiasm) but always with great admiration from her audience. The most exotic transfer location for Andy and Rita was a 3-year stay in Saudi Arabia. A lifelong feminist and advocate for the ERA, the years they spent in the Middle East had a lasting and often humorous effect on Rita, and she would often regale friends and family with her opinions of the male-dominated Arab culture she observed on a daily basis. From Saudi Arabia, Andy and Rita circumnavigated the globe several times, amassing a remarkable collection of rugs, household accessories and artwork. Rita pretended she had a stern demeanor, but when caught off guard with a joke or a humorous observation, she would purse her lips and concede a small smile at the corners of her mouth, conceding that she really did have a good sense of humor. She was a member of the American Association of University Women and loved her ongoing OLLI education classes at LSU. Andy died in 2008, and Rita moved back to Baton Rouge from Houston where she would be close to her sons and their families. She was preceded in death by her brother, Bob, and is survived by her daughters Kathleen (Jim) Bailey, Eileen (John) West, her sons Andrew (Janet) McGinty III, and Tim (Toni) McGinty. Rita had 11 grandchildren (one deceased) and 4 great grandchildren. Her family wishes to thank Baton Rouge Hospice and the Ollie Steele Burden Nursing Home for their wonderful care. A service will be held on Tuesday, June 23 at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 11441 Goodwood Boulevard, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The eulogy will begin at 9:45am with a burial mass at 10am. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to either the Women’s Army Museum, 2100 A Avenue, Bldg 5219, Fort Lee, VA 23801 or Rice University Shepherd School of Music, MS 532, PO Box 1892, Houston TX 77251-1892.

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Service Information

Service Information

Date: Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Time: 10:00 am -

St. Thomas More Catholic Church

Address:

11441 Goodwood Boulevard
Baton Rouge, LA 70815

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