Published: November 22, 2012
Rita Mae Hogue Traylor, age 84, died peacefully on November 20, 2012, in North Little Rock surrounded by her husband of 62 years, Robert Marion (Bob) Traylor, Jr. and their seven children. Rita was born July 20, 1928 in Bowling Green, Kentucky, the only child to the marriage of her late parents, John Walter Hogue of Newellton, Louisiana and Leta McGehee Winders, then of Natchez, Mississippi.
Her parents soon divorced with Leta and Rita returning home to Natchez where her upbringing was under the tutelage of Leta's mother (Della) and seven sisters (Retha, Rita, Arie, Pearl, Flora, Helen, and Judy). In 1937, Leta married Kenneth Winders, a civil engineer with Missouri Pacific Rail Road, and the three relocated to North Little Rock. Rita attended Fourth Street Junior High School and graduated high school with the Wildcat Class of 1946 where she distinguished herself as band majorette.
Her natural calling to soothe those in need led her to enroll in the School of Nursing at St. Vincent Infirmary where she scored second on the State Board Examination in 1949. She then embarked on a 46 year career as an Arkansas Registered Nurse. About the same time, she met Bob (also an only child with divorced parents) at a local dance, and after a whirlwind romance, they married April 30, 1950, and have been North Little Rock residents since.
Rita developed special skills as a maternity nurse, and many a baby was delivered under her care during stints at St Vincent and the Baptist System, particularly North Little Rock Baptist Memorial Hospital. Between hospital duties she was a marketing director for Imperial Diaper Service, a long ago age when diapers were laundered and reused. She retired from nursing in 1995 after a 23 year term as Administrator of Utilization Review, Office of Long Term Care, Arkansas Department of Human Resources.
Rita was a 62 year member of the United Methodist Church, the first 35 at Winfield (now Quapaw) and the remainder at Lakewood, where she especially enjoyed Wednesday night fellowship. For many years she was active in the North Little Rock Women's Garden Club, and had a love for animals.
Rita's enduring legacy will be her devotion to family and friends and her holding them together through thick and thin. One small example: by one count she organized and conducted more than 500 birthday parties for others, and selflessly, none for her.
Bob and Rita's children and their respective spouses are Robert Marion Traylor, III; Leta Elizabeth Traylor Fawcett and Bunn Fawcett of Texarkana, Arkansas; Teresa Marie Traylor Boykin and Lance Bradford Boykin; Daniel Murray Traylor and Mary Parkerson Traylor; Laura Angela Traylor Davidson and Richard Lee Davidson; Michelle Hogue Traylor Ketzscher and Charles Byron Ketzscher, II; and David Sanford Traylor and Courtney Niven Traylor. Bob and Rita's grandchildren and their respective spouses are Robert Marion Traylor IV and John McDaniel Traylor; Michelle Fawcett Canode and Ray Canode; Amanda Fawcett Campbell and Geoffrey Edward Campbell; David Benjamin Fawcett; Allison Murray Traylor; Angela Christine Davidson Rouse; Charles Byron Ketzscher III; Henry David Traylor and Scottie Elizabeth Traylor; and step-grandchildren, Landon Nicholas Boykin and Blake Austin Boykin. The couple's great grandchildren are Kaitlyn Rita-Marie Rouse and Sierra Nicole Rouse; Evan Ray Canode, Parker Ray Canode, and Davis Ray Canode; and Grayson Edward Campbell, yet to be born. Rita was predeceased by her half-brother, John Walter (Buddy) Hogue Jr., also of Newellton who died April 22, 2008 at age 78 from injuries suffered from an automobile accident. Buddy was survived by his wife Constance, and their nine sons and two daughters.
A short interment ceremony will be Friday, November 23, 2012 at 8:30 a.m. at Griffin Leggett Rest Hills Memorial Park, 7724 Landers Road in North Little Rock for those wishing to attend. A memorial service and reception will follow at 10:30 a.m. at Lakewood United Methodist Church, Fairway Avenue and Topf Road, North Little Rock. Memorials may be made to the church.