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Rita Emma Jane Hefley Paschal

Rita Emma Jane Hefley Paschal

Rita Emma Jane Hefley Paschal, age 82, died peacefully September 15 in Little Rock, Ark. She was born February 27th, 1935, to the late Lowell J. and Ruby Criner Hefley, in Mt. Judea, Ark., although her parents were living in Memphis at the time. Rita was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Vail Meek Paschal.

Rita is survived by her daughters, Rita Paschal Wooley (Brad) and Ronda Paschal Dorchester (Charlie); her grandchildren, Elizabeth Dearing, Bradley Wooley (Lindsey), Ruby Dorchester, Leland Dorchester and Vail Dorchester; and one great-grandchild, Jack Wilson Wooley. She is also survived by her brother, Bill F. Hefley, Little Rock, and his family; and a close cousin, Jonijane Paxton, Little Rock.

Fiercely independent, Rita was an elegant and stylish woman who lived a life filled with family, friends, and a wide variety of interests and activities. She graduated from Little Rock High School, where she played flute and piccolo in the marching and concert bands and was a member of the National Honor Society. She then graduated from Little Rock Junior College (now UALR) with an Associate’s Degree in Home Economics. At LRJC, she was active in the theater and was a member of Delta Zeta Phi sorority.

Rita was a talented gardener—flowers in particular—and belonged to several garden clubs. She was an excellent and competitive bridge player. Indeed, some of her closest and longest friendships started at the bridge table; she and her POTTS bridge club friends played, traveled and enjoyed each other for more than 61 years. During her daughters’ school years, Rita was valued as a volunteer for Little Rock’s public schools, serving as PTA president and a Girl Scout leader. Both in Little Rock and Springdale, where she and Vail lived for seventeen years, Rita was active in P.E.O. and supported the educational philanthropies of that organization. She was employed for a number of years at the regional headquarters of World Book International in Little Rock, where she managed the office and was known as “the boss.” Rita was a veteran, enthusiastic traveler, and she and Vail took many cruises together all over the world, often with friends.

Rita was deeply spiritual. She and Vail were members of 2nd Presbyterian Church in Little Rock and 1st Presbyterian Church in Springdale. Rita played in the handbell choirs of both churches, and was also an ordained Elder, a Stephen leader and a Circle Leader.

The family would like to thank special caregiver, Nancy Grinder, Brookdale at Chenal Heights Memory Care staff, and Hospice Home Care.

Funeral services, officiated by Pastor Steve Hancock, will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, September 29, at 2nd Presbyterian Church, Little Rock; a reception will follow at the church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to 2nd Presbyterian Church, Alzheimer’s Arkansas, the Alzheimer’s Association or the Buffalo River Watershed Alliance. Arrangements are by Ruebel Funeral Home; the online guestbook can be signed at

Condolence Book

"My love and prayers are with you all. The loss of such a gracious, kind and warm-hearted lady will be felt by many. The childhood memories we made together will especially stay with me always. I love you all.

AvaNell Friddle | Scottsdale, AZ |

"The long goodbye has come to an end. Love and heartfelt condolences. Peace be with you all. "
Karen Hooks | Little rock, AR |

Christopher Scott Acuff | Harrison, AR |

"Rita I am so sorry to here about your mother may God be with you family"
penny roberts | Alexander arkansas |

"You've all been in our prayers since we heard, and you always will be. She is at peace now, and she can see and remember everything! Blessings! We'll see you at the service. We love you!"
Kevin & Susan Porter | Little Rock, AR |

Your mom and dad were always very special to me. They were "big" senior role models in the LRHS Tiger Marching and Concert Bands when I was a "lowly" sophomore. Then in later years, I renewed my friendship with your dad when he was a pharmacist at OSCO Drug on Main Street. Then it's a "small world" continued as my wife became active in Chapter W with you and (I think) your mother.

May your many fond memories comfort you and your sister."

Mike McWilliams | Little Rock, AR |

"My condolences to your family. My parents Bill and Becky Kerr we're school mates and friends with your parents. Wakefield Pharmacy and UAMS. Bill Hefley went to high school, jr college and pre med with my Dad. I hope you are comforted at this time. Your family will be in our prayers.

Becky Green | Conway, AR |

"My heart goes out to your family at this sad time. Your mother was a joyful and generous person. "
Robert Tucker | HOT SPRINGS, AR |

"I have very fun memories of sitting in the kitchen while a 9TH grader helping crack wild walnuts while she made cheese roll Christmas logs. "
Jeff Webb | North Little Rock, AR |

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time. Peace and blessings to you."

Kay McGehee | Little Rock, AR |

"I graduated with Rita in May 1952 from Little Rock Senior High School and had classes with her. I remember her well and actually thought of her recently. I enjoyed knowing her. She was a really nice person. God's blessings and prayers for your family. "
Dorothy L. Moore Wall | Oklahoma City , OK |

"Both your mom and dad were some of the most gracious and interesting people I ever met."
Patti Evans | Mount Kisco, NY |

"Our condolences to you at this sad time. Your Mom was a wonderful and caring lady. I will always remember her beautiful smile. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers."
Jeff, Natalie and Pauline Hefley | Southlake, TX |

"Dear Rita and Ronda, I was deeply saddened to
learn of your mother's passing. My family was
always so fond of her, your dad and both of you.
I have always been so grateful to you all for
hosting my sister Renee during high school years
so she could be a page at the legislature. You
were so kind and gracious and hospitable.
I am thinking of you and your families (and
Billy Frank) and praying that you will feel
sustained and comforted by God's loving spirit
and the love of your family and friends.
It was always a treat when we were able to
see you in Mt. Judea. I have such joyful
memories of your mom and grandmother and
their smiles and laughter!!
In loving sympathy, Kim Patterson Hoffman (Edwards
family from Mt. Judea)"

Kim Patterson Hoffman | Little Rock, AR |

"And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes,+ and death will be no more,+ neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.+ The former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4) This prophecy tells us that one day we will see our dead loved ones again in a new world! Please seek Jehovah God to see his promises fulfilled....."
CM | , GA |

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