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Teresita Leonor McNitt Rivas, 56, died on Monday, February 18, 2013 of heart and kidney failure.

Teresita was born to her late parents, Terence K. McNitt and Leonor Marie McNitt (Rivas) in San Francisco, CA. April 25, 1956. After the death of her mother in 1965, and following her father's remarriage, she was adopted by her step mother Barbara. She graduated from Lincoln High school in San Francisco in 1974.

Teresita worked at the phone company until 2000 when she was put on permanent disability. She was married twice and had 3 children, the late Christopher George Kates, Matthew Terence Kates and Monica Corin Kates, 3 step children, Michelle Lea Kates, Brian James Kates and Kathryn Jean Nicole Soderholm and 2 adopted children, Cecelia Leonor Villalobos Kates (also her granddaughter) and Angelica Leonor Rivas. She would say that being a mother was her ultimate job. Her "purpose".

Teresita was a loving, compassionate and giving woman. She loved nature and all living things. She had a wonderful sense of humor; and while most people would see her life as tragic, she saw it as a mission. She moved around a lot as a child and as an adult but she found her home on Whidbey Island and even after she moved away she still considered it home.

Teresita is survived by her children, Matthew, Monica, Cecelia and Angelica, her step children, Michelle, Brian and Kathryn, as well as 7 granddaughters and four grandsons. She is also survived by siblings, John, Laura, Kyle, Mike, Steve and Mary;
and her step mother Barbara Morgan.

03 On April 25, 2013, Teresita's children will place her ashes near those of her much beloved eldest son, Christopher, during a private ceremony at Langley Woodman Cemetary on Whidbey Island.

Following this private service, they will host a celebration of her life for her large extended family and many friends, at the Bayview Community Hall in Langley, WA. (Map & more info here.)

~ Obituary lovingly composed by Teresita's daughter, Monica Kates ~