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Rita Lilly Berthay, “RiRi”, 64, went to be with the Lord on October 6th, of 2020 after a battle with an extended illness. She was surrounded by her family and went peacefully into God’s arms. Rita was born on November 5th, 1955 to Evelyn Price and Gene Lilly at Kings Daughter Hospital in Greenville, MS. She married Michael Berthay on November 24th, 1979 and shortly after moved to Saltillo, MS and raised two boys.
Rita graduated from the University of Mississippi with a bachelor’s degree in social work and continued her education and obtained her master’s degree. She had 28 years of dedicated service to social work, mental health, and counseling. She retired from her field of work this past July as the CEO of Lifecore Health Group. She was extremely passionate about her work and took great pride in helping those that were in need. To her, she never worked a day. Work was replaced with passion, employees turned into lifelong friends, and a career became a purpose. She touched so many lives and enjoyed going in to work every day. In addition, she had a heart for law enforcement and was instrumental in implementing the Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) to train local law enforcement on handling individuals with mental health issues. Rita was deeply passionate about the Law Enforcement Community and enjoyed providing training that could better prepare and protect officers.
Rita’s greatest joy and largest accomplishment of her life was her family. She took so much pride in taking care of her loved one’s. she was by far the most selfless person you would ever meet, everything she did was always with the mind set of helping others. Nothing made her happier than spending time with her two granddaughters, Ava and Mary, and absolutely spoiling them. Rita was the heart and soul of the Berthay family. She loved her two sons more than anything in the world and was the solid rock for her husband of 42 years. Rita was a member of the first united Methodist church in Saltillo, MS. she was extraordinarily strong in her faith and a devout Christian. She took comfort in walking and talking with the Lord on a regular basis.
Rita is survived by her husband, Mike Berthay, of 42 years. Her two sons, Clint Berthay and his wife Ashley Berthay and their daughter Mary Michael Berthay. Ryan Berthay and his wife Amanda Berthay and their daughter Ava Lilly Berthay. Her brother James Price and his wife Pam Price and her nephew, Jamie Price. Special mention of Carolyn Clary, her sister in law, and her nephew, Bo Clary. She is preceded in death by her mother Evelyn price and her father Gene Lilly.
Services will be held at Waters Funeral Home on Sunday, October 11, at 2:00 p.m. with Rev. Tim Green officiating. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. till 2 p.m.
Pallbearers are Doug Holland, Scotty Dillard, Larry Ray, Will Morgan, Wesley Roberts, Tyler Robison, Austin Speck, and AJ Dillard.
In lieu of flowers you can make donations to Glioblastoma Foundation, P. O. Box 62066, Durham, N. C. 27715or infoglioblastomafoundation.org
Expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family @www.watersfuneralservice.com
You changed my mourning into dancing. You took off my funeral clothes and dressed me up in joy. Psalm 30:11