Cover photo for Rita June Critchfield's Obituary
Rita June Critchfield Profile Photo
1943 Rita 2023

Rita June Critchfield

April 4, 1943 — October 8, 2023

Rita June Williams Critchfield passed away at home surrounded by family on October 8, 2023, due to cancer.  


She joined the growing family of Freeman and Gladys Williams on April 4, 1943, in Malad City, Idaho. The sixth of ten children, she learned the importance of faith, family, education, and service at an early age. She attended school in Glenns Ferry, Idaho, where she distinguished herself as valedictorian of her senior class.


Following high school, summer work in Stanley, Idaho introduced her to the only and "most eligible bachelor" of the area, her eternal sweetheart, Jay. Highlights from their lifelong courtship include their temple sealing in Logan, UT on September 13, 1963, and their 60th wedding anniversary celebrated with family earlier this year.


After one year at BYU, Rita transferred to Utah State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in education. She worked in special education until choosing to be home when blessed with children.


After relocating to northern Idaho in the early 1970's, Rita and Jay established a State Farm Insurance agency in Post Falls in 1973. Always by Jay's side, Rita worked tirelessly to provide support and performed administrative services behind the scenes while managing a busy household. Work opportunities relocated the family to Lewiston, Idaho in 1987, and then to Pocatello in 1995.


Rita embraced hard work, had a sharp mind, loved reading, and developed many talents she used to bless others, including writing, editing, publishing, sewing, and quilting. Her favorite writings included her journals and extensive family history volumes. Her heartfelt expressions were baby blankets, Christmas quilts, and wedding quilts made for the family.


One of her greatest joys was sharing her testimony of the Savior, which she acquired through study and service. She served throughout her life at church, schools, and in the community, and fulfilled responsibilities with the Young Women, Relief Society, Scouting, and in the Idaho Falls Temple. One of her favorite callings was teaching special needs seminary. An advocate for learning, she used her knowledge and talents to support educators, encourage posterity, and volunteer in schools, including the elementary school library. She was also quick to identify and lend a hand to individuals in need.


Adventures with Jay started with college summer work on fire lookout in Idaho, internships in Alaska, and international travel to the Caribbean, Europe, and Africa. Throughout her life, Rita cherished her role as wife and mother. Walking lockstep with Jay, she is forever his trusted confidant, counselor, and love of his life.


She is preceded in death by her parents, Freeman and Gladys Williams; parents-in-law, Andrew "Bud" and Stella Critchfield; son, Jared Critchfield; grandson, Benjamin Brereton; siblings and spouses, Jack and Eileen Williams, Gary Williams, Reed and Hilda Williams, Lawrence Critchfield (Joy), Don Gross (Anne), Terry and Suzette Perrin, and Roger Malmstrom (Gloria).


She is survived by her husband, Jay Critchfield; children, Kimberly Brereton (Robert, Sr.), Angelica Perrier (Randall), Bridger Critchfield (Cynthia), Susie Critchfield, 12 grandchildren; 10 great grandchildren; siblings and spouses, Kaiti Williams (Gary), Joy and Wilford Durrant, Anne Gross (Don), Susan Perrin (Terry), Brent and Pat Williams, Gloria Malmstrom (Roger), and Christine and Wes Wootan.

Visitation is scheduled on Thursday, October 12, 2023, at 9:00 am MDT at the Tyhee Stake Center, 12146 W Tyhee Rd, Pocatello, Idaho 83202. The Funeral Service will follow at 11:00 am MDT. A Graveside Service will be held 10:00 am PDT on Saturday, October 14, 2023, at Normal Hill Cemetery in Lewiston, Idaho.


In lieu of flowers, the family suggests making a donation to Primary Childrens Medical Center, 100 N Mario Capecchi Dr., Salt Lake City, UT 84113, (801) 662-6560. The family would like to thank all for the outpouring of love and condolences and all those who worked to bring comfort and peace to Rita.


Memories and condolences may be shared by visiting the Tribute Wall tab above.


To view a webcast of Rita's services, please follow the link below.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rita June Critchfield, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

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Thursday, October 12, 2023

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Funeral Ceremony

Thursday, October 12, 2023

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Graveside Service

Saturday, October 14, 2023

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