Rita Ann Redding (née Dembowski) passed away peacefully at her Arlington home of 36 years in the early morning hours of March 8, 2022 - International Women’s Day. Rita was born in Olean, New York in 1931. After graduating from the School of Nursing at E.J. Meyer Memorial Hospital in Buffalo, she meandered throughout Europe with a friend. She then moved to Washington, D.C. to work as an emergency room nurse at Georgetown University Hospital, where she met her future husband, Dr. Mark Leo Redding, Jr. They eventually settled down on an antebellum farm outside Hanover, Pennsylvania to raise their four children. She was ahead of her time in many ways including her love of free-roaming travel abroad, historic preservation, research on learning disabilities, advocacy for bike lanes in the early 1960s, and nutritional medicine and healing.
After Rita was widowed suddenly at age 42, she restarted her healthcare career by completing her BS degree in Hospital Record Room Administration from York College–while continuing to raise her four children. She moved to the Arlington-Alexandria area in the early 1980s to head up the Medical Records Department at the Alexandria Hospital, and later managed two different gynecologists’ offices in Alexandria. She worked full time until she was 81.
When her son Mark survived a car crash and traumatic brain injury in 1987, she devoted herself to his recovery. She was heavily involved in his participation with Brain Injury Services of Northern Virginia and the GWU Speech and Hearing Clinic. She was a member of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Alexandria. She enjoyed gardening on her patio, DIY furniture refinishing, and collecting antiques, silk scarves, and Polish pottery. As an octogenarian, she enjoyed walking, traveling, visiting craft fairs, and attending shows at the Kennedy Center. She is survived by her four children: Rita “Bunny” Marie (Tom) Bubniak of Leesburg, Anne Denise of Norfolk, Mark Joseph of Arlington, Robert David (Carolyn) of Springfield as well as her two grand-children Lydia and Evan Bubniak, and many nieces and nephews. She was truly one of a kind!
We will host a reception in celebration of her life 1-4 pm on Saturday, April 2nd at Everly-Wheatley on West Braddock Road in Alexandria, Virginia. Please join us to share your memories of her. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Brain Injury Services of Northern Virginia in her memory.
To send flowers to Rita's family, please visit our floral store.