Obituary of Rita Anna Bohn
Rita was born in Esslingen West Germany in 1945, to Anna Berta Mertz and Franz Freynfeld.
Rita grew up in a farming community and worked on the farm. She told many stories of milking cows, feeding chickens and working on the farm. That is where her large working hands began. As she got older, she lived with a butcher’s family and worked in the butchery, this was common in those days of Germany. There was never a time where she did not work and she told us the stories of her walking for miles to a small school that went from Kindergarten to the twelfth grade. Like little house on the prairie in Germany. Rita went up to the eighth grade which was normal for that time period. She said her mother worked as a nurse during the war. Rita went on to work for a lawyer’s family in Heidelberg West Germany near the age of sixteen. She attended beauty school to learn how to be a cosmetologist. In those days, you mixed your colors with acids and she told the story of the rubber glove having a hole and the strong acids leaked into the glove of her right hand. The acid caused severe damage to her right hand and the hospital wanted to amputate it. Her mother would not allow that and her hand was saved and she learned how to use it again.
Rita later worked as a bartender in her early twenties in Heidelberg West Germany at a bar called the Ponderosa. She lived in an apartment above the bar during 1966. She met Monte Bohn, who was in the United States Army. Mom would talk about Monte having a girlfriend when he met mom, he fell in love and left his girlfriend for mom. They fell in love and got married August of 1968. Rita moved to Monte’s home town of Salinas, Ca on the East side with her two daughters Michaela and Jacky from Germany in 1972. As time passed and life takes you in different directions, Monte and Rita divorced in 1978, however they always told people and their daughters, that each one was the love of their life and will always be no matter who comes into their lives.
Rita continued bartending and worked at different bars in Salinas such as; Otto's Queen of Hearts, Quality Inn Town House which later changed ownership to the Barbary Coast Inn. She worked at the Valley Center Bowl for many years. She later worked at Lyons on South Main Street where she finished her bartending career. Anyone who remembers Rita, can remember how she made them feel special and would remember what they liked to drink and eat because she paid attention to the details and always wanted her customers to feel special, she truly loved her job in serving people and making them happy. After working in the bartending industry for over 35 years, she began a new career at Costco in Sand City at the age of 55. Her work ethic and tenacity was like no other, anyone who knew her or worked with her knew this about her. She started off pushing carts, filling the rotisserie chicken ovens stacking chickens on large metal bars in the rotisserie ovens, which I have never seen a woman do, only my mother. She was such a strong woman physically and took care of her family for many years. She got the job that she truly loved, which was in the Food Court making Pizza’s, salads and taking care of customers. She loved working there and anyone who remembers her from Costco, whether customers or co-workers, knows she was one of a kind, special in every sense of the word. After working for Costco 20 years, she finally retired, reluctantly, at age 75.
Her German strength never waivered and to hear her German Accent was special to anyone who knew her. Rita loved her daughters and was heart broken when her daughter Michaela passed away unexpectedly in 2015. Michaela worked for Tulare County for many years as a Drug and Alcohol Coordinator. From Michaela Mertz Merjil there are five grandchildren, CaSandra Rodriguez, Jaime Rodriguez, Destiney Maduro, Nadine Villa, and “Georgie”. From these grandchildren there are great grandchildren; Elianna, Izabella, Skyler, Jaime Rodriguez 111, Sandra, McKenzie and Brody Maduro and Eleanor Ramos. Son in law, Brandon West, Son in law, David Maduro. Daughter in law, Megan Silva Rodriguez. Her daughter Jacky Bohn has twin grandsons, Ashton and Kai. Daughter in law Gina Bohn. Rita had two sons, Michael Back and Kally Branner who reside in Germany. Michael has a daughter Melanie and son Chris and a grandson. Rita moved to Visalia Ca. for a short time and was able to meet and share memories with her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She moved back to Monterey County recently and unexpectedly passed away. She passed away peacefully with her daughter Jacky and her daughter in law Gina by her side. While Rita is gone from our physical sight, her legacy lives on in her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Rita was like a rock, strong, rough around the edges and as you crack it open, there is a beautiful gem inside. Those of you who cracked the rock got to experience the true magic of Rita “Legs” Bohn.
We are grateful to Gentiva Hospice out of Visalia Ca. for their caring and kindness with mom. You made her feel taken care of and seen and heard. Gentiva Hospice was instrumental in the care of mom and helped us transfer her with ease to VNA Hospice of Monterey County. VNA took the wheel and steered mom into a peaceful end of life and I am truly grateful for them. The family would like to thank Healey Mortuary for their compassion and professionalism with mom.
Celebration of life for Rita will be planned sometime in the future where her ashes will be scattered in the ocean near Lovers Point where she wished to rest.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rita Bohn, please visit Tribute Store