Rita Mary Mayes
Birth Date: January 26, 1922
Death Date: September 2, 2017
Rita Mary Mayes, 95, of Oakland, passed away peacefully Saturday, September 2, 2017 at the Piedmont Gardens skilled nursing center, with her son at her side. She was born January 26, 1922 in Manchester, Connecticut, daughter of the late Joseph and Sarah (Jackson) Balmer.
Rita grew up in Manchester, graduating from Manchester High School and working as a secretary at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft. After driving across the country to Livermore, California in 1953 to join Pratt & Whitney’s Hot Cell Division, she settled in Oakland and was employed as an administrative or executive secretary with “Q” Atomic Clearance on classified government projects at Lawrence Livermore Labs, Lawrence Berkeley Labs, Aerojet General Nucleonics, and United Technology Corp Solid Rocket Division, and later at Wiesbaden Air Base and U.S. Army Europe Headquarters in Germany.
Apart from Manchester and Oakland, she lived for extended periods around Wiesbaden, Germany, during the 1960s; in Heidelberg, Rome and London during the 1970s; in Hong Kong during the 1990s; and in New York from 1999 until a few months before her death.
She was preceded in death by her brother, J. Arthur Balmer and his wife, Bertha, formerly of Manchester. Rita is survived by a son, Adam Mayes of Oakland; a husband, Robert Mayes of Oakland; two nephews, Brian Balmer and Todd Hahn of Greenwich, Connecticut, and Brent Balmer of Manchester; and cousins including, Judy Morrison and husband, Don of Incline Village, Nevada, Linda Warner and husband, Ned of Belgrade, Maine, and Rick Rea and wife, Kathy of Lafayette, Louisiana.
A private cremation at Chapel of the Chimes, Oakland, will be held on Wednesday, September 13th, 2017. Memorial contributions may be made to The Salvation Army New York Citadel, 120 W. 14th Street, New York, NY 10011. Phone: (212) 337-7200 | Fax: (212) 337-7299. (In the Memo line please put: “In Memory of Rita M. Mayes.”)