Rita Jane Nesland 1943 - 2022

Rita Jane Greeno was born January 8, 1943, to Laton and Imogene Greeno. She was the second eldest of eight girls and was raised in rural South Dakota for her entire childhood. Rita was a girl of the South Dakota prairies. She graduated from Kidder High School in 1961 and attended Northern State Teachers College in Aberdeen, South Dakota, before going on to graduate from the University of Oregon.

On August 1, 1964, she married her first love, Larry Virgil Nesland. They soon moved to Newcastle, Wyoming, to pursue Larry’s first teaching job. They moved to Cottage Grove, Oregon, before settling in 1969 in McMinnville, Oregon, where they raised their family. Rita and Larry welcomed their first child, Brett, in May 1970, and their second child, Chad, in June 1975. Rita was a loving stay-at-home mother for most of her boys' lives. She loved nature, walking, painting, knitting, journaling and creating beauty with her hands. Rita and Larry raised their boys in McMinnville, coaching and cheering them on in various sports, music and taking fun vacations with family to Hawaii and Black Butte in the '80s. In their retirement, they moved to the countryside, enjoyed playing cards, taking long walks and spending joy-filled times with family and friends.

Rita was deeply empathetic and kind with many loyal friends she loved and adored. She invested and cultivated these friendships over a lifetime: writing letters, taking walks, participating in Junior Matrons meetings, studying the Bible and painting, to name a few. Rita worked at McMinnville High School's library alongside her mother, Imogene Greeno, and her husband, Larry (a teacher). Rita and Larry also chaperoned many American Heritage living history tours for high school students along with their close friends. Rita had an authentic and deep faith in Jesus, sharing this with her church, family and friends. Her art and journals are simple evidence of her heartfelt faith and hope. She was a member of the McCabe Chapel United Methodist Church near McMinnville.

After Larry passed away in October 2008, she found friendship and love with Leon Mayer. They were married October 26, 2010, and spent many joy-filled years together hiking, traveling to visit friends, family and grandchildren. Leon passed in September 2021.

Rita was kind, faithful and a deeply thoughtful friend, daughter, sister, wife, mother and grandmother ("Nana"). She loved deeply and well. She was a steadfast friend to her entire family, including seven sisters, brothers-in-law and countless nieces, nephews, children and grandchildren. She will be dearly missed in all our lives.

Rita is survived by her two sons, Brett (wife Sarah) and Chad (wife Wendy); her five grandchildren, Dominique, Laighton, Brody, Lexington and Riley. She is also survived by her seven sisters, Judy Carter, Becky Trujillo, Mary Holmes, Nancy Kremer, Cindy Dunford, Molly Greeno and Sally Greeno.

A celebration of her life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, November 19, 2022, at the Chapel of Macy & Son, with Pastor Ken Johnson presiding.

Memorial contributions may be made to Chemeketa Foundation (Larry Nesland Memorial Scholarship) or McCabe Chapel United Methodist Church, in care of Macy & Son. To leave private online condolences, please visit macyandson.com.


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