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Rita P. (Phillips) Herrick

November 11, 1921 ~ September 17, 2021 (age 99)


Rita Phillips Herrick, 99, passed away at Highland Park Senior Living in Wilkes Barre Township on September 17, 2021.  Rita was born in Chester, PA on November 11, 1921, to Louis and Mary Phillips, and she was one of 7 brothers and sisters. 

Rita had a splendid first career, working for the Moore-McCormack Lines as a staff officer on their elegant liners the S.S. Argentina and S.S. Brasil, where she sailed the world, with destinations including South America, South Africa, Scandinavia, and even behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War.  She would ultimately achieve the rank of Chief Purser in the U.S. Merchant Marine while working for Moore-McCormack and is believed to be the first woman to achieve this registry and rank on a cruise liner.

Her next career was shared with her husband Robert Herrick in Florida where she spent much of her adult life, designing and building homes with Bob along the Space Coast, mainly in the Port St. Lucie, Stuart, and Titusville area.

Rita was a devoted daughter, sister and aunt, and is survived by her brother Louis Phillips, nephews and nieces Wayne Hundley, Victor Hundley, Anne Hundley, Jason Phillips, Blake Phillips, Chad Schleig, Anthony Newkirk, and Sandra Fidale. 

Her family wishes to thank her caregivers Marilyn and Sharon, the staff at Hospice of the Sacred Heart, as well as the staff at Highland Park for their excellent supportive care in her final years.

Relatives and friends are invited to a memorial visitation and services to be held on Saturday October 9, 2021 at 11am at Gubbiotti Funeral Home, LLC, 1030 Wyoming Ave., Exeter.

Her family asks that any donations be made to Hospice of the Sacred Heart, Wilkes Barre.   


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rita P. (Phillips) Herrick, please visit our floral store.


Funeral Service
October 9, 2021

11:00 AM
Gubbiotti Funeral Home, LLC.
1030 Wyoming Avenue
Exeter, PA 18643

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