Rita Jo Lathrop, 74, of Corpus Christi died on June 5, 2009 in San Antonio.

She was born Aug. 30, 1934 in Hugo, Okla., to Vernon and Jewell Pratt. Rita has been a resident of Corpus Christi since 1961. As a young lady she traveled with her family throughout the United States with the Hugo Bros. Circus, that her parents owned. She performed as a trick-rider on horses and elephants. She also enjoyed her years at Hugo, Okla. high school, where she served as drum major in the band. Years after high school she met and married, Bill Lathrop Sr. They lived all over Texas and parts of her home state of Oklahoma. She also served as a member and a Sunday school teacher at Travis Baptist Church in Corpus Christi since 1978.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

She is survived by her husband, Bill Lathrop of Corpus Christi; daughters, Becky (C.W.) Raetzsch of San Antonio, Tina (Lowell) Tucker of Pleasanton; son, Bill (Cathy) Lathrop Jr. of Corpus Christi; sister, Betty Jean Cannon of Hugo, Okla.; grandchildren, Kristen, Melanie, Aaron, David, Heather, Sarah, Elayna and Hunter and their spouses; and 11 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were conducted on Monday, June 8, at 10:30 a.m. in the Calallen Baptist Church with Bro. Jack Willoughby officiating. Interment was on Wednesday, June 10, at 2 p.m. in the Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Hugo, Okla.

Pallbearers were David Tucker, Aaron Endris, Curtis Ewers, Chris Baugh, Ricky McCain, Austin Tucker and Wayne Matherne (honorary).

Sawyer-George Funeral Home