A Doug's Life: 'First Lady' Carmelita Keeps Positive Outlook

Update: Carmelita Rood has been transferred to Country Villa Murrieta Health Center, 24100 Monroe Av...

Update: Carmelita Rood has been transferred to Country Villa Murrieta Health Center, 24100 Monroe Ave. in Murrieta. She can be reached there by phone at 951-200-7120.

You might call her the First Lady of Menifee. She was, at least, one of the first ladies I met after moving here 14 months ago,.

One of the first, and definitely one of the most special.

In many ways, Carmelita Rood is the face of Menifee. If you've been involved in community affairs at all, you surely have met her. At age 86, she has both a rich history of community service and a positive energy that lights up anyone she meets.

Soon after coming to work at Menifee 24/7, I attended a Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce function with my wife Kristen. We were barely through the door when this bubbly little woman, petite frame and smile a mile wide, came up and took me by the arm.

"Welcome!" said Carmelita. "Are you new here? Let me take your picture."

Carmelita loves to take photos. Soon after moving to Sun City with her husband in 1978, she began writing and taking photos for the Sun City News. For most of the time since then, she has served as the unofficial historian for the Chamber of Commerce, taking photos at every event and compiling them into memory books.

"Carmelita Rood is a woman who all of her life has worked hard to make it to the top and on the w