Longtime Menifee Resident Carmelita Rood Dies at Age 85

Update at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23: Services for Carmelita Rood will take place Monday, Jan. 28...

Update at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23: Services for Carmelita Rood will take place Monday, Jan. 28 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church, 27931 Murrieta Road in Menifee. Viewing will be from 4-8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27 with a rosary at 6 p.m. that day at Miller Jones Mortuary, 26770 Murrieta Road.

Friends, community service colleagues and admirers paid tribute to Carmelita Rood, one of the most involved and well-liked people in Menifee, following news of her death Tuesday morning at age 85.

Carmelita spent nearly 35 years in community service here since she moved to Sun City with her late husband in 1978. She was a past president of the Sun City Chamber of Commerce; was a longtime member of the Sun City Woman's Club, Soroptomist International and Kiwanis Club; was a member of the National Association for Female Executives; was an active member of St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church; and participated in many other community activities.

In recent years, she was most known for her presence at every Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce event, serving as official photographer and greeter of virtually every guest.

Carmelita, who had battled cancer the last few months, slipped into a coma a few days ago and passed away about 10 a.m. Tuesday at Country Villa Murrieta Health Center, where a constant stream of visitors had surrounded her beside. She received a special achievement award from the Chamber of Commerce last Thursday and was due to be honored by the Menifee City Council with a special proclamation Tuesday night.

"Carmelita is now in heaven looking down at all of us and watching out for us all," wrote Robbie Motter, one of her closest friends, in a Facebook tribute on Tuesday. "This was one beautiful woman who for 30+ years served her community and was a total friend to many.

"Even though she was sick and dying, she taped me a message from her hospital bed just 20 days ago which was beautiful and one I will always cherish. Her room every day was packed with friends as everyone loved this woman."

Dorothy Wolons, CEO of the Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce, worked closely with Carmelita at Chamber functions and was another close friend. She said Carmelita told her both her parents died at age 86 and she wanted to make it that long as well. She died six days short of her 86th birthday.

"She was my right hand and my left hand," Wolons said. "She was a voice of concern, of direction in the community.

"When when she laid in her hospital bed, she was more concerned with how everyone else was doing. Robbie and I were in awe. She kept telling us, "Take care of yourself.

"She was a landmark person -- an icon -- in this town."

Mike Castillejos, past president of the Chamber of Commerce, recalled Carmelita's outgoing nature and commitment to making every visitor to a public event feel welcome.

"At the mixers, she wouldn't let anybody stand alone," he said. "She was a friend to everyone."


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  1. Carmelita's family is so grateful and overwhelmed by the outpouring of love by so many of her friends in the Menifee Valley. she will be sorely missed.

    Thnak you all so much

  2. Now that the angels have you, we will surely miss you. But we know looking up to the heavens we can see your beauty and your spirit that will live inside me. Thank you beautiful for all you did on earth. You will make all proud in heaven.

  3. Carmelita was a very special lady. She was kind to everyone and made everyone feel welcome. She will be missed

  4. The last thing Carmelita told me was "If you want to do something, go do it. Don't wait. You will never regret doing what you want to do, you will only regret putting it off."

    I feel so blessed to have known such a classy, refined, intelligent, gentle, dignified woman. I'm sure most of us would say, Carmelita never met a stranger; only another new friend.

    What a blessing she's been on Menifee for so many years and we are lucky to have had her influence in our community for so long.

  5. Can we name a street after Carmelita Rood in our new developments to help remember her. Also, I can we have a Carmelita Rood award given to folks who work the community by following her example.

  6. Carmelita made everyone feel welcome. She placed others above herself. We will always cherish her friendly smile and positive words.
    Bill & Julie Zimmerman

  7. The Ladies Guild at St. Vincent's will not be the same without this beatiful lady. She was a prime example of a faithful, joyful person who gave of herself so freely. She will missed.

  8. What a wonderful lady! She has really been an inspiration to us all. Whenever we needed something Carmelita was always there to help. The Woman's Club will truly miss her.



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