These few words are in loving memory of Ana Rita Ventura Mesquita, always fondly known as Rita, who suddenly and very sadly passed away at home on 2nd July 2018
Rita was 35 and grew up in her native Portugal, studying veterinary science at Porto, Washington state University and Cambridge university. She joined her sister in Wales before beginning employment at KJ Fraser Veterinary surgery in Abingdon, 3 years later in 2014 she joined Seadown a mixed veterinary practice in the New Forest.
Rita was one of those rare people with a generous and compassionate heart who spend their life caring for others. She found huge pleasure and satisfaction in treating, nuturing and healing the many sick animals that came into the Seadown practice and had a certificate in small animal internal medicine, as well as a special interest in surgery, ophthalmology, dentistry & behaviour. Losing someone we love is immensely difficult but we are very proud and grateful that in her short life, Rita touched so many people and cared for so many animals. It is testament to the huge affection that people felt for her that many hundreds of tributes were paid to Rita on social media, describing her as a “kind and wonderful vet” and “always friendly and caring”. There is no doubt she had a natural way with people and a passion for her work. Her family, friends, all those at Seadown, her clients and not forgetting her beloved black, rescue cat JD, all miss her dreadfully.
When not working, Rita had an adventurous, outdoor spirit which took her up mountains, into the air and under the sea. All rather surprising when we know she hated the cold but Rita was always determined, so whether it was skydiving, paragliding, climbing or paddle boarding Rita was there. She had even successfully earned her padi diving certificate last year. Perhaps her real pride and joy however, was her BMW motorbike in her favourite colour blue, which she enjoyed riding confidently but carefully, be it to visit her sister and her 4 nephews in Devon, or to simply explore the New Forest and visit her favourite beaches. We like to think that Rita is up there now riding her beloved blue bike with the wind in her face and the sun on her back.
As we all try to come to terms with the tragic loss of our dearest friend, we send our heartfelt condolences to Rita's family, friends, to all those she loved and worked with at Seadown and indeed everyone in the animal and veterinary world. Rita's funeral is at 3.15pm on Monday 23rd July at Test Valley Crematorium, Ridge Lane, Romsey SO51 6AB where all are welcome to join her family in a celebration of Rita's amazing life.
In due course Seadown will consider how best to honour and remember Rita with a fitting tribute that does justice to the wonderful person that she undoubtedly was. In the meantime, know that their thoughts and prayers are with everyone who knew and loved her.
“I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart for so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time.” A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh