Rita was born on December 26, 1931 in Moriarty, New Mexico. She was the daughter of Lauriano and Eufracia Anaya. Rita graduated Valedictorian from Moriarty High School in 1950. She was married to John Davis in June 1950 for 52 years and had four children; John Wayne, Joe Victor, R. Angie and Monica Ann. Mrs. Davis served as Deputy Torrance County School Superintendent in the early 50’s and in 1954-55 she served as County School Superintendent, being the last active school superintendent for Torrance County. On June 1, 1957 she took the position of Moriarty Village Clerk. She worked from home because there was no building so therefore her home became the City Hall. Her duties kept growing and before long she was issuing vehicle licenses as well as drivers licenses for the state. Rita watched Moriarty go from a village, a town then to a City. She organized the paperwork to get the municipal water and sewer system; EMW natural gas into the area; the neighborhood community building now known as the current City Hall. As well as being City Clerk-Treasure for 26 years, she served as Motor Vehicle Agent for the state of New Mexico for 17 years. When she suggested to the council that they let her try to get the state to put a state Motor Vehicle Office in Moriarty, they laughed at her and said, “Go for it.” She was able to get this established and always felt that this was one of her greatest accomplishments. Before the sheriff’s department got dispatchers, the Davises answered most all emergency calls between Albuquerque and Santa Rosa. She retired as City Clerk-Treasurer on January 31, 1983.
In 1966-1968 the City of Moriarty competed nationally in a city clean up campaign. Progress was determined by judging scrap books that were submitted, Rita was the chairman of the scrapbook committee and Moriarty won first place each year.
Also, in 1968 John and Rita Davis started making weather observation for the National Weather Service. They were paid .50 cents per call. Rita still called 40 years later till 2008. Rita would call in weather observations, twice a day.
1989 Rita was one of the recipients of the Governor’s Award for Outstanding New Mexico Women. She was also active in PTA serving as secretary, treasurer and program chair. She was member of Band Booster Club, MHS Vocation Department, Office Education Occupation Member, New Mexico League of Clerks and Finance Officers Association, Business and Professional Women’s Association, Director and Treasurer of the New Mexico Municipal League and Member of the Moriarty Service Club.
In 1990 she was asked to run for Torrance County Treasurer and was elected. She did not run for a second turn because her husband was in poor health and felt she needed to be at home with him.
She was an active member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church where she dedicated her time to the Ladies Society for many years. One of the activities that Rita was involved in was a group that counted collection money from weekend Mass. She and the ladies in her group almost always went to lunch after counting and they enjoyed socializing. Before her passing she still made phone calls to the woman in the Ladies Society and would organize receptions for the deceased in her church community. She volunteered at the church for all sorts of functions and could be seen in church weekly.
One of Rita’s pleasures was writing poetry. She wrote poetry for each of her children to commemorate times in her life that had meaning to her and reflecting life and those important accomplishments. Rita was a fiercely devoted person to her husband, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, parents, siblings, nieces and nephews. She was loyally dedicated to her friends and neighbors, and they all considered her family.
Rita is considered a pillar of the community and a pioneer who helped mold the city as she worked tirelessly on several projects. Rita’s Legacy will live on in the City of Moriarty with every accomplishment.