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Dr. Rita C. Hubbard

Celebration of Life: 1:00 p.m., Friday, June 25, 2021

Location: Weymouth Funeral Home Chapel

Visitation: Following the Service

Location: Weymouth Funeral Home

Interment: Private

Location: Peninsula Memorial Park

Dr. Rita C. Hubbard, CNU Professor Emerita, departed this life on Friday morning, June 18, 2021.  She had recently celebrated her 93rd birthday.  Rita was born and raised in Baltimore, MD where she graduated from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.   Rita went on to earn her M.A. in Writing, Speech and Drama from The Johns Hopkins University and in 1982 earned a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Communication from Temple University.  Her love of learning and sharing of knowledge with others was limitless, in fact she went on to become a nationally known scholar.

It was a chance meeting that led Rita to her true calling in academia – serving on the CNC/CNU faculty from 1969 to 2001 in which time she was the founding chair of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts (1972) and the Department of Communication Studies (1998).  She was an associate editor for three journals:  Communication Education (1982-84), Communication Quarterly (1985-87), and Critical Studies in Mass Communication (1998-2001).  Her scholarly publications centered on rhetorical criticism of pop culture, including studies of romance novels, male parent images in advertising, shock advertising, sex in selling of fragrances, and more.

One of her proudest accomplishments was the publication, “Memories of Christopher Newport College:  The First Decade 1961-1971” written with co-authors Jane Chambers and Lawrence Barron “Barry” Wood, Jr.

Rita enjoyed her 31-year university teaching career and was an outstanding mentor for her students.  After her retirement from CNU in 2001, she studied horticulture and became a Master Gardener and volunteer with the Newport News Master Gardeners Association, serving a term as president.  Rita also became a member and volunteer with the Friends of the Newport News Public Library.

Rita was preceded in death by her husband, R. George Hubbard and her son, Mark A. Hubbard.  She is survived by her daughter, Dr. Leslie Hubbard Pelzer; sons, Steven Hubbard (Kathy) and Paul Hubbard (Kim); daughter-in-law, Judy Hubbard; seven grandchildren:  Justin Hubbard (Kristina), Cary Brunnemann (Tyler), Randolph Pelzer, Katharine Pelzer, Elizabeth Hubbard, Grayson Hubbard, and Jordan Hubbard; great-granddaughter, Maddy Rose and soon to be great-grandson, Brunnemann, as well as her extended family.  Rita had a significant circle of dear friends with many of those friendships lasting for decades.  The family would like to thank the staff at The Hidenwood Retirement Community for their compassionate and loving care of Rita during her nine years stay. To Janice and Kimberly from Grace Hospice for their special support and guidance on this final journey.  Special thanks to Vera Hall, lifelong hairdresser/confidant/friend - for everything you are to all of us. And to Beth Karnes, Rita’s special helper for the last years of her life. 

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, June 25, 2021 at Weymouth Funeral Home with a Visitation to follow. A private burial will take place at Peninsula Memorial Park. Donations may be made to Christopher Newport University Scholarship Fund in memory of Dr. Rita Hubbard,  1 Avenue of the Arts, Newport News, VA 23606. Arrangements by Weymouth Funeral Home.

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