Rita Joyce Bohanna (Wattie)
Rita Joyce Wattie Bohanna (Chick) entered into this life on
December 19, 1952, in Montgomery, WV, to the late Virgil Wattie and
Dorothy Turner Wattie. She gained her wings on July 9, 2022, at Hub-
bard Hospice House in Charleston, WV, after a long and hard-fought
battle with cancer.
Rita lived most of her life in the Montgomery/Boomer communities.
She gave her life to Christ early and served the Lord her whole life at
the St. John Missionary Baptist Church. She was an active member at
St. John MBC by serving as the Church Clerk, Usher Board Member,
singing in the Mass Choir, and any other task that she could assist with
within the Church or community. There was no task too big or too
small that Rita was unwilling to do for her Church. She loved God and
her entire Church family.
Prior to teaching, Rita worked at Montgomery General Hospital, where
she later served on the Board of Directors until her health began to fail.
She began teaching shortly after graduating from West Virginia Tech
and continued to be an educator for over 40 years in the Fayette
County School System. Rita worked as a teacher and cheerleading
coach at Montgomery Middle School. She was known throughout the
community for her annual Christmas plays performed by her 8th grade
Arts Classes. She served as principal for two years at Powellton
Elementary and retired from Valley High School, where she served as a
Facilitator and teacher. In addition to teaching in the Fayette County
Rita could be found working with her sister Beverly as a teacher in the
WVU Tech Upward Bound program. Rita was the kindest, most
generous, and unselfish person one could ever meet. Every person who
crossed her path was met with at least a big smile if not a hug. Rita
loved everyone and everyone loved Rita.
While the Turners, Watties, and Bohannas could claim her as family
through blood and marriage, she was adopted by hundreds of families
in the community as one of their own members. The loss of Rita leaves
a void in the hearts of many. She leaves many to cherish and yearn for
her infectious smile, love, and laughter that was exhibited anytime one
encountered her. Rita was preceded in death by her Parents: Virgil and
Dorothy Turner-Wattie; Sisters: Beverly Wattie and Rhonda Wattie-
Lewis, and Brother: Terry Wattie.
She leaves to cherish her memories: Husband: Garfield Bohanna, Jr.,
Boomer, WV; Stepson: Philip Godfrey of Bonn, Germany; Adopted
Son: Gordy Mitchell, Sr. of Smithers, WV; One sister: Shirley (Atiba)
Davis of Kennesaw, GA; Two Brothers: Gary Wattie of Downingtown,
PA and Darrel Wattie of Boomer, WV; one Step-Grandson: Kalil
Godfrey of Bonn, Germany; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins,
and special friends.
Service will be at 12:00 Noon on Saturday at St. John’s Missionary
Baptist Church in Montgomery with Pastor Douglas A.Mullins
officiating. Burial will follow in Kanawha Valley Memorial Gardens at
Glasgow. Friends may call from 6 until 9 on Friday at O’Dell Funeral
Home, Montgomery. Expression of sympathy can be sent at