Born in Somerset East, South Africa to the late Margaretha and Gerhard Rood. She attended high school at Bellevue Girls High school and college at Cape Town Teachers College. Reta taught in South Africa for 25 years before moving to the United States in 1983.
She is known for her compassionate smile, sense of humor, wonderful cooking, her love for her family, and most importantly, her love for God. She was one of the finest, classiest ladies to ever walk this Earth.
Reta is survived by her loving husband of 57 years, Cobus van der Merwe; five children: Dr. Lucas (Juanita) van der Merwe, Dr. Andre (Louise) van der Merwe, Elizabeth Kinsler, Jaco (Sandra) van der Merwe, and Dr. Leonard Tatro and special friend Billie Pectol; brother-in-law, Steve van der Merwe; special nephew John (Michelle) Craigie and numerous other nieces and nephews; nine grandchildren: Connie (Domenica) van der Merwe, Lize (Nathan) Bailey, Loandi van der Merwe, Preston (Ashley) Kinsler, Chris (Andra) van der Merwe, Andrew van der Merwe, Philip van der Merwe, Stephanie (Alan) Timbs, and Ashley Hedrick; two great-grandchildren: Vittoria and Viviana.
The family will receive friends on Saturday, July 20, 2019 from 1:00 to 2:00pm at East Lawn Funeral Home. Reta will be laid to rest following the visitation at East Lawn Memorial Park in the Garden of Memories with Pastor Brent Bradley, Pastor Steven Warhurst and Pastor Carel van der Merwe officiating.
Pallbearers will be: Dr. Lucas van der Merwe, Dr. Andre van der Merwe, Jaco van der Merwe, Preston Kinsler, Chris van der Merwe, Andrew van der Merwe, Philip van der Merwe, Dr. Leonard Tatro, Nathan Bailey, and Dr. Andy Cherry.
Honorary pallbearers will be family and friends from around the world who are unable to attend.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Meals on Wheels in Memory of Ouma, P.O. Box 3346, Kingsport, TN 37664 or online at mealsonwheelskingsport.org .
Online condolences may be made to the van der Merwe family at www.eastlawnkingsport.com . East Lawn Funeral Home and Memorial Park has the honor of serving the van der Merwe family.