Died suddenly on May 4, 2008
Retta was one-of-a-kind, a very special person. Bright, intelligent, witty, and caring, she would light up any room with her entry. Her disarming smile, beautiful brown eyes, and the gentle touch of a lingering Southern accent in her voice, put anyone she met at immediate ease.
Retta and her sister Marilynn were raised by their mother, Loretta Virginia Eden, in Nashville. Retta was a member of the inaugural class of 1965 for the new Stratford High School in East Nashville. She then worked her way through Vanderbilt University in three short years graduating magna cum laude in 1968 earning a BA in Mathematics. In 1985 she earned an MBA in International Marketing from San Francisco State University.
On October 7, 1978 she married her true love, Richard Gary Floyd, with whom she shared the next 29 plus years of her life.
Everyone who knew the couple understood what a magical relationship they had; everything she did was for him and everything he did was for her -- they were soul mates in the truest form, forever intertwined and inseparable, part and parcel of one another. Richard says, "She was and is the wind in my sails. She is my inspiration, my guiding light, my force. She is the best thing that ever happened to me and I will carry her deep in my heart forever. I will miss her terribly."
In 1980 Retta and Richard moved to San Francisco with Retta joining Levi Strauss as an IT manager while Richard joined Bank of America. They both fell deeply in love with the magic and mystery of the city. They soon bought a small house in the Monterey Heights neighborhood, in the hills looking out to the Pacific Ocean, where Retta lived until her death. They rapidly adapted to their new California surroundings and were soon skiing the slopes of Tahoe and sailing San Francisco Bay.
In the late 1980s Retta joined Argonaut Information Systems and soon became a national salesperson. She loved interacting with people and was soon the star salesman for the firm.
Retta was an avid mystery reader, a great fan of British TV mysteries, and a master at crossword puzzles. As her arthritis slowed her physical activities, she and Richard turned to jointly working crossword puzzles for recreation. As she frequently pulled obscure crossword answers from nowhere, Richard would say, "How in the world do you know that?"
Travel was one of her passions and through her work and leisure she found her way to various points across the globe. She and Richard twice sailed bareboat in the Caribbean, hosting friends and relatives.
In 1990, she helped Richard launch his Pacific Reach consulting practice and later retired professionally. Retta is survived by her husband Richard of San Francisco, her sister Marilynn (Jerry) Strother and cousins Mary Stockett and David Bartley, all in Tennessee.
Following her wishes, useful organs were harvested to hopefully benefit other souls.
Memorials are requested in lieu of flowers with the donation going to The Arthritis Foundation at Arthritis Foundation, PO Box 96280, Washington DC 20090-6280 or go to their web site at www.arthritis.org and look for Retta's Heroes Page.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 24, in Benton Chapel on the Vanderbilt University Campus, 444 21st Ave. South, Nashville. Following the service a memorial reception will be held at the Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt, 2555 West End Avenue (615- 321-1300), for memory time and visitation with Richard and other family and friends.