Funeral held of Walton care home shooting victim Rita King

Funeral of Rita King, victim of shooting at De La Mer Care Home, Walton-on-the-Naze, at Weeley Crema

Funeral of Rita King, victim of shooting at De La Mer Care Home, Walton-on-the-Naze, at Weeley Crematorium - Credit: Archant

A funeral service was held this morning for Rita King, the woman shot dead at the De La Mer House care home in Walton-on-the-Naze last month.

Rita King, who was shot dead at the De La Mer care home in Walton-on-the-Naze

Rita King, who was shot dead at the De La Mer care home in Walton-on-the-Naze - Credit: Archant

The service, held at Weeley Crematorium, was only attended by five people – four family members and the care home manager Julie Curtis.

Mrs King, 81, was fatally shot at the home on December 28.

Her husband Ronald King, 86, of Cedar Close, Walton, has been charged with her murder and is currently on remand in HMP Chelmsford awaiting a hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court next month.

King has not yet entered a plea, and prison authorities would not allow him to attend today’s service.

Funeral of Rita King, victim of shooting at De La Mer Care Home, Walton-on-the-Naze, at Weeley Crema

Funeral of Rita King, victim of shooting at De La Mer Care Home, Walton-on-the-Naze, at Weeley Crematorium - Credit: Archant

However it is understood he was permitted to visit his wife and pay his respects at the chapel of rest ahead of the service.


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Today’s short service, lasting only 15 minutes, ended with Frank Sinatra’s ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ playing.

Mrs Curtis, manager of De La Mer House for ten years, said: “The music was very appropriate, Ronald and Rita used to go dancing together and because they had no children their whole life was devoted to each other.

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“This is a really tragic ending to what was a very happy marriage. They would have been married for 50 years this year, so for it to end like this everyone is in shock.

Julie Curtis, manager of De La Mer Care Home, Walton-on-the-Naze, speaking after the funeral of res

Julie Curtis, manager of De La Mer Care Home, Walton-on-the-Naze, speaking after the funeral of resident Rita King who was shot in the home. Service at Weeley Crematorium - Credit: Archant

“Unfortunately Rita was an only child and does not have any existing family members we are aware of, and Ronald’s family are in shock which is why they are not here today.

“I never thought in a million years I would have one of my residents die this way.”

Mrs Curtis revealed some home staff were still off work in shock and praised their professionalism, while many of the residents at the dementia-specialist home were unaware the incident had occurred in their accommodation.

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