TUPPER, Rita Jeanette

Photos Courtesy of California Historical Society, MSP 3800

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Last Name
Given Names
Rita Jeanette
Lenin, Rita
Better known as
Date of Birth
Age at Death
Place of Birth
Onawa, Iowa
Family Tree
  Rita Tupper Family Tree
Birth Mother
Birth Father
Janet Marie Tupper aka Janet Lenin; Larry Howard Tupper; Mary Elizabeth Tupper aka Mary Lenin; Ruth Ann Tupper; Timothy Tupper aka Timothy Glenn Tupper Jones, Tim (Day) Jones (adopted by Jim & Marceline Jones)
Non-Temple Relatives
Body Identification Number
Burial Location
Saint Claire Cemetery, Ute, IA
Source of Death Information
House Foreign Affairs Committee report; FBI document 89-4286-1302 (prepared 12/78)
Entry into Guyana
Residence (US)
Redwood Valley, California 95470
Residence (JT)
Cottage 46
Occupation in U.S./Skills, Talents & Interests
housewife (RYMUR 89-4286-X-5-a-26aa)
Occupation in Jonestown (Temple Records)
Family Contact Letters (Outreach) (RYMUR 89-4286-C-7-h-4b)
Jonestown Roles (FBI Records)
Planning Commission; Censor (FBI document 89-4286-1207)
Government Income
“Rita Tupper and her five children arrived in Ukiah in 1970 or 1971 like refugees from a shipwreck. The four of them I knew--her oldest, Ruth, 22, her youngest, Larry, 13, Mary, 17 and Janet, 15-- were like Rita: remarkable in their honesty and unaffected manner from the get-go, a breath of fresh air even in our rarified (we thought) atmosphere. It was never said, and I never asked, what crisis spurred their arrival, but as with the coming of Jim's daughter Agnes and her family that year, the Tuppers seemed to fit like a glove into our culture and were immediately at home there. Jim and Marcie adopted Rita's oldest son, Tim, who was the same age as Stephan Jones. Tim was the only member of Rita's family to survive the holocaust, by being in Georgetown with the basketball team. Rita was a stolid, sensible, sometimes taciturn woman who held a trusted position in Jonestown. It was she (and those she selected to assist her) who typed long memoranda for Jim Jones containing statements he had assigned all the residents of Jonestown to write, adding "call-outs" to highlight responses (either positive or negative) that stood out, for his attention. She was also one of a few persons who could deliver messages directly to Jim from residents who wanted to write to him. She and her children were unforgettable, and will be always missed and remembered. One of a kind.” - Kathryn Barbour

“I am one of Rita's granddaughters. She is the biological mother of my father, Timothy Tupper Jones. I never got the chance to meet her, as I was born years after the Jonestown massacre occurred. I've wondered about her since I was a child, long before I knew of her involvement in The Peoples Temple and her death in Jonestown. I knew from a young age that she had passed away, but I still wondered about her and what happened to her. I got my answer about a year ago, and never did I imagine it was this tragic. I do wish I could have met her and gotten to know her, and it saddens me that she died such a tragic and painful death. I won't forget you.” - Taylor Jones