April 16, 1953 - July 2, 2021
On July 2, 2021, Rita entered into eternal resting while in the presence of loved ones in her home. She joined her parents, brothers and beloved dogs in Heaven. Rita was born to Wilbert and Mary Hammes on April 16, 1953 in La Crosse, WI. She was the third of eight children. She attended Aquinas high school and graduated with the class of 1971. Her classmates will remember her singing in the chorus and receiving a French poetry award her senior year. Following high school, Rita earned a full ride pre med scholarship to University of Wisconsin. She attended college for a short period of time then moved to Hawaii with her brother John. She then moved to Colorado with a close friend, but returned to Wisconsin after not too long to care for her mother. You could count on Rita to be there for you, and she was there for her mother until the end. After her mother passed, she moved to California to live with her brother again and his young family. Once in California, she met Bob in 1977. Bob and Rita were married July 4, 1980. In the younger years of their relationship they enjoyed going out dancing and traveling. Particularly traveling to Hawaii, their favorite destination. Any beach was Rita’s favorite destination. In the later years of their marriage, they enjoyed nightly walks with their dogs over the years, attending high school football games and watching Angel’s baseball. They also enjoyed celebrating their anniversary by attending firework shows. July 4, 2021 would have been their 41st wedding anniversary. Sara was born in 1992, making Rita a mom. From the moment Sara was born, Rita loved being her mom. You can probably tell from all the Olan Mills photo shoots, especially considering Rita hated taking photos and being the center of attention. Her attention was always focused on others and performing continuous labors of love. Over the years, Rita became a very involved mother. From taking Sara to soccer, swimming, being a Girl Scout leader, helping Sara earn her degree and everything in between, Rita was her number one fan and Sara was hers. Once Sara reached adulthood, they enjoyed going to the movie theaters, attending concerts, days at the beach, traveling, taking long weekend drives and watching Patriots football. They were the best of friends. Rita was a very loyal person, she even remained loyal to the Patriots after the 2019 season. Once Rita made her mind up, there was no changing it. Rita loved her job, she began working for Dr. Stanisai in her twenties and continued working for Mountain View Surgery Center for a combined time of upwards of 40 years as a medical biller. She worked with many wonderful doctors and coworkers who became lifelong friends. She was supposed to retire on several occasions, but she loved being busy and worked through May of 2021. Imagining Rita as a retiree is almost impossible anyways. She was a woman of faith. She attended First Congregational Church of Redlands for many years and most enjoyed singing hymns along with the choir. She had fun playing bunco for decades and came home many times as a winner (even if she only won the booby prize). Rita’s family was always her number one priority, followed closely by friendships and her work. Friends, family and coworkers alike will tell you that you could always count on Rita to give it to you straight. If you didn’t want the truth, it would be best not to ask her. She was a strong, opinionated, loving, caring and special woman whom you could truly count on, rain or shine. Ask any of her daughters friends and they would tell you that she was like a second mom to them, many calling her “muber”(mom and uber), the nick name they gave her because she dropped them off and picked them up many times after a night on the town. She was very passionate about politics and, just like with any topic, she brought facts to the table. No matter who she was sitting at the table with, she came prepared to discuss and had many fun debates with family and friends. She was incredibly smart and a resource to many people because she loved to read both for enjoyment and research purposes. The research purposes mainly to prove she was always right. There wasn’t a day that went by that Rita didn’t show up for herself and others, she was a very classy woman. Regardless of what she was going through, she always got dressed, ready and went on with her day which was normally incredibly productive from start to finish. Her parents, Wilbert and Mary, her brothers, Joseph and Paul, and her dogs Thumper and Bella welcomed her into Heaven with open arms and wet kisses(from the dogs). She is survived by her husband, Bob, and her daughter, Sara. She is also survived by her brothers John and Peter, her sisters Ernie and Eileen, and 13 nieces and nephews. There will be a service held on Saturday, July 17, 2021 at 2 o’clock in the afternoon at First Congregational Church of Redlands, 2 W. Olive Ave., Redlands. A period of the service will be dedicated to guests who would like to share a few words about Rita or a cherished memory. Reception to follow with spirits and light food.
On July 2, 2021, Rita entered into eternal resting while in the presence of loved ones in her home. She joined her parents, brothers and beloved dogs in Heaven. Rita was born to Wilbert and Mary Hammes on April 16, 1953 in La Crosse, WI. She... View Obituary & Service Information
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