“In Memoriam” listings are expanded paid obituaries, phrased as the family requests, and may include enhanced information or photographs that might not fit within free death notices.
Rita Marie Strafuss passed away suddenly and entered eternal life on Saturday morning, March 19, 2016, after a lifetime filled with laughter, family, and more laughter.
Rita was born as a Tajchman in her parent’s farmhouse near Ramona, Kansas, on August 21, 1929.
She was a graduate of the Ramona High School and the Brown Mackie College and began her career in the Boeing Company where she assisted the plant general manager in Wichita, Kansas.
Rita met her soul mate, Herman Anton Strafuss, on a blind date set by her sister at a USO dance at the Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul, Illinois. That first polka dance blossomed into a marriage that became a lifelong waltz of almost 62 years.
Her sons recall their mom saying the key to their long marriage was never going to bed angry with your spouse.
Rita’s spirit will live on in her husband, Herman; her sons, Ben, Mark, Dan, David, Jim and Jon; 16 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and an extended family of relatives and friends from every walk of life.
They were blessed to learn many valuable lessons from Mom during her 86 years, chief among them: if you can’t say something nice about someone then don’t say anything at all.
Mom always planted more vegetables than five families could eat and then gave the “extra blessings” to the Bread Basket food pantry.
Mom was also “famous” for her apple butter, soft hands, warm hugs, apple crisp, April Fools’ Day jokes, Grandma sweet corn, infectious laugh, flyswatter motivator, saying “Lausie Me,” and how she lived life with zeal.
Quilting was one of Rita’s passions, and she delighted in creating spectacular heirlooms from sentimental shirts, pajamas, and uniforms.
Each of her children, her grandchildren and her great grand-children has these personalized keepsakes. She had many quilts in process and was planning to have a quilt ready for her fifth great-grandchild who is now expected to arrive on the day she is laid to rest.
The Rosary will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday March 23, 2016 at the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, Manhattan. A visitation will follow until 8:30 p.m.
Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 24, 2016 at the Seven Dolors Catholic Church.
Rita’s Christian Burial will be at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in the family plot cemetery behind the St. John Nepomucene Catholic Church in Pilsen, Kansas.
Rita believed a parochial education was vitally important and so would want any donations or memorials to go to the Manhattan Catholic Schools scholarship fund.
Contributions may be left in care of the funeral home.