She was born July 7, 1941, in La Crosse to Leo and Verna (Davy) Graf. Rita attended country school, St. Mary’s Central Grade School, and graduated from Loretto High School in 1959. She worked at Skemp Grandview Clinic in La Crosse and she married Gene Schulze May 23, 1964, at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Caledonia.
Rita was a homemaker and cared for her children. Later in life, she worked as an aide at Caledonia Elementary School. She was a member of St. Mary’s Parish and its Council of Catholic Women and she was active in MCCL. She enjoyed photography, walking, cooking, and spending time with her family.
She is survived by her husband, Gene, of Caledonia; her daughters, Julie (Dan) Wiebke, Onalaska, Wis. and Jodi (Bill) Petersen, La Crescent, Minn.; six grandchildren, Mara, Amanda and Melissa Wiebke; and Hannah, Isaac, and Samuel Petersen; three sisters, Anna Marie (Jim) McCormick, Caledonia; Loretta (Norval) Ladsten, Mabel, Minn.; and Kathy Nelson, Caledonia; two brothers, John (Judy) Graf, La Crescent; and David Graf (Roxane Adams), Cave Creek, Ariz.; brother and sisters-in-law, Leland “Gunny” Schulze, Brownsville, Minn.; Joanne Schulze and Dorothy Schulze, both of Caledonia.
She was preceded in death by her son, Jason; her parents; brothers and sisters-in-law, Steve Nelson, Elaine and Paul Wilhelm; Garland Schulze; and Anne Schulze.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 14, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Caledonia. Father Matt Fasnacht will officiate and burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, Caledonia. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday at McCormick Funeral Home, 205 E. Main, Caledonia, where a prayer service will be held at 7 p.m. Visitation will also be from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Wednesday morning before the service at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferrred.
Online condolences may be given at mccormickfuneralhome.net.
Alzheimer’s was the thief that stole you from all of us. Our long goodbye is over. You are free at last. May God bless and keep you until we meet again.