Rita Marie Geffert, age 81, of Cambridge passed away October 30, 2008 at GracePointe Crossing, formerly Grandview Christian Home in Cambridge. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 A.M. on Monday, November 3rd at Christ the King Catholic Church with Father James David Hahn as Celebrant. A visitation will be held from 4:00 – 7:00 P.M. on Sunday, November 2nd at Strike Funeral Home – Cambridge Chapel and also 1 hour prior to the funeral Monday at the church. Interment will be in Christ the King Catholic Cemetery.
Rita was born in Detroit, MI. on May 6th, 1927 to Joseph and Mary Latchney. She attended Cooper Elementary school and graduated from St. Thomas High School. Rita pursued her musical talents at Sienna Heights College in Adrian, MI. and became an accomplished pianist. On August 23, 1947, she married her husband Joe Geffert of Detroit, MI. She is survived by her five children: eldest son Joe (Mary) of Pylesville, MD.; Jim (Arlette) of Mt. Pleasant, SC.; daughters MaryJo Lahr of Cambridge, MN. and Sue Walker (Andy) of Manchester, MO. Son John Geffert and wife Melinda reside in San Antonio, TX.
Rita will be dearly missed by her sisters: Dorothy Brady of Oxford, Ohio and JoAnn Colleran (Jim) of Livonia, MI. as well as her sister-in-law Helen Pakizer of Sterling Hts., MI. Rita was a very proud grandmother of her ten grandchildren: Nick, A.J. (Heather), Chris (Mariko), Anderson & Spencer Geffert; Brian (Molly), Jenni & Suzi Lahr; and Tom & John Walker.
Great granddaughters, Gracie and Greta Lahr were a joy to Rita who treasured every smile and hug. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews who live around the country.
Wherever Rita lived, she made many dear friends. She cherished their correspondence and proudly displayed the many cards she always received. She leaves behind so many caring and loving friends.
Rita’s passion in life was her piano and all loved to hear her play. Children and grandchildren could always expect to hear her sing and play Happy Birthday via the phone on their special day. Rita devoted many hours to senior centers in Phoenix, Albuquerque and Cambridge by playing for the sing-a-longs that she directed. One of Rita’s interesting pursuits, was collecting and developing a considerable repertoire of hundreds of pieces of music spanning many decades and styles. From this varied collection, she would carefully arrange themed presentations depending on the time of year and type of audience. Rita is remembered for her lively and beautiful renditions of songs that brought back wonderful memories for the audience.
Rita was preceded in death by her parents and husband Joe of forty-two years. Joe and Rita met, married and raised their family of five children in a Slovak neighborhood on the east-side of Detroit. In 1973 they moved to Phoenix, AZ. Eight years later they moved to Albuquerque, NM. Joe passed away in Albuquerque and was buried in the view of the beautiful Sandia Mountains. Joe was recently moved to Christ the King cemetery in Cambridge, MN as wished by Rita. Now Rita and Joe, a loving couple, dedicated parents, and adored grandparents are finally reunited forever.