THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Rita R. Soderbeck
Rita Rose (Johnson) Soderbeck, 79, of Suring, passed away Monday, Oct. 9, 2017.
Born March 12, 1938 in Blackwell, to Frank and Evelyn (Glinski) Johnson, she was small but mighty, lived life to its fullest and was known as Rockin' Rita.
She was married to Lawrence Fenn and they divorced. She then met and married the love of her life, Melvin Soderbeck on Nov. 27, 1972. They farmed in the Town of How until he retired. She worked at the Red Owl and Stengels Grocery Stores until they closed and then was a janitor in the Suring School District.
She made friends easily with all she met, said it like it was, had a hot cup of coffee and a treat for those that came to her kitchen or an old fashion. She was a good cook and loved cooking for family and friends.
She enjoyed word searches, puzzles, handing out full size candy bars for Halloween, traveling to visit friend, Jan Schenk, coffee talk with her informant, Roger Phillipi, but especially time with family and friends.
She is survived by five children, Vicky (Jeff) Radish, Donna (Steve) Rakow, Dawn (John) Twardowski, Debra (Todd) Kalies and Bryan (Joelle) Soderbeck; two step-children, Butch Soderbeck and Carol (Larry) Donahue; a step-daughter-in-law, Diane Soderbeck; 23 grandchildren; 35 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; nine brothers and sisters, Bucko Johnson, Eunice Jaklin, Eileen Collins, Frank Johnson, Beverly Lewis, Susan (Gary) Mercil, Whitey (Richard) Tachick, Laverne (Barb) Johnson and Bobby (Diane) Johnson.
Including her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Mel; a stepson, William Soderbeck; a step-grandson; two sisters, Geraldine Granath and Sharon Steer-Wiedemier; five brothers-in-law, Mike Steer, Delroy Collins, Dieck Johnson, Eldon Jaklin and Lyle Lewis.
Visitation will be held at St. John Lutheran Church in Hayes on Friday, Oct. 13 from 2 p.m. until time of the funeral service at 5 p.m., with Pastor Nick Buchholz officiating. Gruetzmacher Funeral Home of Suring is assisting the family with arrangements.