Rita L. Skwira, a resident of Little Falls, formerly of Sobieski, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, at Highland Senior Living in Little Falls. A Mass of Christian Burial for Rita L. Skwira will be held Saturday, Dec. 15, at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Sobieski with the Rev. Joe Herzing and the Rev. Jimmy Joseph con-celebrating. Burial was in the parish cemetery.
Rita L. Skwira was born Jan. 11, 1944, in Little Falls, to Paul and Gunda “Connie” (Rudolph) Skwira. She grew up in Sobieski and attended elementary school at the Little Red School House. Rita graduated from St. Francis High School in 1961. She then trained to be a nurse at Glenwood Hills Hospital in Golden Valley. She became a licensed practical nurse (LPN) in 1963, specializing in pediatrics at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Minneapolis, where she worked until 1969. Rita then worked as an LPN at Pediatric Associates in Minneapolis with Drs. Scherling, Goldfarb and Greene. Later, Dr. Larry Singher asked her to assist him in his private practice in pediatric oncology in Minneapolis. She cared for many children with different forms of cancer, while raising her daughter, Rachel who was born in 1968. Rita worked for Dr. Singher until 1980 and then returned to Little Falls, purchasing her first home. She was employed as an LPN at the Lutheran Care Center in Little Falls from 1980 until retiring in 1999. She was a proud member of the Steelworkers Union and helped the employees at the Lutheran Care Center with their insurance needs. Her passion was nursing. She took great pride in her career caring for children and then the elderly. She was very close to her mother and family. After she retired, her five grandchildren became a source of pride and joy. Rita enjoyed attending auctions, flower gardening, buying and selling antiques, going to the casino, spending time at the cabin with family, cultural events, traveling to Mexico and attending the grandkids’ activities. Rita lived the last year at Highland Assisted Living receiving loving care from the staff. She was a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Little Falls.
Left to cherish her memory is her daughter, Rachel (Dean) Schilling of Fort Ripley; brothers, LeRoy (Mickey) Skwira of South St. Paul and Edwin (Doris) Skwira of Sartell; sisters, Margaret (late Arthur) Novakoske of Sobieski and Pat (Jerry) Virnig of Little Falls; grandchildren, Rebekah, Breeanna, Bethany, Mariah and Benjamin Schilling, all of Fort Ripley.
Rita was preceded in death by her parents, Paul and Gunda “Connie” Skwira and an infant grandson, Anthony.
Honorary casketbearers were Sheila Gardner, Gail Virnig, Donna Kalis, Linda Scepurek, Bonnie Lintner and MaryAnn Jagodzinski. Casketbearers were Larry Novakoske, Jerry Novakoske, Paul Virnig, David Virnig, Gary Skwira, John Hoogenhous, Richard Marsolek and David Anderholm.
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