Rita M. Wassmuth was born on Oct. 6, 1925, the third of seven children born to Albert and Helena (Toennis) Wessels in Greencreek, Idaho. She passed away in Lewiston on Monday, March 11, 2019, at the age of 93. Her mother passed away when she was eight years old and her father later married Lena Nuxoll. From this marriage, there are two more children.
After graduation from Greencreek High School in 1942, she spent several years working for area families helping to care for their homes and children. She and Clarence A. Wassmuth were married on June 15, 1949 and settled into their farm outside of Ferdinand where she was a homemaker as well as helping with the farm chores. In addition she raised a large garden to help feed their family. She was an excellent seamstress and made most of the children’s clothing including prom dresses, three wedding dresses for the older girls, bridesmaids and flower girl dresses in addition to other sewing projects.
Rita also loved to crochet and each of her 11 children and 37 grandchildren can boast of getting one of her quilts for a graduation gift. In addition, each family also received a crocheted baby afghan when their first baby was born. We are extremely proud that there are a lot of Rita-made afghans in our family.
She was a member of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, the Greencreek Altar Society and past member of St. Mary’s Hospital Guild. Rita was very supportive of all of her children’s, grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s activities. She never missed a basketball or baseball game, concert, birthday party or other activity. Rita loved to gather her children around her for a luncheon in Lewiston and an ice cream cone on the way out of town was a must have.
Rita is survived by 11 of her children: Helena Snyder, Urban Wassmuth, Theresa (Jack) Uptmor, Thomas Wassmuth, Janice (Dude) Raykovich, Gregory Wassmuth, Anne (Daryl) Sander, Mary (Steve) Higgins, Karen (Doug) Lustig, Sheila (Brad) Hart, and Bruce Wassmuth. She is also survived by 37 grandchildren and 44 great-grandchildren, with two more to arrive this spring.
She is also survived by her sister, Dorothy (Don) Keuter; brother, Elmer (Irene) Wessels; sisters-in-law Bernadine Wessels, Rita Wessels, Teddy Wessels, Elizabeth Wassmuth; and brothers-in-law Tony and Leonard Wassmuth.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Clarence in 2012, a son Clarence (stillborn) in 1959, her parents Albert and Helena, her step-mother Lena Wessels, sisters Marcella Uhlenkott, Sr. Edward Wessels OSB and Sr. Bernice Wessels OSB, brothers Harold, Donald, and John, and great-granddaughter Cheyenne Herzog.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, March 15 at St. Anthony’s Church in Greencreek.
The family is asking that memorial donations be given to Royal Plaza Assisted Living Activities Fund, c/o Mary Egland, 1870 Juniper Drive, Lewiston, ID 83501 or St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation, P.O. Box 137, Cottonwood, ID 83522.
Uhlorn Funeral Home of Cottonwood is handling the arrangements.