November 17, 1928 - November 4, 2020
RITA MAE KUEMMERLIN, age 92, passed away peacefully in the presence of family on November 4, 2020 in Fort Collins, Colorado. Rita was born in Pueblo, Colorado on November 17, 1928, the youngest child of Anthony and Helen Manzanares. She grew up in Denver, attended Catholic schools through high school, and studied biology at the University of Colorado and at Denver University. As a young woman, Rita loved skiing, golf, opera, and ballet. She was active in the Catholic Church and carried a deep faith in the Lord throughout her life. In 1952 Rita met Walter A. Kuemmerlin, a young farmer from Waverly, Colorado. They fell in love with each other, and remained sweethearts for nearly 70 years! Rita and Walt were married in January 1953, and began their lives together at the farm in Waverly. There Rita exchanged her favorite pastimes--skiing, golf, opera, and ballet—for the more practical activities of herding cattle, driving tractors, spreading manure, and dancing Dutch hops. Rita loved farming. She often talked about it—the hard work and difficult conditions-- but more passionately about how rewarding and beautiful it was. She would share how she witnessed God’s gentle hand at work on the farm more than any other place on earth. Rita and Walt’s family grew when their daughter Sandra was born in 1953. In a short time it expanded further with the birth of Wally in 1956 and Ron in 1958. Between the work on the farm and riding herd on three rambunctious kids, she and Walt were kept very busy indeed! But Rita always maintained a great attitude; her family—all five of them—were her life. She would say that sure, there were stressful times; but hard work, humor, love of her family, and prayer pulled her through every time. Just when Rita felt she could not love her family more, grandchildren arrived. She and Walt spent countless days enjoying them in many ways—playing, travelling, camping, babysitting, teaching, taking walks, and even the occasional disciplining (ha ha!). After more than two decades farming together, Rita and Walt “retired”. That meant they worked as hard as ever—at Colorado State University, Great Western Sugar, Coors, and other agricultural jobs—but they now had the freedom to pursue other activities together. They were both excellent dancers, and would travel all over the state for square dancing events. They travelled extensively for four years, visiting every state in the U.S., and much of Canada and Mexico. During these journeys, they touched bases with family and friends, witnessed new sights and gained new experiences. These new pursuits enriched their lives and their love for each other. Rita was a devout and active parishioner at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Ft. Collins for more than 50 years. She was active in many ministries, and took great joy in serving others. It was well known within parish circles that she was the “go to” person to get things done in a kind and compassionate way. Rita lived her life with the best qualities of humankind—faith, love, kindness, compassion, and generosity. For those of us here on earth, she will be greatly missed. But in heaven, she will be welcomed with open arms! Rita Mae Kuemmerlin was preceded in death by her parents, Anthony and Helen Manzanares; brother Gene Manzanares; sister Juanita Ketchum; and sons Walter Kuemmerlin Jr. and Ronald Kuemmerlin. She is survived by her husband Walter Kuemmerlin; daughter Sandra (Thomas) Ball; grandsons Matthew Ball, Colby (Priscilla) Kuemmerlin, and Ryan (Natalie) Kuemmerlin; granddaughters Melanie (Jesse) McLean, Angie (Darin) Pesola and Tanya (Chris) Luce; and great grandchildren Jaiden and Lucas Pesola, Xavier Kuemmerlin, Atreyu and Salix Luce, and Julian Kuemmerlin. Rita will be buried in Grandview Cemetery, Fort Collins, Colorado in a small service for immediate family (due to the current pandemic). Cards may be sent to Walter Kuemmerlin, 2300 West County Rd 38E, #51, Fort Collins, CO 80526. Donations in Rita’s memory can be made to the Alzheimer Association Colorado (www.alz/co) or to Pathways Hospice Care (pathways-care.org).
RITA MAE KUEMMERLIN, age 92, passed away peacefully in the presence of family on November 4, 2020 in Fort Collins, Colorado. Rita was born in Pueblo, Colorado on November 17, 1928, the youngest child of Anthony and Helen Manzanares. She... View Obituary & Service Information
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