Rita Elizabeth Willour

MARQUETTE, Mich. – Rita Elizabeth Willour, age 79, of Marquette, entered eternal life Sunday evening, September 18, 2016, at the Marquette County Medical Care Facility in Ishpeming, in the loving, comforting care of her family.

Born February 12, 1937, in Brooklyn, New York, a daughter of William and Gertrude Schildknecht, Rita was raised in Brooklyn and Queens; and later at the family home in Sag Harbor. She graduated in 1955 from St. Sylvester Catholic all girl’s school where she enjoyed drama, participating in plays, and loved the social dances. She attended Dominican Academy Catholic College, a prep school in New York, NY which prepared her for a secretarial/accounting career. Her first employment was with AT&T New York. During this time, through family and friends, she met her future husband, William Willour. Bill was serving in the US Navy and, following his honorable discharge, the couple was married on May 28, 1960 in New York’s St. Sylvester Catholic Church. Their first home in Brooklyn, NY was a duplex shared with Rita’s parents and later they moved to Massapequa, New York. Once they began raising a family, Rita devoted herself to being a full time mother and homemaker. The family relocated to Saginaw, Michigan in 1967 and then to Marquette in 1970. In Marquette, Rita rejoined the workforce and was employed by the City of Marquette as a secretary-bookkeeper with the Water Department, retiring in 1984. While residing in Marquette, Bill and Rita spent weekends at their favorite place-property on Lake Michigan in Manistique, eventually retiring there. After Bill passed, Rita returned to Marquette and spent most of her time helping to watch over her beloved twin granddaughters. Rita possessed a deep Catholic Christian faith, and often put her beliefs into action. As a member of St. Christopher Catholic Church and its Women’s Club, she served in many capacities and on various committees, helping with pasty sales, serving on the Board for the Fr. Brown Scholarship Fund, participating in Eucharistic Adoration, serving as a Eucharistic Minister, praying her rosary and attending mass daily, staunchly supporting EWTN Catholic Television, and having a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Rita was also a member of the St. Anthony of Padua Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order and, in true Franciscan spirit, enjoyed all God’s creation. She was a fierce Bridge player, earning many awards, enjoyed Mahjong, BINGO at Mill Creek, and belonged to the Red Hat Society.

Survivors include her children, William Willour of Muskegon, Elizabeth (Joseph) Caldwell of Raleigh, NC, Christopher (Karen) Willour of Hemlock, and Katherine (Steven) Barber of Marquette; her grandchildren, Lauren (Shawn), Beth, Kathleen, Dan, Billy, Michael, Kenny, Kyle, Nathan, Rebecca, Jessica, and Paige; a great-granddaughter, Zelda; her sister, Eleanor (Walter) Thoms of Littleton, MA; a brother, William (Mary) Schildknecht of Sag Harbor, Long Island, NY; many nieces and nephews.

Rita was preceded in death by her parents and husband, William.

The family will receive relatives and friends at St. Christopher Catholic Church on Thursday, September 22, beginning at 10:00 am. The Secular Franciscan Order will lead a prayer service at 11:45 am Thursday prior to mass. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at noon Thursday with Rev. Jeff Johnson as celebrant. A reception will follow in the church fellowship hall. Interment will be made in the Holy Cross Cemetery. Rita’s grandsons will serve as escorts.

In lieu of flowers, memorial masses and donations to St. Christopher Catholic Church are preferred.

The Fassbender Funeral Home is serving the family, where condolences may be expressed online at fassbenderfuneralhome.com.

Rita Elizabeth Willour

MARQUETTE, MI – Rita Elizabeth Willour, age 79, of Marquette, entered eternal life Sunday evening, September 18, 2016, at the Marquette County Medical Care Facility in Ishpeming, in the loving, comforting care of her family.

The family will receive relatives and friends at St. Christopher Catholic Church on Thursday, September 22, beginning at 10:00 am.

The Secular Franciscan Order will hold a prayer service at 11:45 am Thursday followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at 12:00 noon.

In lieu of flowers, memorial masses and donations to St. Christopher Catholic Church are preferred.

A complete obituary will be published in Wednesday’s Journal.

The Fassbender Funeral Home is serving the family, where condolences may be expressed online at fassbenderfuneral home.com.