Rita Aerts (nee Turriff), age 75, of De Pere, died peacefully in her sleep at home, Thursday, September 21, 2017, following a brief illness. Rita was born January 2, 1942 in Green Bay to the late Earl and Eunice (Luisier) Turriff.
Rita grew up on the family dairy farm in the Town of Lawrence, attended a small country grade school, graduated from West De Pere High School and earned her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from St. Norbert College. She spent the majority of her teaching career at Notre Dame Elementary in De Pere where she was a beloved 5th grade teacher for almost 30 years. Rita retired from teaching in 2007, which left her with more time for friends and family, especially her 4 granddaughters, whom she loved with all of her heart.
In her early adulthood, she enjoyed playing tennis, biking, camping every summer and shopping with her dear friend, Barb. Later she continued to enjoy biking and also loved sleepovers with her grandkids and traveling, visiting Europe as recently as November of 2016. She also took many trips to visit her daughter, Andrea, in California.
Rita will be remembered as a beloved mom, grandma, sister, aunt and friend. Rita's kind-hearted and friendly nature set everyone that she encountered at ease, quite often striking up conversations with strangers and allowing them to open up and share their life story with her. She inherited her father's sense of humor and her mother's compassionate heart. Her faith in God sustained her through her life. Her memory will forever be cherished.
Rita is survived by her daughters and son-in-law, Andrea Aerts and Carrie (David) Richards; 4 granddaughters: Helen, Grace, Amelia and Charlotte; 2 grand-dogs, Gordy and Tessa; sister, Carol (Tom) Pilgrim and brother, David (Cecilia) Turriff. She is further survived by numerous special nieces, nephews, in-laws and close friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents and 2 sisters, Joan Bleser and Gail (Butch) Kempen.
Visitation will be held at OUR LADY OF LOURDES PARISH (1305 Lourdes Ave., De Pere), Thursday, September 28, 2017 from 9 to 11 AM. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11AM.
Rita's family would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Malena Dzwonkowski and her staff of nurses at Prevea East De Pere for their excellence in care and kindnesses toward Rita and her family.
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