Rita L. Martell, 82

Rita L. Martell (nee Muscha), age 82, of West Bend, died Thursday, July 26, 2012, at her residence. She was born in Harvey, N.D., on Feb. 27, 1930, the fourth oldest child of Joseph and Margaret Muscha’s 13 children. Rita married Ed Martell at St. Cecelia’s Church in Harvey, N.D., on June 27, 1955.

Rita dedicated her life to her family. She often volunteered at Holy Angels School activities and served as Cub Scout Den Mother and a 4-H leader. She was often the one clapping or cheering the loudest at her grandchildren’s many concerts, school events and sporting tournaments.

When Rita’s children were older, she took a job at B.C. Ziegler, where she worked until her retirement in 1996. Rita’s kind heart and giving personality made her an easy and lifelong friend to many. She remained a central figure in two groups of Ziegler retirees fondly called The Sunshine Girls and the Retired Ladies.

Rita and Ed loved the outdoors regardless of the season traveling, camping, hiking and bird watching in the summer and snowshoeing in the winter. For many years she enjoyed a big garden. She also loved crafts, puzzles, Sudoku and word searches.
In spite of the distance, Rita remained close to her large family, many of whom remained in North Dakota, traveling “home” as often as time and weather would allow.

Rita is survived by her husband of 57 years, Ed; her four children, Debbie (Mark) Dixson of Rosemount, Minn., Dwight (Patricia) Martell of Eagan, Minn., Robert (Jackie) Martell of Galesburg, Mich., and Diane (Scott) Hussong of Eden Prairie, Minn.; and nine grandchildren , Danielle, Nicki and Dixson, Annika, Tony Cydney, Riley and Shelby Martell and Connor and Taylor Hussong. She is further survived by her two great-grandchildren, Trent and Tate Dixson; seven siblings, Bennie (Glennis) Muscha, Virginia Schindler, Shirley (Ed) Marek, Car-oline (Ralph) Glatzl, Rose (Arnold) Seefeld, Art (Judy) Muscha and Richard (Jan-ice) Muscha; two sisters-in-law: Lydia Muscha and Sophia Buerkley; and nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.
She is preceded in death by her son, Richard Alan Martell in infancy, her parents Joseph and Margaret Muscha, her sister Margaret (George) Christl and four brothers, Paul, Louis, Anthony (Mary) and Willie Muscha.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, July 28, 2012, at 1 p.m. at Holy Angels Catholic Church with the Rev. Gerald Brittain presiding. Burial will follow in Washington County Memorial Park. Visitation will be Saturday at the church from 11 a.m.-12:45 p.m. In lieu of flowers memorials to Holy Angels Church, the American Cancer Society, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society or Cedar Community Hospice are appreciated.

The Schmidt Funeral Home in West Bend is serving the family. Online guestbook and condolences are available at www.schmidtfuneralhome.com.