Rita Annette Jaehrling, aged 88, died on November 9 of 2023, at Huntington Assisted Living in Janesville, Wisconsin, following a recent injury and subsequent short illness.
Rita was born on February 21, 1935 in Watertown, to Leonard and Anna Jaehrling. She was a life-long member of St. Bernard’s Church in Watertown and graduated from St. Bernard’s School in 1949 and Watertown High School in 1953. Rita was always kind and compassionate and had a sweet and gentle disposition. She worked as a telephone operator in Watertown and in West Allis from 1953 through 1990. In her retirement, Rita enjoyed visits with family, attending craft fairs and historical events while also participating in various trips sponsored by the Watertown Senior Center. Rita cared for and provided loving company to her mother, Anna, and sister-in-law, Karen, through lengthy illnesses. She lovingly cared for Bassett Hounds Sarah and Bridget and had a love for all dogs. Rita assisted in planning successful Watertown High School Reunions and she supported many philanthropic causes quietly and with great love.
Rita is survived by her nieces Donna Jaehrling and Teresa Smithrud (Ron) of Janesville, as well as great-niece Erika Krusiec (Brad) of Baraboo, and great-nephew Nicholas Smithrud of Janesville. She was preceded in death by her father, Leonard, in 1961, her nephew, Paul Vincent, in 1983, her mother, Anna, in 1984, her brother, Gervase, in 2007, and her sister-in-law, Karen, in 2015.
We wish to thank the care-givers with Huntington Assisted Living, Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center, Mercyhealth Hospice and Visiting Angels for their loving care of our Aunt Rita. Special thanks to Lydia Bakke for her compassionate care to Rita as a very special visiting angel.
Memorials may be made to St. Bernard’s Church and School.
“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 AM on Saturday, November 18, 2023, at St. Bernard Catholic Church of Watertown with Fr. Manuel Mendez presiding. Visitation will be held from 9:00 AM until the time of Mass at the Church. Private interment will occur at a future date.