Cover photo for Rita M. Schroeder's Obituary
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Rita M. Schroeder

February 3, 1936 — March 19, 2024

Rita Schroeder 88, of Hartland, passed away peacefully at AngelsGrace Hospice in Oconomowoc on March 19, 2024. Rita was born in Marcy, Wisconsin on February 3, 1936, to Herbert and Mary (née Marks) Schroeder. Due to a bad snowstorm, Mary (referred to as Mae) was unable to go to the hospital as planned and had to deliver Rita at home. Herbert and Mae were very concerned. Rita was born two months premature, and they had already lost several children during pregnancy or shortly after birth. Her parents rejoiced as Rita, although tiny (3 lbs), was healthy. Herbert’s and Mae’s prayers were answered as she continued to thrive, and a special closeness developed between them and their only child.


Rita started her schooling at Marcy Public School. She was baptized and received her First Communion at St. Dominic’s Parish in Brookfield. In 1944, when Rita was in third grade, the family moved into their Hartland home, where Rita would live for the next 62 years. This was also the year Rita would begin her 80-year journey with her spiritual family at St Charles Parish.


After attending grade school in Hartland and middle school in Nashotah, Rita’s parents honored her request to attend Catholic Memorial High School. She was a proud 1954 graduate of CMH.


In the fall of 1954, Rita began her lifelong career at Waukesha Engines, where her father was a machinist. Father and daughter drove to work daily for ten years until his retirement in 1964. During her time at Waukesha Engines, Rita worked a few different positions: shipping, receiving, and in the office doing billing. Rita’s years at Waukesha Engines included many good friendships and experiences. One of her favorite memories was when her co-workers held a mock “wedding” ceremony to commemorate her 40th anniversary with the company. The celebration included highlights such as her boss “officiating” as Rita, holding a bridal bouquet and wearing a veil, made her vows to the company. It also included a reception complete with a

wedding cake and presents. After 47 years, Rita retired from Waukesha Engines in 2001.


Rita spent countless hours helping others. Worshiping the Lord was important to Rita, and her parents instilled in her a vibrant spirit of charity as the way to live out her faith. Rita’s long history of volunteering started in high school when she joined her mother in becoming a Mission Lady at St. Charles. Throughout the years, Rita’s volunteer experiences included serving at the American Legion, as a Lioness for the Okauchee Lions Club, and fundraising for programs for the blind. Rita served countless hours for the St. Vincent de Paul Society, especially after her retirement. She did home visits and worked regular weekly shifts at the Waukesha thrift store on Mondays, at the food pantry on Tuesdays, and at the Oconomowoc thrift store on Fridays. In addition to being a Mission Lady at St Charles, Rita helped out at other parish events such as the Lenten fish fry, Thursday Bingo, “Jesus and Me”, and Fallfest. For 45 years, two Sundays a month, Rita spent her mornings fostering fellowship by serving coffee and donuts to her fellow parishioners. Rita was very generous in her official roles and her private relationships and interactions.


Rita was not all work; she thoroughly loved spending time with her many friends. Throughout the years, pastimes with loved ones included playing lots of sheepshead, trail biking, Friday night Fish Fries, enjoying a good drink, playing bingo, sightseeing, and celebrating the holidays and other special occasions. Rita enjoyed traveling throughout her life. This interest was ignited by two memorable trips. In 1960, Rita went to Hawaii with friends from CMH, and in 1966, Rita enjoyed a five-week trip to nine European countries with her beloved Aunt Ronny. Rita lovingly attended to her parents when each of them got sick. She was adamant in saying that only after both had passed, did she resume her interest in traveling. Rita cherished her time with friends as she enjoyed exploring 49 of the 50 states; only Alaska eluded her.


Rita was preceded in death by her parents, Herbert and Mae Schroeder, and her beloved Aunt, Veronica Marks (Aunt Ronny). She was also preceded in death by many close loved ones and will be dearly missed by many more.


Special thanks to the caring staff at AngelsGrace Hospice and Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital for their love, care, and support shown to Rita.


A Funeral Service will be held at St. Charles Parish, 313 Circle Drive, Hartland, WI on Monday, April 8, 2024. Visitation is from 10:30 AM until noon, with Mass to be held at noon.


In lieu of flowers please make a donation in Rita’s memory to St. Vincent DePaul of Hartland at St. Charles Church.



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Monday, April 8, 2024

10:30am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

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Mass of Christian Burial

Monday, April 8, 2024

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

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