Friday, March 16, 2012

Sister Rita Vander Velden, O.P.

Sister Rita Vander Velden, O.P., 91, passed away at Lakeshore Manor, Racine, WI, on Friday March 16, 2012.

Bernice Julietta Vander Velden was born July 13, 1920, to Martin and Gertrude (nee: LeRoy) Vander Velden in Kimberly, WI. On August 30, 1938, she joined the Racine Dominicans and at her reception in 1939 she was given the religious name Sister Rita. She professed her first vows in 1941 and her final vows in 1947.

Sister Rita spent many years in service to others in teaching and secretarial work and as an assistant librarian. She began her ministry in 1940 at St. Edward, Racine,WI. She also served at St. Rita, Holy Name and St. Catherine High School in Racine. Other places in Wisconsin where she served were St. Aloysius, Sauk City; St. Bernard, Madison; Holy Angels, Milwaukee; St. Andrew, Knowles; SS. Peter & Paul, Green Bay; Holy Name, Kimberly; St. John, Little Chute. She also served inNew Mexico and Alaska. After retiring in 1994 she continued to volunteer at St. Catherine High School and did Community Service at Siena Center. In March 2012 she moved to Lakeshore Manor, Racine.

Sister Rita is survived by the Racine Dominican Sisters and Associates; her brother Thomas (Carol); sister Bette Derus; nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents; and her brothers Robert, Clarence, Wallace Eugene and Francis; and sisters Elaine Wiatrowski and Grace Sauerbreit.

Visitation will be in the Siena Center Chapel on Tuesday, March 20, beginning at 9:30 a.m. with a Remembering Service at 2:30 p.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 4 p.m. Interment will take place at Holy Cross Cemetery, Hwy 32. Memorials to the Racine Dominican Mission Fund have been suggested.

The Racine Dominicans would like to extend their thanks to the staff who cared for Sister Rita at Lakeshore Manor and also to Hospice Alliance and the staff of Supportive Living who cared for Sister Rita before she moved to Lakeshore Manor.

803 Main St., Racine   (262) 634-7888

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