Rita Jayne Voermans, age 87, died peacefully at the Wellington Place at Rib Mountain, Wausau, WI on December 29, 2020.
Rita is survived by her longtime companion Alan Wesner, sons, Donald, Jeffrey (Ann), Greenville, WI and Gerald (Beth), Roseville, MN; grandchildren Ellen Earixson (Daniel), Carrboro, NC, Scott (Megan Dallas), White Bear Lake, MN, Michelle Michal (Zachary), Grayslake, IL and Benjamin, Milwaukee, WI; greatgrandchild Soren Earixson, Carrboro, NC; and sisters Marcella Kennedy, Portland, OR and Maxine Barber, McMinnville, OR.
She is preceded in death by her husband Donald John Voermans; parents John and Ernestine Bergeron and Albert and Marie Sund; infant granddaughter Charlotte Quednow; and siblings Cyril Bergeron, Murray Bergeron, Roy Bergeron and Bruce Bergeron.
Rita was born on March 13, 1933 in Chippewa Falls, WI to parents John and Ernestine Bergeron. Following the death of her mother, she was raised by her uncle and aunt, Albert and Marie Sund, in Tomahawk, WI.
She graduated from Tomahawk High School in 1950 and married Donald Voermans on September 4, 1954. The couple lived in Wausau, WI. Donald worked at Wisconsin Public Service and Rita was a homemaker raising their growing family. In 1958, Donald was tragically killed in an accident while at work. At this time, Rita was now a mother of three boys, ages 2 years to 3 months.
A strong, determined, independent woman, Rita, raised her family with the support of family and friends. In the early years she did clothing alterations for Don Fitzgerald Drycleaners in her home. When the boys reached school age, she began working for Manpower, Inc. doing administrative work. In 1974, she left Manpower, Inc. and began working at the Farmers Home Administration (FmHA) as a County Office Clerk. Through the years she raised through the ranks at FmHA continuously increasing her responsibility. In 1995, she was promoted to Community Development Manager where she supervised the Rhinelander, WI office and managed the Rural Housing program for seven counties in Wisconsin. In 1996, she was promoted to Rural Development Specialist in the Stevens Point, WI office and temporarily assumed supervisory responsibilities for that office, upon the former supervisor’s retirement. Ever determined and tenacious, she fought the battle for all women and older workers as she successfully won an age and gender discrimination suit when treated unfairly. She retired from FmHA in 1999.
Rita was an avid seamstress, crafter and gardener. Her sons fondly recall her particular love for the occasional snake she would run across while gardening! She enjoyed garage sales where she collected treasures and then wrapped them to use for bingo party prizes for her grandchildren. Additionally, she enjoyed some travel and socializing with friends and family.
A private funeral is scheduled for Monday, January 4, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Wausau, WI. It will be live streamed from the Peterson/Kraemer Facebook page and later on the Peterson/Kraemer website. The internment will follow at St. Augustine’s Cemetery in Harrison Hills, WI, where she will be buried alongside her husband.
The family would like to thank the staff of the Wellington Place at Rib Mountain and Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services for providing loving care to Rita over the past months. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Wellington Place at Rib Mountain in her name.