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1922 Rita 2020

Rita Marie Lewis

June 26, 1922 — October 12, 2020

Larchwood, IA                                                JFH Live Steam Icon Rita Lewis Live Stream Link

     Rita Marie Lewis age 98 of Larchwood, Iowa died Monday, October 12, 2020 at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

     Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 AM, Friday, October 16th at The Church of St. Mary in Larchwood, IA, with Father Sunny Dominic as celebrant. Burial will follow at the Larchwood Cemetery. Social distancing and masks will be required.

     Public visitation will be Thursday, October 15th from 5:00 to 7:00 PM at The Church of St. Mary in Larchwood.  Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Lewis family will not be present.

     Rita Marie (Ripperda) Lewis was born on June 26, 1922 in Larchwood, IA. She spent most of her childhood in Larchwood, and even attended grade school with her future husband Bob Lewis. In middle school, her family moved to Rowena, SD and she graduated from Valley Springs High School in 1939. 

     Since she was dating Bob Lewis, Rita moved back to Larchwood after graduation and worked there until she ventured to Long Beach, CA in the early 1940’s. She found employment with Douglas Aircraft, supporting the World War II effort by installing steering columns in airplanes. After Bob enlisted in the Navy, they were married in Oklahoma City, OK on May 9th, 1943. Within weeks, Bob shipped overseas, and Rita moved back to Long Beach, CA. She resumed her position at Douglas Aircraft until Bob returned from the war. Bob and Rita then moved back to Larchwood, where Rita worked hard as a farm wife and mother to the three children who were blessed to have found themselves a home with Bob and Rita as their parents. She and Bob lived on the Lewis family farm until 1979, when they moved into her parent’s home in Larchwood. She lived there across the street from her beloved sister Joan until her death on October 12, 2020. She was active in the American Legion Auxiliary, St Mary’s Catholic Church, and an active West Lyon Booster for all her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was an official mother of three, and both an official and unofficial mother, aunt, grandmother to many, a friend to others, and will be missed by all.

     Rita is survived by her sister and brother-in-law Joan and Lyle Grotewold, her daughter Cindy (Childress) and Dan Nagel of Larchwood, IA, daughter-in-law Kathy (Uphoff Lewis) and Troy Dawley  of Valley Springs, SD, and daughter Leann (Lewis) and John Hayward, Arlington TX; Cindy’s children: Tracy (Childress) Kramer Larchwood, IA, Christy (Childress) and  Seth Bahnson, Inwood, IA, Jeremy and Jamee Childress, Larchwood, IA, and Brady and Jodi Childress, Centerville, SD;  Alan and Kathy’s children, Jeff and Alexa Lewis of Gretna, NE, and Jared  Lewis and Indira Lorick of Cambridge, MN.  Great grandchildren: Jordyn, Jackson, Kennedy, Reese Kramer (Tracy); Andraya, Ben, Ryan, Nolan Bahnson (Christy); Randi, Bryson, Kyler, Kacen Childress (Jeremy); Isabelle, Aleks, Jax, Eliza Lewis (Jeff); Micah, Haley, Zach, Gavin Childress (Brady).

     She was preceded in death by her spouse, Bob Lewis, her parents, Clarence and Ann (Clercx) Ripperda, sisters, Dorothy and Clarice Ripperda, son Alan Robert Lewis, son-in-law Randy Childress; great grandson, Knox Thomas Lewis; and step-granddaughter Tara Nagel.

To order memorial trees in memory of Rita Marie Lewis, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, October 15, 2020

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Mass of Christian Burial

Friday, October 16, 2020

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

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