Rita Gee Anderson, age 97, passed away on Sunday, April 15, 2018 at Luther Haven Nursing Home in Montevideo.
Rita Catherine Doherty was born on August 30, 1920 to O.J. and Margaret (Scanlon) Doherty in Maple Lake, Minnesota. She grew up in a lovely Irish family with one sister and three brothers. Many of her relatives settled in Wright County after the potato famine in Ireland in 1936. She had many happy memories of growing up there and considered returning after she was widowed in 1967.
Rita graduated from Maple Lake High School in 1938 and then attended St. Cloud State University where she earned her teaching certificate. She later earned her degree in elementary education from the University of Minnesota, Morris. Rita taught for 19 years, first in the Wright County rural schools, in Maple Lake, MN then fifth grade in Maynard and finally kindergarten at Sibley in Montevideo. She was a dedicated, loving teacher who is still remembered today by many students.
Rita married Wayne “Bud” L. Gee at St. Timothy’s Parish in Maple Lake on December 30, 1940. Bud and Rita raised a family of six children in Montevideo, MN. The legacy of a happy family continued as all the Gee children remember the love and security that marked their childhood. What a blessing to have loving, devoted parents. Bud passed away on May 2, 1967. Twelve years later, Rita met and married Randy Anderson in October of 1979. The family welcomed Lorna, Randy’s daughter into the fold and then there were 7 children. Randy passed away on September 6, 1999 after 20 years of marriage filled with travel and wonderful times.
Rita was a member of St. Joseph’s Parish in Montevideo where she belonged to the Rosary Society and her women’s circle. A true ecumenical, Christian spirit found her and Randy at mass on Saturday evenings and in attendance at Salem Lutheran Church on Sunday mornings. Besides being an excellent cook and doughnut maker in her spare time she was an avid reader. She was a member of the local book club run by Dave Lauritsen which she considered to be one of the highlights of her life.
Rita is survived by daughter, Dianne Sherva, Brooklyn Park, MN, daughter, Debbie Gee of Montevideo, MN , step-daughter, Lorna and Loren Wolthoff , Minnetonka, MN, son-in-law, Arnold Klein, New Effington, SD; daughters-in-law, Sue Gee, Milan, MN and Kris Gee, Burnsville, MN; 16 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Bud; husband, Randy; daughters, Roxanne Klein and Suzanne Redel; sons, Jimmy Gee and Kevin Gee; three brothers, Ralph, James, and Robert Doherty; and sister Elinor Brown.
A family service will be held at a later date with burial at St. Timothy’s Cemetery in Maple Lake, MN.