Rita McMullen

Obituary of Rita McMullen

Rita Joan McMullen, 94, of Jefferson passed away on Monday, May 27, 2024 at St. Coletta of Wisconsin in Jefferson.

Rita was born on July 23, 1929 in Milwaukee to Joseph and Hilda (Tschiggfrie) McMullen and they lived in the family home in Milwaukee until her parents died.

Rita was the youngest of their 4 children. 2 brothers, Eugene and Elden died at a young age. Her brother James was a casualty of WWII.  As a child,  kindergarten was her only formal education.  As an adolescent she was enrolled and lived at St. Coletta to train for receiving her first communion in 1947. Although she was welcome to continue at St. Coletta her mother missed her and she returned home to Milwaukee. 

In the early 50’s, Rita’s mother experienced physical problems. Her father hired Helen McElwee, a family friend and widow to care for his wife and Rita during the day. Hilda died in 1955 and Helen continued as Rita’s daily care giver at the McMullen home.  At that time her dad, who was an executive at the Milwaukee Journal, established a trust for himself and Rita as the beneficiary. When Rita’s father died unexpectedly in 1959, Helen took her into her home. For the next 31 years she lived as a member of the McElwee family. Helen died in 1990. Her son Greg and his wife Donna took over the care of Rita as her advocates. In 1991, Rita was again accepted as a resident of St. Coletta. She lived a total of 33 years at St. Coletta. Her father’s trust paid her expenses most of her life.

Rita had a good life. She loved candy, licorice and cheeseburgers. She loved her childhood dog, Pat, and sharing in the McElwee daily lives.  As a resident at St. Coletta she blossomed as she now had her own friends who she lived with, learned with, traveled with and had fun with. She enjoyed being a part of a community. She worked at St. Vincent De Paul. She enjoyed helping around the house at St. Clare. Rita was lucky to spend 94 years with people who loved and cared for her.

She is preceded in death by her parents, her brothers, Helen McElwee, and Helen’s sons Greg and Mike. She is survived by Greg’s wife Donna and their children Mary and Maureen and grandchildren Abigail and Amelia. She is further survived by Mike’s wife Peg and their children Mike, Matthew, and Megan and grandchildren Lily, and Sam.

A Funeral Service for Rita will be held on Thursday, June 20, 2024 at 1:00pm at St. Coletta's Alverno Chapel of the Flowers. A visitation will be held from 12:00pm until the time of the service. 

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Thursday
20
June

Visitation

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Thursday, June 20, 2024
Alverno Chapel of the Flowers
N4637 County Road Y
Jefferson, Wisconsin, United States
Thursday
20
June

Funeral Service

1:00 pm - 1:45 pm
Thursday, June 20, 2024
Alverno Chapel of the Flowers
N4637 County Road Y
Jefferson, Wisconsin, United States
Friday
21
June

Burial

11:00 am - 11:30 am
Friday, June 21, 2024
Mt Olivet Cemetery & Mausoleum
3801 W. Morgan Avenue
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
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