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Rita Ann Bennett
Rita grew up in Juneau, Wisconsin. She is the daughter of Lil and Louis Schaefer and sister to Roger and Roey. She was the hometown homecoming queen, baton twirler, and worked at the local soda fountain shop. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire with a degree in primary education. Jake finally snagged her and they were married in 1967. They moved to Fort Collins so Jake could study fisheries at CSU while she taught 2nd graders. After his graduation, they moved to Buena Vista and she continued to teach. Megan was born shortly after. They moved to Granby a couple of years later and Sara was born.
Rita had a wide range of occupations: worked as a print shop typesetter, owned a dart shop, created beautiful things at The Flower Shop with her best friend, ran the front desk at the El Monte, baked pies at local restaurants, but she was most proud of cleaning condos in Winter Park so her girls could attend college debt-free.
She was the backbone of the family and cooked endless meals for the seasonal hunters and fishermen, all of Jake’s “summer guys” and Megan and Sara’s friends. In the early years, she was an avid trail biker, hunter and fisher. Jake reports she shot a 30 inch buck (which, of course, he sold for $100 a few years later). She loved watching the Chicago Bulls, saw River Dance several times, went to see Cher in concert and watched Dirty Dancing a 1,000 or so times. She was an avid reader, a piggy bank collector, a passionate gardener, a published author and was always setting a puzzle.
She cherished all of her life-long friendships from Wisconsin, Loveland, Buenie, and Granby. She was constantly trailed by one of her beloved black labs. She loved beating Gracie at Uno, setting puzzles with Megan, playing Boggle with Sara, bickering with Jake and staying up until the wee hours of the morning reading in the basement by a fire with her Coors and ciggies.
We will miss the singing of “Happy Birthday” on our special day; her cream pies; secretly listening to Gracie’s special laugh that only Grammie could get out of her; the way she had to tape all sides of a puzzle box or present, slowly walking around the yard monitoring daily changes, and sitting for hours puzzling away.
If you want to honor Rita, plant an Aspen tree or a flower, bake a pie, set a puzzle, or donate school supplies--especially pencils or books. Also, she had the most beautiful penmanship, write a note to a friend and share your handwriting.
She will be honored this summer. Come walk around her beloved gardens, tell stories, and take one of her piggy banks. If you have memories you’d like to share now, please send them: Bennetts, PO Box 545, Granby CO 80446.
I love and miss you, my lovely Rita.
Jamie Schadel Nov 18 2022 2:32 AM
You are a friend that is always was there unconditionally and truly cared about me. Words can\'t describe how great of a friend you were! We have shared so many things together, you opened your home to me, and we became like sisters, partners in crime, puzzle buddies for life. I miss you everyday. I do want to share the cottonwood tree, that we planted in 2010-12years ago, this summer finally decided to grow. It doubled in size, and I totally thought Rita must found a way to help my tree! Love and miss you so!
Patti hawks Nov 16 2022 9:44 AM
Heart felt sympathy from the "Wyoming Crew". We always felt welcome to use the Bennett motel for ice fishing weekends. Green chili dinners (usually too hot for Rita), left over breakfasts, Ruben sandwiches, and of course doing puzzles while drinking a beer or two. Dennis always got to put in the last piece (his only contribution to the puzzle construction). Susan remembers her wonderful smile and learning so much with the tours of her flower garden. She will be missed by us all!
Dennis and Susan Troudt Dec 14 2021 11:32 AM
I'm so sad to hear about your passing Rita. I will miss your company and the good times we had reliving old memories, chatting and laughing. You always made me feel welcome in your home and were like a second mom to me especially when I was working as a seasonal employee for Jake and needed someplace to use the restroom and shower. You will live on in my memories. Bill Elmblad
Bill Elmblad Dec 10 2021 5:06 PM
How she put up with Jake we'll never know except she is and always be a saint. Rita and Jake were the most welcoming couple ever. I see so many remembrances of classmates and colleagues and it reminds me of how loved these folks have been. My heart breaks and is heavy for, Jake, my friend and colleague of 53 years and for Sara, Megan, and Gracie.
Bill Salmo Clark Dec 10 2021 12:31 PM
Rita was one of my first friends when we moved to Granby. She, Jake and the girls shared many camping/fishing trips together and many meals. Christmas dinners became a ritual for us until Rita felt she could no longer attend. She was always so gracious, sharing and caring. My stories could go on and on… We'll miss you Rita but our hearts know that you're watching over Jake, Megan, Sara and Gracie and many of your friends. We'll see you again one day 😢🙏❤️
Donna Hahn Dec 9 2021 9:02 PM
Sympathy Gift courtesy of Fawn Alcaide. Group of 1 Memorial Trees Planted In Loving Memory of Rita Ann Bennett.
Fawn Alcaide Dec 9 2021 8:12 PM
Jake, please accept my heartfelt sympathy for your loss. I never had the privilege of meeting Rita, but it sounds like she was a wonderful person. I hope all the good memories you two made together help you in this difficult time. There has to be a special place in heaven for teachers... we owe them so much. I hope it is comforting for you to read these messages from your former colleagues in the "fellowship of the fin"...
Mike Japhet Dec 9 2021 6:00 PM
We go back a long way, meeting Rita and Jake in 1968 in Loveland. They stood up for us at our wedding, and they lived below us in an apartment for two years. We shared some fun and carefree times together (before kids). Although our visits have been limited since then, it has always been a treat to catch up on the latest family news and recent hunting and fishing escapades. Rita's blessings to others and her many talents were diminished by her humble presence. She will be missed. Our sympathy to Jake, her beloved daughters, and granddaughter.
Judy and Ken Rethmeier Dec 9 2021 3:09 PM
My sympathy to all of Rita's family. I didn't know hearth whole family!well but saw her reflection in Megan and Sara. Prayers and thoughts for Jake a
Barbara Childers Dec 9 2021 9:46 AM