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Rita G. Burgener

April 16, 1938 November 21, 2023
Rita G. Burgener
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Obituary for Rita G. Burgener

Rita Burgener, 85, of Merrill, passed away Tuesday, November 21, 2023, at Woodland Court Edler Services, Merrill.


Rita was born April 16, 1938, in Tomahawk, daughter to the late Ethel and Lawrence Campbell. She married the love of her life, Rudolph 'Rudy' Burgener on May 14, 1955. They spent sixty-three married years together until Rudy's passing in 2018. Rita was a passionate caregiver throughout her life; she worked the majority of her career taking care of others, working this role through her retirement from the ADRC (Aging & Disability Resource Center). Rita enjoyed working on her dairy farm alongside her husband in the Town of Rock Falls, in which they resided until moving into Merrill city limits in 2013.


She had a strong love for animals, and could not resist stopping to say hello, to the animals she came across, even if that meant walking into the neighbor’s yard to say "hello" or talking to someone walking by. She loved coffee at all hours of the day, Elvis Presley, purses and Avon. She was strong-willed and stubborn when she felt she needed to be. However, she truly was the sweetest person you could ever meet. She had an adventurous side as well; Rita always wanted a tattoo, and did just that, twice, beginning in her late 70's. Of course, one was a tasteful pretty rose and the other was a heart that displayed R&R for Rudy and Rita.


Rita was a very selfless person, and always willing to put someone before herself, and lived her life daily in doing so. Rita loved her family, that is truly what she lived for and made her happy. She spent 63 years by her husband's side, he truly was her soulmate, together they raised a family of her own, three daughters. She was also an amazing aunt to her nieces and nephews, and then a grandparent; which evolved to the title of great grandma, which she especially enjoyed. She was very active in her granddaughter's lives, and then their children's lives. She would crawl on the floor to play with the younger grandchildren, just to be a part of their world, enjoying every second of those moments with them. She enjoyed her "sisters’ days" with her younger sisters, dinners out to eat with Rudy and family, as well as bus trips to Branson, Missouri. Watching her family grow, by being included in every milestone, brought light to her life. Her smile was genuine, and her laugh was so joyous and meaningful, she really was a good, genuine, selfless person through and through.


Survivors include her three daughters, Judy (Lyman) Hatz of Wausau, Kay (Doug) Behnke of Stuart, FL and Lori (Mike) Janssen of Merrill; four grandchildren, Mandy (Jimmy) Clark of Merrill, Leigha (Brandon) Graap of Merrill, Angela (David) Jirovec of Wausau, and Wyat Hatz of Coeur d’Alene ID; thirteen great grandchildren, Alixandra, Adison, Emma, Avery, Bentley, Easton, James, Parker, Alivia, Breigha, Amelia, Annie and Josiah; two sisters, Susan (Tom) Raatz of Wausau and Jean Zoellner of Merrill; and many nieces and nephews including grand and great grand nieces and nephews.


Rita was preceded in death by her parents; her stepfather, Herbert ‘Hezzie’ Oestreich; husband Rudolph; and an infant daughter, Michelle Burgener.


The funeral service for Rita will be held at 11:00 A.M., Wednesday, November 29, 2023, at St. Stephens United Church of Christ, Merrill. The Rev. Michael Southcombe will preside. The burial will take place in Woodlawn Cemetery, Town of Rock Falls. Visitation will begin at 9:00 A.M. Wednesday at the church. The Taylor-Stine Funeral Home, Merrill is assisting the family.

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Previous Events

Visitation

Wednesday

29

Nov

9:00 AM 11/29/2023 9:00:00 AM
St. Stephens United Church of Christ

903 E. Second St.
Merrill, WI 54452

St. Stephens United Church of Christ
903 E. Second St. Merrill 54452 WI
United States

Service

Wednesday

29

Nov

11:00 AM 11/29/2023 11:00:00 AM
St. Stephens United Church of Christ

903 E. Second St.
Merrill, WI 54452

St. Stephens United Church of Christ
903 E. Second St. Merrill 54452 WI
United States
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