November 17, 2023 at 9:05 a.m.
Updated November 17, 2023 at 9:05 a.m.

Jenkins, Rita Mae

Rita Mae Jenkins
Rita Mae Jenkins

Rita Mae Jenkins enjoyed family get-to-gethers and especially being a Grandma. “She was everything, our rock, and she was fun!” At the age of 88, Rita passed away Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at the Big Meadows Nursing Center in Savanna, in the loving care of her family and FHN Hospice. A Celebration of life service will be held 12 noon, Monday, November 20, 2023 at Law Jones Funeral Home in Savanna. Visitation will be held 10 a.m. – 12 noon, prior to the service Monday, November 20, 2023 at the funeral home. Memorials may be given in her honor for FHN Hospice and Salvation Army.

On August 14, 1935, Rita was born the daughter of Henry and Phyllis (McBoyle) Jorgenson in Dodgeville, Wisconsin. She is a 1953 graduate of Mineral Point High School. Rita married Dave Lee and had four children, Dave, Melody, Tom and Scott. She later married Robert Staver who brought two children, Joe and Diane, and Rita and Robert also had three children, Teena, Bobby and Shelly.

Then Rita finally found the love of her life, Bill Jenkins who brought four step children, Jack, Tom, Debbie and Kevin. On December 26, 1975, Rita married John “Bill” Jenkins in Dubuque. They celebrated 33 years of marriage before Bill’s passing in 2009. Rita and Bill enjoyed being together, gardening, fishing, snowmobiling, and boating on the river.

Rita had the talent in life to listen and understand, never judging. She used this talent like a super-power as a Wife, Mom and Grandma, you could tell her anything. This talent also came in handy as she worked several years as a Greeter at the Jackson County Welcome Center, at Warren Industries in Clinton, and as a manager of the Sabula VFW.

This wasn’t her only talent, she would often employ her ability, and love of pulling practical jokes on others. She was always fun and added a lot of spice to life. Rita was an avid reader of Murder Mysteries and newspapers and watching her Soaps. If any grandchildren needed a listening ear, Grandma would provide interest, wisdom, cookies and some humor to get things back on track. “Grandma Rita was everything.”

Rita will be dearly missed by her children and step-children, Melody (Jeff) Loy, Thomas (Sandy) Lee, Scott Lee, Joe (Carol Ann) Staver, Diane (Don) Osterday, Teena (Doug) Franzen, Michelle “Shelly” (Dale) Marshall, Tom (Kitty) Jenkins, Debra (Gary) Hays, Kevin (Peg) Jenkins; nineteen grandchildren; thirty great-grandchildren; and two great-great-granddaughters. She is preceded in death by both parents; her husband, Bill; two sons, David Lee and Robert “Bobby” Staver; two stepsons, David Jenkins and Jack Jenkins; six sisters, Pat Hohlstein, Diane Trainor, Dorothy Jungbluth, Shirley Jungbluth, Muriel Morrissey and Marjorie Houff; and three brothers, Darrell Jorgenson, Art Jorgenson and Ronnie Jorgenson.