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Mrs. Rita's Story

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Mrs. Rita Mary Lopus (née Dahlkemper) died surrounded by her family on May 30, 2017 at her home of the last several years in Tallmadge, OH. The red of her immaculate nail polish matched the beads of the rosary she held. Rita was a beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend. She was 92 years old.
Rita is survived by her children, Mary Beth and Mark Van Winkle of Tallmadge, OH; William J. and Nancy Lopus of Midlothian, VA; and Thomas A. and Donna Lopus of Wexford, PA; and daughter-in-law Marla Lopus of Conneautville, PA; 12 grandchildren: Matthew (Celeste) Van Winkle, Michael (Dawn) Van Winkle, Sarah Van Winkle, Jennifer (Kyle) Adams, Justin (Meghan) Lopus, Anne Mason Lopus, Daniel Lopus, David (Alyssa) Lopus, Katlyn Lopus, Ryan Lopus, Clarissa (Jason) Manross, and Tyler Lopus; seven great-grandchildren: Jacob Steadley, Levi Adams, Chloe Lotz-Lopus and Liam Oliver Lopus, Reese Jean and Merritt Josephine Lopus, and Jaxon Timothy Manross. Siblings include her sister Eleanor Lindenberger of Erie, PA; and her brothers Joseph B. (Nancy) Dahlkemper of Marco Island, FL, and David Dahlkemper of Erie, PA; and sister-in-law Frances J. Lopus of Naples, FL; and many loving nieces, nephews, and cousins.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Ralph T. Lopus; her son, Timothy J. Lopus; her brothers Gerald A. Dahlkemper and John F. "Jack" Dahlkemper, and her sister, Doris Ann "Dorie" Kraus.
Rita was born on September 12, 1924 in Erie, PA to Joseph S. and Fern Dahlkemper. She graduated from Academy High School in 1942. Over the course of her professional life she worked as a secretary at both GMAC and SA Wagner. She held a bookkeeping position for Ferry Trucking Co. in Saegertown, worked in the Saegertown High School cafeteria, and for many years enjoyed a thriving business as a Tupperware Sales manager.
For 58 years Rita has been a member of Saint Bernadette parish in Saegertown where she also had long tenures as president of the Altar Rosary Society. She was an active member of the Meadville Medical Center (formerly Spencer Hospital) Auxiliary for 43 years and had belonged to the Vernon Grange. She greatly enjoyed her many hours of volunteering.
For decades, she and her husband Ralph opened their home for grand Fourth of July celebrations. Her baked goods won awards at the Crawford County Fair. She was wise, kind, and always full of fun, encouragement, and wisdom. She loved playing cards the Waterford-based card club met for more than 60 years, and the local Bridge Club gave her great joy.
Her stove was always warm, and her schedule was always full. She kept a diary of her activities and those of her family for decades. She could always supply a story of her own to a family gathering, and often served as a fact-checker on the stories others would tell about days gone by. She was an active grandmother, often acting as nurse during illness, or as a child-sitter for weekend getaways so that parents could have a "break". She provided a snowy slope for her grandchildren to sled down in winter, and hot cocoa to warm them up when they were done.
Rita's strong Catholic faith and devotion to praying the Rosary daily have been foundational in the lives of her family and friends.
Visiting hours will be held on Friday, June 2 from 1-4 pm and 6-9 pm at STEPHEN P. MIZNER FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION SERVICES, INC., 404 CHESTNUT ST., MEADVILLE, where a scripture service will take place at 8:45.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday June 3 at 10 am at St. Bernadette's Roman Catholic Church, Renner Ave., Saegertown with Father Philip Pinczewski, Pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish, Erie, celebrating.
Rita will be laid to rest beside her husband, Ralph, at St. Agatha Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Meadville Medical Center Auxiliary, 751 Liberty Street, Meadville, PA 16335.
Share a memory or condolence at www.miznerfuneralhome.com.
Published on May 31, 2017
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