Rita J. (Crossley) Cushenbery

Rita J. (Crossley) Cushenbery

November 3, 1930 – April 2, 2024

Rita Jean Kurtz was born on November 3, 1930, in Montoursville, Pennsylvania.  She was the daughter of Mahlon and Mary Kurtz and was big sister to Ruth and Gordon.

Rita graduated from Montoursville High School and then attended Lock Haven University in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania.    There she earned a bachelor’s degree in education.  Soon after graduation, she married Richard (Dick) Crossley, and they made their home in Montoursville.

Dick and Rita had four children, Kimberly, Richard (Rick), Brett and Kent.  During those early years, Rita taught kindergarten at Lyter Elementary in Montoursville, while Dick worked at Mutual of Omaha.

In 1966, Dick was transferred to Omaha for his job.  They bought a home on 123rd St, which, at that time, was very much “west Omaha”.  Rita soon joined the Omaha Public Schools as a kindergarten teacher at Western Hills school.  She continued to teach at Western Hills until her retirement in 1989.

Rita lost Dick too soon in 1985 and after a few years alone, she met and married Donald Cushenbery, a retired UNO professor.  After she retired, Rita and Don did some traveling, but she mostly enjoyed volunteer work and bowling.  She volunteered at her church, at Immanuel Hospital, and for the small business administration in Omaha.

In 2009, Rita lost Don.  She continued to live at her home until 2013, when arthritis forced her out of her split entry home.  She moved to Keystone retirement community and eventually to Immanuel Village retirement community.

Rita was kind, funny, outgoing, and had a caring, giving heart. She was a hard worker and never let anything stand in her way.  Whether it was teaching young children or helping people through volunteer work, she gave it her all.

Rita was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and sister.  She loved spending time with her family and friends. Family was everything to her. No matter how busy her life was, she hosted family get-togethers for years.  She taught her children the importance of family and the tradition continues.

Rita was preceded in death by her husbands, Richard Crossley and Donald Cushenbery, her sister, Ruth Litzelfelner, and her grandson, Matthew Krause

She is survived by her children, Kimberly Krause (Steve), Rick Crossley, Brett Crossley (Cathy), Kent Crossley (DeAnna), grandchildren Mahlon Crossley (Ashley), Meg Krause, Joshua Krause (Corey), Colby Crossley, Bryce Crossley, great-grandchildren, Breigha Czajkoski, Mahlorey Crossley, Caroline Krause, Thomas Krause, and brother Gordon Kurtz (Peggy).

VISITATION: Friday, April 5th, from 10 to 11 a.m., followed by CELEBRATION OF LIFE at 11 a.m., at West Center Chapel.

Interment, Evergreen Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to St. Luke United Methodist Church. 11810 Burke St., Omaha, NE 68154

To view a live broadcast of the Celebration of Life, please visit www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “Live Cast” button at the top of the home page.


  • Donna Cushenbery Tatreau Posted April 4, 2024 12:28 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with Kim, Brett, Kent, and Rick and their families. I will remember all the good times we had for the 19 years that my Dad and Rita were together. I hope Rita is having a wonderful reunion in Heaven!

  • Jo Anderson Posted April 4, 2024 2:08 pm

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Your mother was an amazing woman to have raised such a kind loving family. I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.🙏🙏🙏🙏

  • Melissa (Tatreau) Holtmeier Posted April 4, 2024 4:03 pm

    Love you, Grandma Rita! You were an outstanding wife, mom, grandma, TEACHER and more. Grateful to have had you in my life. Give Grandpa a big hug from me!

  • Kelley Patton Posted April 4, 2024 4:35 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss of a sweet lady. Prayers for you all.

  • Mike Heese Posted April 6, 2024 6:18 am

    Losing a parent is always the hardest. Our prayers are with your family.

Sign Guestbook

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *