Rita J. Sterling
July 22, 1934 – December 31, 2022
Rita J. Sterling, age 88. Preceded in death by her parents Walter and Mary Lucille Shuttleworth, brother Don Shuttleworth and husband Fred Sterling. She is survived by her daughter Julie Baldauf (Steve) and son Michael Sterling (Teri); grandchildren, David Sterling, Tyler Stiltner, Allison and Joshua Sterling; great-grandchildren Angelus Shea, Michael Reiff, George Sterling, Remy and Hailey Stiltner and her sister Judy Beers.
Rita was born in Lancaster, Ohio. She graduated from Lancaster High School, class of 1952. Rita met Fred in Lancaster when he was serving in the United States Air Force (USAF) stationed at Lockbourne Air Force Base near Columbus, Ohio. They were married on February 16, 1956 and stayed by each other until Fred’s passing on May 27, 2004, just over 48 years.
Rita enjoyed many moves and adventures thanks to the military. She had the opportunity to live in Las Vegas Nevada where she and Fred no doubt made many memories but the one true joy of their life was when they adopted their daughter Julie. Their next journey took them across the globe to England which is where Michael was born. They then returned to the United States California then to Ohio and finally settled in Omaha Nebraska where they began their retired life which consisted mostly of traveling to see their children and seeing the greatness that nature has to offer.
After Fred’s passing, Rita spent much of her time taking care of her children and grandchildren. Spending time with her neighborhood friends and playing Bingo when she had the chance. She also loved to visit with her brother and sister in Ohio when she could. One of her favorite places to visit while in Lancaster was the unique view of her hometown from the heights of Mount Pleasant and she always talked about how she loved the Ohio State Fair. Later in life she was cared for by her children and grandchildren as years wore on. Her final years were spent traveling on more military driven adventures with her son Mike as he moved around with the USAF. She spent time on the beach in Mississippi where she loved to take boat rides to the coastal islands and collect seashells along the water’s edge. Rita was always sure to feed the slot machines at the Biloxi casinos and usually walked away a winner but she never missed out on the buffet desserts! Finally, she moved with Mike to San Antonio Texas where she was able to enjoy the warm weather, good food, the River Walk and see the Alamo. Rita lived a wonderfully full life and was always willing to help anyone who needed it if she was able. She will be missed.
VISITATION: Tuesday, January 10, 2023, 12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m., followed by FUNERAL SERVICE at 1:00 p.m. at the West Center Chapel. Interment, Evergreen Memorial Park. Memorials are suggested to Alzheimer’s Association. To view a live broadcast of the Service, please visit www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Cast” button at the top of the home page.