In loving memory of

Rita Kruesel
April 9, 1947 - February 11, 2020

Rita Rae (Ritz) Kruesel, 72, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, February 11th, 2020 surrounded by loved ones after a courageous, 6 year battle with Lewy Body Dementia. Rita was born on April 9, 1947 in Manorville, MN, the youngest of seven children. She excelled in school, played the drums in the marching band, and was a cheerleader at high school football games. Rita's first job after high school was as a surgery scheduling administrator at the Mayo Clinic. She met her husband of fifty years, Gary, on a blind date. Later in life, after raising three sons, Rita worked at Tyrol Ski and Sports for 33 years.
Rita would do anything for her children, extended family, friends and two granddaughters, Anna Majella and Lorna Rae. Her selfless spirit was obvious throughout her entire life, spreading joy and happiness with a warm smile each and every day.
Rita loved baking and cooking for family holidays and get-togethers. She enjoyed vacationing "Up North" at Woman Lake and traveling the country with her extended family. She would light up any room with her smile, warmth and optimism. Anytime Rita and Gary visited, they would bear gifts, usually fresh chocolate chip cookies or warm brownies.
Rita was a loving wife, mother, mother-in-law, an Olympic-caliber grandmother, and friend to everyone she touched with her love and kindness.
Rita is survived by her husband Gary (a Saint), sons Jeff (Sheila, Anna and Lorna), Tim (KeCee) and Brian (Paul).
Thank you to Dr. Rhee with Mayo Clinic's Palliative Care Team, Visiting Angels (Sue Koch and Mauricia Dery), and Exercise Mobility for the gentle care and support throughout her entire journey.
A Funeral Service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 15, 2020 at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes (5421 Royal Place NW Rochester, MN) with the Pastor Mike Zaske officiating. Visitation will be held from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. on Friday, February 14, 2020 at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes and one hour prior to the service on Saturday at the funeral home. Burial will take place at Oakwood Cemetery.
As an expression of sympathy, a memorial donation may be sent to Lewy Body Dementia Association at

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes is honored to be serving the Kruesel family. To leave a special memory or condolence please visit


walter pappas wrote on Feb 17, 2020:

"So sorry to read about your loss of Rita, What you wrote her in your email is so true of Rita, much like her mother . We sure enjoyed our years together at Woman lake. Our condolences to your family. Walt and Pam Pappas "

Thad Johnson wrote on Feb 15, 2020:

"Our thoughts and prayers and with you and your family. Thad and Suzy Johnson "

Dave Nietz wrote on Feb 15, 2020:

"So sorry to hear about the passing of Rita, we offer our thoughts and prayers to you and your family. Dave and Arleen Nietz"

Don and Carole Ott wrote on Feb 14, 2020:

"We send our deep sympathy to Gary and Family on the death of Rita. Don and Carole Ott"

Rod Herrick wrote on Feb 14, 2020:

"Gary and family, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Gary, it has been very good to see you and Rita at the Exercieabilities. It is also so sad when our loved ones are affected with that type of health problem. Again, our thoughts and prayers are with you.. Rod and Lilas Herrick"

Gary Kruesel wrote on Feb 14, 2020:

"My best friend-buddy-love-soul mate Rita has physically left me on February 11, 2020 at 11:01AM . I am so hurt and sad by her physically leaving my family and friends and I. I cannot say enough how very blessed I am in having been her husband and care provider for these past years .. she was the love of my life and my bright shining star. I cannot say enough about how much she meant and still does to me and my family .. she is so missed as well by her 3 sons Jeff (Sheila), Tim (Kecee), Brian (Paul) and 2 Grand Daughters (Anna and Lorna Rae) and brother Phil and sisters Rosie and Ruth along with her sister in law Karen (Jim) and brother in law John (Judy) ... to only mention a few. Rita was always so nice to everyone ? she lite up every room she was in .. she made people happy and smile ... she was such a wonderful wife, mother, grand mother, aunt, sister, friend ... her husband (me) will sign off now ? as we are getting ready to see, hug and maybe have a tear or two with you who loved her for either a very long time or brief time ... she is at peace but NOT forgotten ... from her extended family we say ... we love you Rita .. we love ad well to you our family and many friends... bye for now .. we hope to see you either tonight at her wake or tomorrow when we see and wish her goodbye ... for now ... WE love you ALL."

Larry and Patti Rust wrote on Feb 13, 2020:

"Dear Gary... Larry and I just heard about Rita. We are heartbroken. We knew Rita, she was such a sweet lady. And we know you were the most loving and caring husband we've ever seen. We will share this heartbreaking news with the members of the Gopher State Treasure Hunting Club. Sending you lots of love and {{{hugs}}} Gary. You are truly a Saint, as it says in the obituary, and you made Rita's last years the very best you could. Love you always Gary ~ Larry and Patti Rust"

Mary Hamilton wrote on Feb 13, 2020:

"So sorry to hear of Rita's death. We've met you through B. J. and Joe. Hugs"

Carolyn Jurrens wrote on Feb 12, 2020:

"Gary, I am so sorry for your loss of sweet Rita. I am the seamstress who has done the repairs and zipper replacement for Tyrol. Rita was such a joy to work with, and I always enjoyed hearing about her kids and grandkids. I thought of her yesterday when I stopped by Tyrol and wondered how you were getting along. When I saw the noticed I was so sad. I will be out of town this weekend and I wanted you to know I will be praying for you and your family. Carolyn Jurrens, Sewing by Carolyn. "

Wendy Forthun wrote on Feb 12, 2020:

"An amazing woman!, part of a wonderful family. So many good memories. Thank you Gary for taking such good care of her. To all the boys, my heart breaks for you. I am so sorry for your loss. Forever in your heart and always watching over you. God Bless You. Sending lots of love to you all. "

Lisa Jaeger wrote on Feb 12, 2020:

"I am so sad, but am relieved she is no longer suffering. She was one of the best people I have known. Gary, Tim, Brian, Jeff, Shiela - I love you all , and cannot imagine how this feels, except I feel so sad, because she was my second mother growing up. Your family has always been so special to me. Brian you were my best friend for so many years, my love has never ceased. Hugs to you all. Rita, such a special women, her laugh, her cookies, the smell of laundry, the way she said milk and wash, the curling iron she had to cut out of my hair, her smile, and cute laugh. Most of my wonderful childhood memories involved your family. My heart is broken. "