Rita M Stuhmeier, 71, passed away on Friday, May 13, after a courageous battle with lymphoma cancer.
Rita was born on June 14, 1944 as the youngest of three girls in Bocholt, Germany. As an 18-year-old, she spent a couple of years as an au pair and hotel maid in England and Scotland. Back in Germany, she worked as an executive secretary for a large chemical company in Marl where she met her loving husband, Jorn. They were married May 8, 1970 and had two daughters. Soon after the birth of their second daughter, the young family moved to Fort Worth, Texas in 1977. In 1982 they moved back to Germany and then back to the U.S. (Fair Haven) in 1986. For the past ten years Rita and her husband have lived in Little Silver.
Rita easily made friends in all of her new environments. She was known for her energy, vivaciousness and wit. Whether it was being a counselor in the high school’s career center, an official at one of her daughters’ many swim meets, or lending an open and sympathetic ear to friends and family, she was always deeply involved in her loved ones lives. She was even called “mom” by her daughters’ friends.
She was an active member of the Rumson Presbyterian Church and supported Jorn in his various functions there.
Rita was an avid reader. In the later part of her life, she successfully took up bridge. Times spent at the Shrewsbury River Yacht Club were the highlights of her summer.
Her main passion was her family and being an “Oma” of six grandchildren filled her with pride.
She is survived by her husband Jorn of 46 years, daughters Petra Griffith (Santa Monica, California) and Katrin Lindner (Wiesbaden, Germany) and their spouses Doug Griffith and Eike Lindner, six grandchildren Chiara, Hendrik, Fritz, Mathis, Resi and Steffi, sister Elisabeth Goeddemeyer, a sister-in-law, three brother-in-laws, and four nieces and nephews.
A special thanks to her niece Kirsten (and Thomas) Kienbaum and all the friends who helped with meals, rides and well wishes in the months of her cancer treatment. She will never be forgotten and has made a lasting impression on the lives of everyone she has met!
A Funeral Service was held at the Rumson Presbyterian Church; cremation was private. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent in Rita’s memory to HABcore Inc., P.O. Box 2361, Red Bank, NJ 07701. Please visit Rita’s memorial website available at www.johnedayfuneralhome.com.
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