Rita Marie Lustig Wimer, 96, died peacefully in McCall, Idaho, Sept. 4, 2020.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 15, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Cottonwood, Idaho. A rosary will be recited at 10 a.m. followed by Mass at 10:30, officiated by Fathers Joseph Lustig and Paul Wander. Interment will immediately follow at the Cottonwood Catholic Cemetery. There will be no public dinner following the interment.

Arrangements are under the direction of Blackmer Funeral Home, Grangeville, Idaho.

God bestowed the gift of life upon Rita, June 17, 1924, as the ninth child born to Victor and Mary Jansen Lustig at their home outside of Greencreek, Idaho. The family eventually included eleven children. Rita grew up on the family farm and attended school in Greencreek. She spent her entire life on the Camas Prairie with the exception of a brief time working in Spokane, Wash, during World War II.

Rita married Maurice H. Wimer on Aug. 24, 1946, and spent the remainder of her life in Cottonwood. Maurice had a debilitating stroke in 1978 and Rita cared for him at home until 1993. He died in 1998.

Rita’s life was directed by devotion to her church and family. She consistently attended daily Mass, considering it an essential part of her life. She always placed the needs of her family above her own, whether that meant sacrificing for her sons, caring for her husband following his stroke, or caring for her brother (Father Victor Lustig) in his final days.

As a child of the great depression, Rita embraced and passed on to her sons the value of work while teaching them the virtue of being frugal. She embraced the adage: It’s not how much you earn, but how much you save that counts. Her stubborn independence was also an example to others as she was often seen mowing her own lawn until the age of 85. She was proud of her ability to care for herself and not be a burden on others. Rita remained in her home until three months prior to her passing.

In keeping with her strong devotion to the Catholic faith, a highlight in Rita’s life occurred in 2000 when she had an opportunity to travel to Betania, Venezuela, to see Maria Esperanza whose cause for canonization is now under way. She was very grateful to her travel companions and often spoke of how this pilgrimage personally impacted her.

Survivors include three sons: Tom (Millie) Wimer, Ferdinand, Idaho; Mark (Barbara) Wimer, New Meadows, Idaho; and, Burnell (Arlene) Wimer, Boise, Idaho; 12 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Rita was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, all of her siblings and her son, Charles, who was stillborn.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Catholic Charities of Idaho or a Christian charity of your choice.

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