SAVANNA—Rita Gilman, 92, of Savanna, passed away Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, at Allure of Mount Carroll Nursing Home.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 7, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Savanna, with burial in St. John's Cemetery. Visitation will be held at the church one hour prior to the service. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.lawjonesfuneralhome.com.
Rita was born Sept. 2, 1927, in Chicago, to Michael and Margaret (Skibinski) Nowak. She attended Savanna schools and worked at the Savanna Army Depot until she married William L Gilman Sept. 9, 1952, at St John's Catholic Church in Savanna. She later worked at Duncan's store until its closing. Rita and Bill spent the winters in Arizona after retirement.
Rita loved crafting, painting, crocheting and drawings. She and Bill learned ballroom dancing and country western dancing. Rita lit up the room when she was visited by her children and grandchildren.
Rita had a warm, caring, loving personality and smile that was welcoming and unforgettable. She loved to cook big meals for holidays, family weekend visits and planning yearly family reunions.
Rita will be dearly missed by her one son, William L (Cathy) Gilman Jr. of Lanark; three daughters, Linda (Steve) Schneider of Mount Carroll, Janet (David) Bodell of Tucson, Ariz., and Judith Crist of Dubuque, Iowa; a son-in-law, Richard Miller of Mount Carroll; a brother, Clarence (Suzzette) of Glendale, Ariz.; 17 grandchildren: Melissa (Brad) Stein; Brent (Kim) Schneider; Brian (Pixie) Schneider; Joshua Schneider; Daniel, Jonathon, Jessica and Benjamin Bodell; Brooke, Courtney, Jacob and Colin Gilman; Cassandra (Adam) Kness and Jennesa (Derick) Atherton; Taylar, Kylee and Traer (McKenzie) Crist; many great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Rita was preceded in death by her husband, Bill; her parents; a daughter, Carol; and eight brothers and sisters.