Rita LaRae Meehan, age 69, of Otsego, died Thursday, May 2, 2013, at home.
She was born Nov. 4, 1943, in Bayonne, NJ, the daughter of Rodney and Mardell (“Micky” Harkman. While her father served in the army, Rita moved with her parents many times. Tiring of traveling, Rita and her mother moved back to the Midtling family farm in Cokato in 1944, while Rodney served in Europe during World War II.
Rita attended Cokato Public Schools, worked as a roller skating car-hop at the drive-in, and enjoyed cheerleading in high school.
She enrolled in the Meeker County School of Practical Nursing program at Meeker County Memorial Hospital in Litchfield, where she received her licensed practical nursing degree in August 1962.
Rita married Larry Meehan Dec. 27, 1963, and the couple resided in Buffalo Lake, where Rita began her LPN career at the Buffalo Lake Nursing Home.
Larry and Rita shared almost 50 years together as devoted partners, parents, and grandparents.
They moved to Mound in 1983, and shortly after, Rita began her second career as an American Greeting Card merchandiser. She enjoyed being in the public eye, interacting with customers, and especially spending time with her American Greeting co-workers.
Larry and Rita moved to Otsego in 2006, and in 2007, Rita began her struggle with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Her positive outlook, endearing personality, never-give-up mentality, and warm, inviting smile allowed her six-year battle to go mostly unnoticed by her family and friends. She was a true inspiration to all.
Rita loved her grandchildren dearly, and spent every moment she could find with them.
She was preceded in death by her father, Rodney Harkman.
Rita will be deeply missed by her husband, Larry; children, Tamie (Mark) Morken, and Mark J. (Missy) Meehan; grandchildren Kylie and Adam Morken; and Max and Jack Meehan; mother Mardell “Micky” Harkman; brother Mark R. Harkman; and many relatives and good friends.
The funeral service took place Thursday, May 9 at 11 a.m. at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Brooklyn Park, with the Rev. Natalia Terfa officiating.
There was private family interment at Stockholm Cemetery in Cokato.