Rita Gruenhagen, 71

Rita Joyce (Hartkopf) Gruenhagen, age 71, of Howard Lake, passed away Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, of complications due to pneumonia.

She was born March 11, 1945, in Minneapolis, to Marvin and Mary Blanche (Aubart) Hartkopf.

Rita graduated from Eden Valley High School with the class of 1964.

She was united in marriage to Gary Gruenhagen of Howard Lake June 5, 1970, at St. James Lutheran Church in Howard Lake, by the Rev. Gerhard C. Michael. This marriage was blessed with four daughters: Deborah, Delight, DeeAnn, and Donna.

Rita and Gary lived on the family farm north of Howard Lake, and shared 46 years of marriage.

Rita enjoyed a variety of things including music, dancing, cross stitch, crochet, needle-work, watching wrestling, playing bingo, playing cards with family, and most recently with her friends at the senior center. She also enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren, whom she loved dearly.

Rita had been a patient at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis since Oct. 24.

She is survived by her spouse, Gary Gruenhagen of Howard Lake; daughters Deborah Gruenhagen and friend Marty of Lester Prairie, Delight (Teak) Wood of Howard Lake, DeeAnn (Roger) Hartsuiker of Hutchinson, and Donna (Mike) Carlson of Montrose; and grandchildren Thomas Reardon of Montrose, Ashley and Caitlin Hartsuiker of Hutchinson, and Danielle Wood of Howard Lake.

Rita is further survived by her siblings, Alan, Marlys, Gennie, and Larry; sister-in law Corene Oestreich of Howard Lake; nephews Daniel (Teresa) Oestreich, Donald (Tammy) Oestreich, all of Howard Lake; niece Dellarae (Brad) Brabec of Watertown; and a host of other family members and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Marvin and Mary Blanche Hartkopf; father- and mother-in-law Fredrick and Florence Gruenhagen; and brother-in law Dennis Oestreich.

A memorial service took place Friday, Nov. 18 at 11 a.m. at St. James Lutheran Church in Howard Lake, with visitation two hours prior to the service at church.

Arrangements were with Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Howard Lake; www.swansonpeterson.com.

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