VisitationHoly Rosary Catholic Church
Graceville, MN 56240
Rita M. Pansch, age 81, of Graceville, Minnesota passed away peacefully at Grace Home in Graceville with family at her side on December 22, 2016 after battling cancer since 2010.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, December 30, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Graceville with Fr. David Breu Celebrant. Special Music will be provided by Randy Fischer.
Interment will be in St. Peter's Catholic Cemetery, rural Dumont, Minnesota. Pallbearers will be Scott Pederson, Allen Frisch, Luke Lass, Austin McCulloch, Damian Mosbrucker and Ryan Pansch.
Visitation will be held Thursday evening, December 29th from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. with a 7:00 p.m. Prayer Service at Holy Rosary Catholic Church. Visitation will continue Friday morning one hour prior to service time at the church.
Rita Marie Fischer was born in Graceville, Minnesota on January 27, 1935 to Jerome and Marie (Danelkiewitz) Fischer. Rita's childhood was busy with her brother Jerome and three step-sisters: Louise, Adelia and Rosella. They lost their father when Rita was nine but always cherished her beloved mother and siblings. Rita graduated from St. Mary's Academy of Graceville where she met her first husband, James "Jim" Unzen.
On July 13, 1954 Jim and Rita were united in holy matrimony and resided together for forty-three years on the family farm two and a half miles south of Dumont. They were blessed with the birth of nine children. Rita's life was fulfilled by being a farmer's wife and a mother. She spread that joy each day to her husband and children in the simplest ways. Jim passed away on June 5, 1997 at age sixty-two and went to his Heavenly Father.
On June 27, 1998 Rita was fortunate to have captured another man's heart and married Roger Pansch. They were wed in Graceville and resided together for eighteen wonderful years. Fifteen of those years were spent enjoying being snowbirds in Winter Haven, Florida.
Rita loved to sew and made a successful business out of her passion. She was a seamstress who could sew wedding and prom dresses from scratch and make exquisite Barbie doll clothes. With alterations being Rita's specialty she was able to alter anything to anyone's specific size. She also loved to cook and hosted several New Year's parties at the farm.
Rita was a talented piano/organ player who also enjoyed square dancing, playing countless hours of cards and being with family and friends. She spent time as a bus driver for the Wheaton School District. Rita was also a volunteer at Disney World and the nursing home at which she was involved in the kitchen band, playing knives. Rita was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary. She also had traveled to forty-nine states and participated in the Cancer Walk for all six years of being a cancer survivor.
Rita is survived by her husband Roger Pansch of Graceville; her children: Karen (Mike) Frisch of East Grand Forks, Minnesota; Jean (Glen) Pederson of Starbuck, Minnesota; Irene (Kemp) Lass of Glyndon, Minnesota; Rosanne (Mark) Roark of Browns Valley, Minnesota; David (Patty) Unzen of Auburn, Washington; Mary (Mike) Wettstein of Rosemount, Minnesota; Susan (Tim) McCulloch of Alexandria, Minnesota; Lois (Calvin) Mosbrucker of Mandan, North Dakota; Dan (Kristina Schram) Unzen of Center Barnstead, New Hampshire; twenty-five grandchildren; eighteen great-grandchildren; and brother Jerry (Joann) Fischer. Rita is also survived by Roger Pansch's children: Maylene (Ben) Chaska of Fargo, North Dakota; Ray (Nancy) Pansch of Graceville, Minnesota; Jane (Tim) Norgren of New Brighton, Minnesota; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Rita is preceded in death by her first husband James Unzen; her parents Jerome and Marie Fischer; and stepsisters: Louise Fahey, Adelia Schmitt and Rosella Carlson.