Rita L. Buerkett, 81, of Springfield, IL died at 1:12 a.m. Sunday, November 6, 2011 at her home surrounded by her family. She was born July 21, 1930 in Devils Lake, ND to Lee and Mildred Sanders Bellows. She married Merle K. Buerkett on January 10, 1953 and he preceded her in death on April 11, 2009. Her parents and one infant brother, Loren Bellows, also preceded her in death.
Rita is survived by two daughters, Lorilea Buerkett (Bill Metz) of Springfield and Michelle Buerkett (fiancé Mike Kovarik) of Springfield; two sons, Merle A. Buerkett of Athens and William Tracy (Lynn) Buerkett of Hendersonville, TN; 7 grandchildren; Melissa (James) Vivian, Kelly (Matt) Walker and Abigail Buerkett, Briana (James) Skipper, Elysia Blanchfield, Stephanie and Mason Alford one great granddaughter Emma Jane Skipper; one sister, Darleen Ferris of Knoxville, TN; one brother Kirk (RaeDene) Bellows of Chandler, AZ and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was a member of St. Agnes Church. Rita attended Mercy School of Nursing in Valley City, ND and began her nursing career at Battle Creek Michigan Army Hospital. She then worked at St. John’s Hospital for six years and retired from the Illinois Department Public Health in 1995 after 11 years of service. She was a longtime bowler, shuffle board player, an avid card player and was a member of the Red Hat Society and the Elks Ladies Auxiliary #158. Rita volunteered at St. Agnes Church and St. John’s Breadline.
Visitation: 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at Staab Funeral Home.
Funeral Service: 11 am Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at Staab Funeral Home with Reverend Robert Jallas officiating.
Private graveside services will be held at Camp Butler Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Agnes School.