Rita M. Gerner

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Rita Mary Gerner, 100, died May 19, 2024, at her residence in Guttenberg with family at her side. 

Funeral services were Saturday, May 25, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Garnavillo, conducted by Rev. Marvin Bries. Visitation was was before services at the church.

Burial was in the church cemetery.

She was born on Aug. 19, 1923, at home near Garber to Ben and Gertrude (Zapf) Meyer. Rita attended country school at Garber, St. Joseph’s at Garnavillo, and graduated from high school at Immaculate Conception Academy in Dubuque. 

On June 6, 1946, she was united in marriage to Alphonse “Al” Gerner at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Garber. Eight children were born to this union. They farmed in the Garber area and milked cows and raised crops. Al passed away in 1988. In 1994, Rita moved from the home farm to live with son Richard. In 2022, Rita moved to Guttenberg to live with daughter Karen.

Al and Rita always had a large garden. Rita baked countless loaves of delicious bread, coffee cake and apple pies. Rita was a member of St. Michael’s Church in Garber for 80 years until its closing in 2003, at which time she joined St. Joseph’s. Rita sang at St. Michael’s on Sundays and for funerals, accompanied by her mother Gertrude on the organ, for 27 years. Faith and family were special parts of her life.

Survivors include four sons, David, Jim (Pam Moritz), Loras (Patti) of Garber; and Richard of Guttenberg; four daughters, Dori (Ted) Eilers and Karen Meyer of Guttenberg; Betty Gerner of Center Point; and Joan (Elvis) Gleason of Greeley; 12 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. 

Rita was preceded in death by her husband; sons-in-law, Dale Meyer and Charles Forester; great-grandson, Austin Gerner; and a brother, Clarence Meyer.

Morris Funeral Home in Garnavillo is assisting the family and information is available at www.morrisfuneralhomes.com. Memorials may be sent to Morris Funeral Home (in care of the deceased), 207 S. First St., Guttenberg, IA 52052.

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