Rita A. Wattjes, 52


Rita Arlene Wattjes, 52, of Tuscola, and formerly of the Springfield area, died on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in her home.

Visitation will be held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of rural Nokomis on Saturday, March 9, from 1 to 3 p.m., with graveside services and burial to immediately follow at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church cemetery.

Ms. Wattjes was born in Hillsboro on July 12, 1971, the youngest and only daughter of Harold and Irene Wattjes. She graduated from Nokomis High School in 1989. She was raised on the Wattjes family farm in Nokomis.

Ms. Wattjes’ love to bake was passed down from generations before her. She worked in retail sales and customer service for many years. She later selflessly dedicated her life to taking care of her parents so that they could remain in the comfort of their home. She was very artistic, and loved drawing, coloring, crocheting, crafts and DIY projects. Ms. Wattjes loved collecting vibrant pink flamingos and adored the Winnie the Pooh characters.

She was an amazing aunt that enjoyed spoiling all her nieces and nephews as if they were her own children.  Ms. Wattjes was a beloved daughter, sister, aunt and niece.

Ms. Wattjes was preceded in death by her parents, Harold I. and Irene  Wattjes of Tuscola and formerly Nokomis; paternal grandparents Richard Wattjes and Helen Michelman Wattjes of Nokomis; maternal grandparents Herb and Temple Schmedeke of Harvel; and many great aunts and uncles.

Ms. Wattjes is survived by her elder brother, Dennis and sister-in-law Paula Wattjes; their children,  Alesia (Michael) Haslett and Rebecca Wattjes, all of Nokomis and Witt; and eldest brother Darrell and sister-in-law Michelle Wattjes; their children, Dawn (Richard) Tungate, Michael Wattjes and Heather Alarcon Wattjes; great-niece Destiny and great-nephew Ethan of Columbus, IN; maternal aunt Janet Bergman; maternal uncle Don (Karen) Schmedeke; paternal aunt Glinda Klim; and many cousins.

Memorials can be directed to Stiehl-Dawson Funeral Home on behalf of the family.

Online condolences can be left at stiehldawsonfh.com