Rita Marie (Johnson) WhitemanNovember 10, 1925 ~ December 29, 2017 (age 92)
Rita Marie (Johnson) Whiteman, age 92, died on Friday, December 29, 2017, in the arms of her loving family. She was born on November 10, 1925, in Green Bay, Wisconsin, to Ira and Alma Johnson. Rita always made it clear that she was a “west side girl,” growing up on North Broadway St. and graduating from West High School in 1944. After graduation, she lived in Miami, Florida, for several years and then returned to Green Bay and worked at Wisconsin Public Service until her marriage to Phillip K. Whiteman on May 26, 1951. Rita and Phil were together for 54 years, until his death in 2006, and they enjoyed a very full life of family, church, and travel. Their travels took them to every part of the United States and many parts of the world, and in their later years, to Florida for a month of warmth each year.
Rita had a very fulfilling life, perpetually “busy” with all of her home and community projects and trying to get “caught up” on reading her newspapers. Her three children were very important to her, she was supportive of their projects and events, and appreciative of their accomplishments. Rita was a very social person, always the organizer of events and blessed with many friends whom she loved to entertain over dessert and coffee, a simple dinner, or a game of bridge. She lived her faith through over 60 years of active service to the First United Methodist Church, where she served in multiple leadership roles and was particularly active in United Methodist Women, Active Adults, and the Schuyler Garth Club. Rita was also a leader in the MacDowell Club, reflecting her great love of music, and volunteered for Meals on Wheels.
She is survived by three children, David Whiteman (Lee Jane Kaufman), Columbia, S.C., Barbara Whiteman Brown, Minneapolis, Minn., and Paula Englebert, Sturgeon Bay; three grandchildren, Athey Kaufman (Scott Fairweather), Brittany (Tom) Schaefer, and Adam Englebert; one great-grandchild, Natalee Kaufman; one brother, Richard (Pat) Johnson; one brother-in-law, Richard (Pat) Whiteman, Omaha, Neb.; and one sister-in-law, Joyce Whiteman, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Phillip K. Whiteman; her brother, Robert Johnson; and her brother-in-law, Eugene Whiteman.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, January 4, 2018, at First United Methodist Church, 501 Howe St., Green Bay from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. A funeral service will follow at 11:30 a.m. with the Rev. David Kalas officiating. For those who are unable to attend Rita's services, there will be a live stream of the funeral available at http://www.fumcgb.org. Interment will be in the Fort Howard Memorial Park.
The family wishes to thank the staff of Woodside Villa and Unity Hospice for their compassionate and loving care, with a special thank you to Ashley for her extraordinary support. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Unity Hospice or the First United Methodist Church in Rita’s name.