ZOCHOWSKI, Rita Elizabeth (Wickenheiser) – of Burton, MI, age 87, passed away on Saturday, January 23, 2021 after a full life. Due to COVID restrictions, a Private Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Davison, MI; Fr. David F. Howell celebrant. Rita will be laid to rest next to her husband, Jerome, in St. John Catholic Cemetery. A celebration of her life will be held on a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Living Joy of Flushing, 1525 E. Pierson Rd., Flushing, MI 48433 or the Hospice Center of your choice.
Rita began her life in Carleton, Michigan, the 9th and youngest child of August J. and Lena (Rivard) Wickenheiser. She was filled with life! Rita married Jerome H. Zochowski on August 1, 1953. When relocated to Flint, Michigan, Rita stayed connected to her family of origin by making regular road trips with her own 9 children, singing songs, praying the rosary, and playing games along the way. These trips created a lifelong bond between siblings and cousins. Rita was a special aunt to her many nieces and nephews and loved them as her own.
She was a woman of many interests. Rita loved nature and enjoyed gardening, birdwatching, playing cards and dominos and solving puzzles of all sorts. She had the amazing skill of identifying all things, from constellations to cacti, impressing both her children and grandchildren. Yet, she had a mischievous sense of humor, with funny family initiations to unexpected practical jokes, and jokes for friends, like trick-or-treating at the convent, dressed as a bum (without her kids)!
Rita was happiest when caring for other people. After raising her children, Rita found great joy and lifelong friendships through volunteering for the Women’s Auxiliary at St. Joseph Hospital and working as the Office Manager for H&R Block Executive Tax Service. The Catholic Faith guided Rita throughout her life. Her motto was “the family that prays together stays together”, and the connectedness of our extended family has proven that to be true.
Rita is survived by 8 children, Rochelle (Steven) House, Stanley (Linda) Zochowski, Helen (Cal) Leeke, Anthony Zochowski, Teresa Zochowski, Mary (Tom) Hudson, Stephen (Georgy) Zochowski and Susan (Ron) Colby; many cherished grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, August and Lena Wickenheiser; her siblings; her loving husband, Jerome Zochowski and her daughter, Laura Rose Sanders.