Rita Mae Michels


July 17, 1924 - May 25, 2019


Rita Mae Michels, 94, Emery, SD passed away peacefully Saturday, May 25, 2019, at the Diamond Care Center in Bridgewater.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 AM Wednesday, May 29 at St. Martin Catholic Church in Emery, with burial in the church cemetery. Visitation will be from 5-7:00 pm Tuesday with a scripture service at 7:00 pm at the Hettinger-Bittner Funeral Chapel in Emery.

Rita Mae was born July 17, 1924, to William (Bill) and Clarisse (Olinger) Michels.  She went to school at St. Martin Catholic School in Emery.  After graduation from high school, she went to work at the family grain elevator.  She later went on to work at another family business (John Deere) where she ran the parts department.  Rita Mae was a tireless worker and many times opened the shop after hours to sell parts to needy farmers in the area.  Rita Mae worked all of her life in service to God and others until her “retirement” and moved to Diamond Care Nursing.  She was a visitor and volunteer at the home for many years prior to her living there. 

Rita Mae’s life was centered around her faith and her family.  She lived with and was a caregiver for her mother until her death in 1979.  She was a faithful servant of God and was always the first to volunteer for any church project, funeral service, or cleaning and care for the church facilities.  She was a selfless person who spent her life attending to others, always placing their wants and needs above her own.  She touched many peoples’ lives with her independence, faith and servant mentality.

Mae’s spirit will live on in all of those whose lives she touched.  She is survived by her niece and nephews Mary Jo Davis and her husband Doyle, Scottsdale, Arizona, Michael Michels (deceased) and his wife Bev (Lenny) Blue, Sioux Falls and their daughter Michelle (Tony) Boar, Harrisburg, Paul Michels, North Sioux City, and Steve Michels, Sioux Falls and his children JoHanna (Louis) Sitting Crow, Dakota Dunes, Lydia (Dave) Gleiser, Sioux City, Julean Michels, Sioux Falls, and Chloe Michels, Chicago along with 10 great-great-nieces and nephews.


Tuesday, May 28, 2019
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Scripture Service at 7:00 PM

Hettinger-Bittner Funeral Chapel
147 N 3rd Street
Emery, SD 57332


Wednesday, May 29, 2019
10:30 AM
St. Martin Catholic Church
342 N 3rd Street
Emery, SD 57332


St. Martin Catholic Cemetery
Emery, South Dakota

Posted by Sheryl McCormick on May 29, 2019
Rita Mae was wonderful lady. She was always so positive. She will be missed by all who knew her.I know she at peace.
Posted by Janet Ernster Wendt on May 29, 2019
May she Rest In Peace.
Posted by Linda Moore on May 28, 2019
The children of Ernest and Margaret Scharffenberg wish to extend condolences to Rita Mae's family. We remember her as a kind and caring person, always cheerfully busy at family gatherings. May she rest now peacefully. Jean Conroy, Linda Moore, and Randy Scharffenberg
Posted by Milton and Lovella Schrader on May 27, 2019
Rita Mae was truly a caring person whose life was centered around the Emery farm community. She served us farmers well in all aspects of the grain and implement business. Yes she did open the shop when we needed parts after hours. We extend our thoughts and prayers to her famioly and lovrdv ones
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