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Rita Faye Ahrens was born on March 26, 1944 in Stuart, Florida, to Irvin and Nina (Brace) Ahrens. The family returned to Redwood Falls, MN following Irvin’s release from the military, where Rita attended Redwood Falls area schools.
Rita married Harry Fank Jr. on November 5, 1960. Rita and Harry had six children, Sandra Kaye (Williamson), Sharon Jean (Midtling), Steven Allen Fank, Sheila Marie (Schwantes), Robert James Fank, and Doreen Elizabeth Fank. The family lived in Hector, Minnesota where Rita worked as an Avon Lady, Bird Island Racetrack Secretary, Hector School Bus Driver, and local establishment bartender. Rita and Harry divorced, and Rita moved to Cosmos, Minnesota. She later relocated to Litchfield, Minnesota. On November 18, 1989 Rita married Lewis Arnold in Litchfield, Minnesota. She managed a printing business and performed seamstress work for people in the area.
Rita enjoyed her Cocker Spaniels throughout the years, breeding dogs at one time and often caring for puppies by hand when needed. She also sewed for herself and family, making clothing as the children were growing up and eventually dresses for their weddings as well as grandchildren’s outfits, blankets and stuffed animals throughout the years. She loved garages sales and flea markets, often finding “treasures” for friends and family. Christmas was an event with her children and their families, she wanted that one time a year for all to gather and she would enjoy the time together and gifting as well as the meal she would plan for everyone.
Rita Faye (Ahrens) Arnold died on Saturday, September 1, 2018 at the age of 74 at Harmony River Living Center in Hutchinson, McLeod County, Minnesota.
Rita Faye was survived by her husband, Lewis Arnold of Litchfield, Minnesota; children, Sandra (Vern) Williamson, Cambridge, Illinois; Sharon (Brian) Midtling, Brownton, Minnesota; Steven (Lori) Fank, Darwin, Minnesota; Sheila (Franco) Schwantes, Crystal, Minnesota; and Doreen Fank, Dassel, Minnesota; Step son Alan (Karen) Arnold, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Eleven grandchildren and Six step-grandchildren; Eight great grandchildren and Three step-great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents Irvin Ahrens and Nina (Brace) Owens; siblings Barbara Lemcke, Jean Baune and James Ahrens; and her son Robert Fank.
Following cremation a visitation to celebrate Rita’s life will be held on Saturday, September 22, 2018 from 1pm-3pm at Johnson-Hagglund Funeral and Cremation Service in Litchfield, MN. Burial will be held by the family at a private ceremony in the Lake Ripley Cemetery, Litchfield, Minnesota.