Rita Ann Southard, 88, of Appleton, passed away on Tuesday, July 14th. Rita was born to Albert and Ruby Blubaum in Vincennes, Indiana, on November 25, 1931.
Rita played and taught the piano most of her life. She also taught organ and accordion. Rita played the organ at the First Baptist Church of Appleton. She also accompanied the Silver Foxettes and The Rhythmettes senior dance groups. Rita played the piano at George’s Steakhouse for 20 years. She also worked at Prange’s in downtown Appleton while raising five children.
Rita is preceded in death by her parents, Albert and Ruby, her husband William H. Southard and sister-in-law Donna Blubaum . She is survived by her sister, Marilyn (Paul) Kueber, Larry Blubaum, and Bruce (Pam) Blubaum.
Rita is survived by her son Greg (Julie) Southard of Appleton; Son Jeff Southard of Scottsdale, AZ; daughter Valory (Michael) Stopczynski of Acworth, GA; daughter Beverly (Dominic) Sollitto of Neenah; and son Eric (Wendy) of Appleton. Rita was also survived by her grandchildren: Joseph (Renata) Southard, Melissa (Bradley) Moore, Zachary (Ashley) Southard, Samuel (Elisa) Southard, Chelsea (Travis) Schumann, Solomon Stopczynski, Kira Stopczynski, Ruby Sollitto, Mary Sollitto, Michael (Alicia) Southard, Tyler (Danielle) Southard and Travis Southard. Rita was blessed with 14 great-grandchildren.
The visitation and funeral will be held on Sunday, July 19th at Valley Funeral Home in Appleton. The visitation will be from 12:00 – 1:00pm. The funeral service will follow at 1:00pm. Pastor John Hartenberger will preside. The burial will be held at Appleton Highland Memorial Park on Richmond Street in Appleton. For the health and safety of all, we respectfully request that face masks be worn. An opportunity to view the service live is provided on Valley Funeral Home’s Facebook page.
In lieu of flowers the family is requesting that donations be made in her name to the Edenbrook of Appleton nursing facility at 2915 N. Meade Street, Appleton, WI 54914, where Rita she has joyfully lived her last 6 years.
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