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Rita R. (Van Camp) Schmidt, age 89 of Kaukauna passed away on Tuesday February 19, 2019 with her family at her side after a courageous battle with cancer, never once complaining. Rita was born on December 6, 1929 at home in rural Kaukauna to the late John and Minnie (Vanden Heuvel) Van Camp. Rita graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy in Green Bay and upon graduation went to work on the family farm. While attending a baseball game, she met the love of her life, Clifford Schmidt. They were married on January 30, 1951 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in West Depere. The ceremony was officiated by Reverend B.H. Pennings with the temperature at a “balmy” -31 degrees! Rita and Cliff were married almost 67 years before Clifford passed away on November 21, 2017. Rita labored faithfully beside her husband on the family farm while raising 10 children. Faith was very important in Rita’s life. This past November Rita made a pilgrimage to Italy, Portugal and France with her daughter, son and daughter-in-law. She was told by 3 doctors she should not go because of her health issues but she placed her trust in God and everything turned out beautifully. Throughout Rita’s life, she enjoyed being part of many special groups to include: Ladies Altar Society, Tri County Homemakers, Wednesday morning ladies bowling team, couples bowling teams and many card groups. Rita was always up for a good card game and loved that her Grandchildren wanted to play cards with her. Rita was a great cook who did not need a recipe. Her family enjoyed her famous dressing, pea soup, chicken soup, liver paste, chex mix and many more. Together Cliff and Rita enjoyed traveling and going to many concerts. They had a cottage that the family loved to spend time at for over 20 years. One of Rita’s great joys was when her first great-great grandchild, Harrison, was born in November of 2018. She was the first in her family to achieve that honor and she made sure the 5-generation picture was in the newspaper.
Rita is survived by her 10 children: James (Donna), Linda (Steve) Lamers, Alois (Cindy), Retired Colonel Sandra (Willie) Schmidt-Berringer, Elizabeth (Gary) Van Abel, Gail (Joseph) Dercks, Carol Dodero, Mary (Tim) Rollo, John (Lynn) and Joan (Bill) Roberts: 29 Grandchildren: Rhonda (Mike) Kaminski, Jason Schmidt, Rachelle (Josh) Nisleit, Scott (Kristy) Lamers, Laura Hayes, Amanda (Bill) Doucette, Bryan (Jessica) Schmidt, Leanne (Mike) Kavanaugh, Ryan (Becky) Schmidt, Matthias, Cieara and Mekayla Berringer, Carolyn (Kyle) Coleman, Mary (David) Lenz, Michael Van Abel, Rick Dercks, Megan (Rick) Schmoll, Carrie (Joe) VanDaalwyk, Angela (Matt) Macumber, Vincent and Mariah Dodero, Nicholas, Curtis and Thomas Rollo, Tyler and Parker Schmidt, Joe Roberts, Alicia (Ben) Rockett and Jessica Roberts; 35 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild; 3 sisters, Lillian Vissers, Marge Calaway and Mary Ann(Bob) Miller; sisters-in-law Nancy Van Camp, Theresa Schmidt, Rose Schmidt, Rita Nelessen, Dolores Schmidt, Mary Rose (John) Lepak; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Rita was preceded in death by her husband Clifford, parents John and Minnie, brothers and sisters-in-law: Virgil Van Camp, Alvin (La Verne) Van Camp, Fabian (Audrey) Van Camp, Cyril Van Camp, Kenneth (Barbara) Van Camp, Bernard Vissers and Jerome Calaway: sister Delores (Bernard) Albers; mother and father-in-law: John and Hattie Schmidt; brothers-in-law and sisters in-law: Joseph Schmidt, Vincent Schmidt, Richard Schmidt, Alois (Buddy) Schmidt, Anaceil (Pat) Randerson and David Head.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, February 24, 2019 at St. Katharine Drexel Parish, St. Francis Church. 433 County Road CE, Hollandtown, from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. A vigil service will conclude the afternoon. Visitation will continue on Monday, February 25, 2019 at the church from 9:00 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. A funeral Mass will follow at 11:00 a.m. with Fr. Willard Van De Loo officiating and Deacon Bruce Corey assisting. Interment will be in the St. Francis Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund is being established.
The Schmidt family would like to extend a special thank you to Ascension Hospice nurses Laurie, Kris and Mollie, social worker Ann, and Tracy and Home Instead’s Lynda and nurse Carol for all the care, compassion and understanding during this difficult time.