Rita Nayquonabe, 63-year-old resident of Onamia passed away on May 9, 2017 at North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale.
A funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 12 at St. Therese Little Flower Catholic Church in Vineland with Father Jerry Schik, OSC officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to mass at church.
Interment will be in St. Therese Little Flower Catholic Cemetery. Arrangements are with the Shelley Funeral Chapel of Onamia.
Rita is survived by her husband Joe Nayquonabe; daughters Jessi and Johanna; sons Peter (Shannon), Joseph (Christina), Nolan and Stanley (Jamie); Grandchildren; MacKenzie, Madison, Alexander, Bella, William, Carter, Jordan, Aiva, Kennedy, Kayla, Brooklyn, Jayden, Mark, Jalissa, Jasmine, Phoenix-Rose, Emery, Avery, McKinley, Xiana, Stanley, Jr., Isaiah, Claire and Jeremy, Jr.; brothers; Maurus, Jr. (Carol) and Jim and sisters; Betty (Robert) Siefert, MaryAnn (Paul) Kellen, Irene (Dick) Herrig, Theresa Baroh, Cathy (Wayne) Huseby, Janet (Sid) Vogelbacher, Pam (Jim) Stotesbery; sister in-laws Judy and Susan Wohlers; good friend, Sarah Barten; daughter Kristina Loken and numerous nieces and nephews.
Rita was preceded in death by her parents, Maurus and Rose and brothers, Dan and Ben.
The Lord gained another angel on Wednesday, May 9, 2017. Rita Rene Nayquonabe, age 63 of Onamia, suffered a stroke and after spending a week at North Memorial in Robbinsdale – surrounded by her loved ones – she walked on to meet God.
Rita was born on December 4, 1953 to Maurus and Rose Wohlers in Graceville, Minn. Her love and care for people was evident from little on up that she decided to pursue a degree in nursing. She graduated as a LPN and became a nurse in the Onamia area where she met and spent her years with the love of her life Joe Nayquonabe. She spent her 40 year professional career caring for Mille Lacs Band members and others at Ne-Ia-Shing clinic where she was the longest serving health and human services practitioner in the history of the Mille Lacs Band.
She loved church and was a staple at St. Therese Little Flower Church where she sang her heart out for many years. Her favorite song was “Amazing Grace.”
She married Joseph Nayquonabe in 1973 in a beautiful Catholic ceremony in front of her childhood parishioners of Graceville. She and Joe were joined at the hip for the next 43-plus years where they made their dream come true of raising a great family around the idea that hard work and love can create beauty.
She loved her family and taught her six living children (Peter, Jessi, Joseph Jr., Nolan, Johanna, and Stanley) how to love, the value of faith and the importance of caring for one another. She and Joe had two other children (Marcus and Tammy) that passed away young. She spoke fondly of them often and loved them dearly.
Rita also had one heck of a jump shot and taught many of the kids how to play basketball. She enjoyed golf, bowling, dance hall, and her soap opera (Days of our Lives).