March 10, 2019
Rita passed peacefully on Sunday, March 10, 2019 surrounded by the love of her family at Innisfree House, Kitchener. Rita’s heart gave out after many years of caring for and serving her family, friends and community. She is now embraced in heaven by her beloved husband Henry who died suddenly on October 18, 2001 while on a cruise celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.
Rita’s love is cherished by her children Susan McKearnen (Ian), Richard Mroz (Patricia), Christopher Mroz (Tanya Stambuk), Terrence Mroz and Monica Mroz. Also deeply loved are Rita’s grandchildren Nathan, Andrew and Cristina Guaglio; Caitlin Mroz and Mallory Mroz-Kleedorfer (Florian); Tatyana Mroz; T.J. Mroz; and Alexander Whitney, Courtland Van Laerhoven (Michael) and Stuart Whitney. Rita is also survived by her dear brother Arthur Paleczny and many nieces and nephews.
Rita is predeceased by her grandson Jacob Whitney (2012), son-in-law Carlo Guaglio (2000), son Peter (1957), her parents John Paleczny and Frances Kunda; brothers Michael, John, Thomas, Joseph, Henry, Ralph and George Paleczny, and her sisters Amelia Grace, Sister Joanette Paleczny SSND, Sister Francesca Paleczny SSND, Adele Nespal and Dorothy Paleczny.
Rita dedicated much of her professional life to St. Mary’s General Hospital, Kitchener, where she was Executive Assistant to the Office of the President and CEO. After retiring in 1995, Rita served as President of the Volunteer Association, on the Board of Trustees and as chair of the Festival of Trees. In 2002, Rita was appointed to the hospital’s Foundation Council of Advisors. Rita also volunteered with the Spiritual Care Team and was awarded Life Membership in the Hospital Auxiliaries Association of Ontario for her leadership and executive service. In 2008, Rita received the prestigious Mission Legacy Award from the Sisters of St. Joseph who stated, “Rita radiates our mission and values.” Rita also volunteered in the literacy program at St. Mark’s Catholic School and received the Zonta Club’s “Woman of Achievement” Award in 2000.
For her entire life, Rita was a faith-filled person and very active in St. Louis Catholic Parish, Waterloo, as a Minister of God’s Word, member of the Finance Council, Health Council, Spirituality Committee, and co-founder and coordinator of the parish’s Prayer Shawl Ministry. A lifelong member of the Catholic Women’s League, she served as president of St. Louis CWL and librarian of the Diocesan CWL.
Rita always loved a good game of bridge, playing right up to the end with her dear friends at Beechwood Manor where she made her home for the past six years. Rita’s family rarely saw her without a pair of knitting needles in her hand. All her family and the Out of the Cold program have been blessed with many beautiful handknit socks, sweaters, afghans, toques, mittens and baby layettes.
Rita enjoyed being a member of the Senior Knights of Columbus Waterloo Council, Kitchener-Heritage Probus Club and St. Mark’s Marathon Bridge Club. She loved to sew for herself and her family and decorated cakes with exquisite artistry. Up to her hospital stay, Rita still checked her laptop and favourite websites daily and did her own online banking. A proud and happy moment in Rita’s life occurred when she graduated with a Diploma in Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University on her 64th birthday!
Friends and relatives are invited to share their memories of Rita with her family during visitation on Friday, March 15, 2019 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home 171 King St. S., Waterloo. Parish Prayers will take place at 8:30 p.m.
Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Saturday, March 16, 2019, 11 a.m. at St. Louis Roman Catholic Church 53 Allen St. E., Waterloo with Rev. Phil Reilly CR as celebrant. Reception to follow in the church hall. Interment at Parkview Cemetery, Waterloo following the reception.
Rita’s family would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to St Mary’s Hospital Heart Function Clinic, nurses at Beechwood Manor and staff of Innisfree House for their compassionate care.
Condolences for the family and donations to St. Mary’s General Hospital Foundation, the Notre Dame Missions or Innisfree Hospice would be appreciated by Rita’s family in her memory and may be arranged through the funeral home www.erbgood.com.