Rita Merrill, age 69 of Philip, S.D., died Sunday, August 7, 2011, at the Rapid City Regional Hospital.
Rita M. Patton was born July 26, 1942, in Pierre, the daughter of William B. and Olga (Grotto) Patton. She grew up on a farm-ranch southeast of Milesville and attended rural school in that area. She then attended Philip High School, graduating in 1960. As a young girl she worked at First National Bank until 1962.
Rita was united in marriage to Norman Merrill on July 28, 1962, in Philip, and to this union were born two children, Colleen and John. They made their home in Jackson, Wyo., where Rita worked at various banks in Jackson.
In the early 1990s, Rita returned to Philip to help take care of her mother. After her mother's death Rita continued to reside in Philip. Later, she worked as the director of equalization for Haakon County, a position she held until her retirement in July 2010.
Rita loved to travel and had visited the Philippines, Thailand, Australia, Hawaii, and looked forward to many other places.
Survivors include her son, John Merrill of Jackson, Wyo.; a daughter, Colleen Knoll and her husband, John, of Evergreen, Colo.; four grandchildren, Traci Knoll, Scott Knoll, Wesley Knoll and John K. Merrill; a brother, Leo Patton, and his wife, Joan, of Milesville; several nieces and nephews; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Rita was preceded in death by her parents; and two brothers, Lyle B. Patton, and one brother in infancy.
Visitation will be held from 5-6 p.m. Wednesday, August 10, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Philip, with a vigil service at 6:00 p.m.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:00 a.m. Thursday, August 11, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Philip, with Father Bryan Sorensen as celebrant.
Music will be provided by Marianne Frein, pianist, and Shelby Schofield, vocalist.
Reader will be Joe Gittings.
Ushers will be Dennis Howe and Mark Radway.
Gift bearers will be Traci Knoll, Scott Knoll and Wesley Knoll.
Altar servers will be Ben Stnagle and Sam Stangle.
Pallbearers are John Knoll, John Merrill, Scott Knoll, Wesley Knoll, Bob Knight, Bill Patton and John K. Merrill.
Interment will be at the Masonic Cemetery in Philip.
A memorial has been established to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer Research.
Arrangements are with the Rush Funeral Home of Philip.
Her online guestbook is available at www.rushfuneralhome.com