Rita Smithson of Perry


Hastings Funeral Home in Perry is in charge of services for Funeral services for Rita Smithson, 90, of Perry will be Tuesday, Aug. 27 at 10:30 a.m. at Saint Patrick Catholic Church. Visitation will be Monday, Aug. 26 after 1 p.m. at Hastings Funeral Home in Perry, with the family greeting friends after 4 p.m. and a Rosary at 6:45 p.m.

Rita Josephine Smithson, daughter of Jacob Ripperger and Margaret Teresa Kuhn Ripperger, was born July 26, 1929, on her parents’ farm near Lacona in Warren County, Iowa, and she died August 21, 2019, at the Perry Lutheran Home in Perry, Iowa, after a short stay.

When young she moved to Perry and worked at the Dime Store.

On Jan. 17, 1951, Rita was united in marriage with Floyd “Stub” Smithson. They were blessed with seven children: Dennis, Denise, Linda, Bob, Jim, Ted and Tom.

Rita was a devoted Catholic and in Perry became active in St. Patrick Church. In addition to being a busy mother and wife, Rita always supported her church. She was the head cook at St. Patrick School in Perry for more than 20 years.

Rita was instrumental in starting the Regina Guild rummage sale that occurs twice a year. The sales have always been very successful, providing money for the church and, maybe even importantly, offering quality used items and clothing for our community at a more than fair price. Rita was active with the sales over the many years, scaling back in 2010.

She was a blessing to Regina Guild, taking leadership roles with funeral lunches and their many activities.

Rita was known for her cinnamon rolls — among other things — and she passed on her knowledge to the current cinnamon rolls crew.

Rita enjoyed the many friends she made at water aerobics.

Rita was preceded in death by her parents; her husband in 1984; her daughter, Linda Smithson Schlagel in 2010; and two sisters, Agnes and Ruth.

Her memory will be forever in the hearts of her family and friends. Rita is survived by her children, Dennis (Jeanann) Smithson of Houston, Texas, Denise Koppenhaver of Perry, Bob “Stub” Smithson of Perry, Jim (Monica) Smithson of Longwood, Fla., Ted (Carmen) Smithson of Council Bluffs Tom (Cheryl) Smithson of Altoona; son-in-law, George Schlagel of Parker, Colo.; her precious grandchildren, Elliott Smithson, Eric Smithson, Eli (Anneka) Schlagel, Ethan Schlagel, Zach Smithson, Jacob Smithson and Jordan Alasad; great-grandsons, Ryker Schlagel and Ryker Jager; sister-in-law, Gloria Dean Wood; nieces; nephews; other relatives; and many friends.

Memorials are respectfully suggested to the Regina Guild.


  1. Rita Smithson was my AUNT and sister to my MOTHER Velma E Smithson (Ward).
    Many, many fond memories of the entire SMITHSON clan gatherings.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.