Rita Belle Carew
The memorial service celebrating the life of Rita Carew of Park Rapids and formerly of Wadena, will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, June 9, 2023, at the United Methodist Church in Hubbard, MN with Pastor Lauren Hauger presiding. A gathering of family and friends will be held at the church from 12:30 p.m. until the time of the service.
Rita, age 87, died on May 13, 2023, at her home on Long Lake being cared for by her daughters and Knute Nelson Hospice and Homecare.
Rita Belle Lewis was born on September 1, 1935, to Howard and Hazel (Guthrie) Lewis in Dickinson, ND. Her early years were spent in several different states, but Rita considered Wahpeton, ND, home. After graduating from Wahpeton High School in 1953, she attended Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. Rita earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1957. She graduated as valedictorian in both high school and college.
During her junior year at Hamline, Rita met a handsome young man who was returning to college after two years in the army. That young man became Rita’s husband. Tom Carew and Rita were married on December 27, 1957, in Wahpeton, ND. After living in various cities in Minnesota, they moved to Wadena. In 1965 they purchased Wadena Floral and together built a successful business.
Rita was not simply a homemaker, wife, and mother. She was an active community volunteer. In 1993 she was recognized with the Today’s Woman Award from Wadena Women of Today. She was involved with Kids on the Block, a puppet program that made elementary students aware of those with disabilities. Rita was active on the boards of the Wadena County ARC and Pembina Trails group home. She also delivered Meals on Wheels. Rita was a proud member of P.E.O., an organization that assists young women in going to college. She was a “golden girl”, a member for 65 years.
Rita also enjoyed music. She began playing the clarinet in elementary school and continued through her adult years by playing in both the Wadena and Park Rapids community bands. Rita was also blessed with a rich alto voice. She sang in the high school choir and in many church choirs. Along with choir, Rita was a faithful member of the United Methodist Women. Together, Tom and Rita received the Methodist Mission Award.
In 1999, Tom and Rita built a home on Long Lake near Park Rapids directly across the lake from the family’s original cabin where they had spent summers for 30 years. Rita enjoyed feeding the birds and going for walks. She was also a seamstress and liked to read. Most of all she loved family time! Whether it was playing games, telling stories around the fire pit, or going for boat rides, just being together was her favorite time. Rita dearly loved her family.
Rita was steadfast in her faith. She was a wonderful example of a true, kind, Christian woman. She loved the Lord above all else.
She will be lovingly remembered by her three girls Julie (Paul) Mutch of Larimore, ND; Martha (Daniel) Holzer of Bismarck, ND; and Cynthia Jo of St. Cloud, MN. Deeply missing Grandma Rita are grandchildren: Nathan (Ellen) Borgen, Mackenzie (Christopher) Neamonitis; Nicholas (Shadai) Holzer; Meredith (Christian) Prevost; Alexander Mutch; and great grandsons Charlie and Finn Borgen.
Rita was preceded in death by her husband Tom (June 3, 2022); parents, Howard and Hazel; and sister, Kathleen.
Arrangements with the Schuller Family Funeral Homes & Cremation Services, Wadena, MN (www.SchullerFamilyFH.com)