Rita A. Gillespie, 98, died June 27.

She is remembered for her passion for gardening and fishing, skills at the card table and love of the lake and its birds—always making sure the chickadees were seated first at the feeder.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 69 years, Robert; two sons, Richard Bryson and Robert James; three sisters; and one brother.

She is survived by her brother, Bobby (Judy); daughters, Beverly (Ken), Christine (Rob) and Rose (Curt); sons, Bill (Karen), Joe (Juanita) and Tommy; and daughter-in-law, Carol.

Rita also leaves behind more than 50 grandchildren covering another three generations. Memorial Mass was celebrated at St. Cecilia’s Church on Aug. 10 with interment at Resurrection Cemetery in Mendota Heights.

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