Rita Ann Wunderlich, daughter of the late Alvin and Ruth (Schnatmeyer) Helvey, was born on October 26, 1935 in St. Louis, Missouri and went home to be with the Lord on September 2, 2010 in the St. John’s Regional Health Center in Springfield, Missouri, following a long illness, at 74 years of age.
Rita grew up in St. Louis and attended Beaumont High School. She was united in marriage to Gerald Wunderlich on October 13, 1956. Two children, Steve and Terri, were born to this union. After they divorced, Rita later united in a loving partnership with Carl Siemsen. Rita was a loving and caring wife, mother, grandmother, friend, and neighbor and devoted Christian.
Rita greatly enjoyed flowers and gardening, listening to gospel music, sailing and living the country life. She also received tremendous pleasure when she was with her animals, especially her dogs, and “Dakota,” the horse that blessed her life for more than 15 years.
Rita’s Christian faith became of utmost importance to her in her adult life. She was baptized into Christ in 1995 and became a member of the Pleasant Hill Community Church when she moved from St. Louis to Mtn. Grove in 1990. She was happy making a “joyful noise” when singing and playing her tambourine to her favorite hymns.
Rita’s life was dramatically changed when a rare illness left her paralyzed in 2000. She loved the Lord deeply and her courageous and faithful spirit was inspiring to all who knew her. The last five months were plagued with suffering but that didn’t stop her from witnessing and worshipping the Lord. She was truly a blessing to those around her.
Rita is survived by her husband of 25 years: Carl Siemsen; her two children: Terri Keeney and her husband, Steve, of Mtn. Grove, Missouri, and Steve Wunderlich and his wife, Cindy, of Mansfield, Texas; her step-children: Becky Barrow and her late husband, Michael, of Canton, Georgia, and Daniel Siemsen and his wife, Melissa, of Hobe Sound, Florida; she was so proud of her five grandchildren: Katelin and Bryce Keeney, Matthew Wunderlich, Madison Barrow, and Rylie Siemsen; she also survived by one brother: Michael Helvey and his wife, Trecy, of Lake City, Florida; one niece: Kim Helvey and her husband, Bill, and their son, Michael; and close friends: Merry Bell Summers, Virginia Kennedy, and Michelle Mahoney; and many other family and friends who will sadly miss her but will rejoice in the knowledge that she is walking with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.