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The Mirror Reporter, Clear Lake City, Iowa
May 30, 2007

OBITUARY - RITA DONELLE GROGAN CUSACK

Rita Donelle (GROGAN) CUSACK, 83, of Clear Lake, formerly of Chariton and Fonda, Iowa, passed away on Monday, May 21, 2007 at the Good Shepherd Center, Mason City, Iowa.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, June 5, at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Clear Lake, with the Rev. John Tilp officiating. Rita Donelle donated her body to the University of Iowa College of Medicine in Iowa City. Inurnment will be at a later date at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Chariton, Iowa. Memorials may be given to Hospice of North Iowa, St. Patrick's Catholic Church or the Clear Lake Arts Center.

Rita Donelle was born on April 4, 1924, in Beaconsfield, Iowa, the daughter of Michael John GROGAN and Bernice G. (EASON) GROGAN. She graduated from Chariton High School in 1941. She attended the University of Missouri and received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the St. Joseph School of Nursing at Creighton University of Omaha, Nebraska. She later completed a B.A. in education from Buena Vista in Storm Lake and a Master's Degree from Drake University. She also completed further graduate work at the University of Iowa in geriatrics.

On Dec. 27, 1951, Rita Donelle was married to J. W. "Bill" CUSACK of Creston, Iowa. Throughout their marriage the family enjoyed living in Chariton and Fonda, as well as spending summers at Lake Okoboji. Rita Donelle had a varied career as she worked at the Lucas County Hospital and taught for both Our Lady of Good Counsel School in Fonda and the Iowa Central College Vocational Hayes School project in Storm Lake. Her husband, Bill, passed away in 1977 and she returned to Chariton. She retired in 1994 as a gerontologist with the Veterans Administration Hospital in Knoxville, Iowa.

Rita Donelle moved to Clear Lake and enjoyed participating in many activities in the community. She participated in classes at the Clear Lake Arts Center and North Iowa Area Community College. She especially enjoyed writing as a result of John SKIPPER's Creative Writing classes. She was a volunteer at the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and a volunteer docent at the MacNider Art Museum. She enjoyed reading and was a member of several book clubs. She was a member of P.E.O. Chapter LE, American Legion Auxiliary, Clear Lake Women's Club, Clear Lake Friendly Garden Club, National Association of Retired Federal Employees and Mensa.

Rita Donelle is survived by her son, Michael, of Minneapolis, Minn., and daughter, Mary ALEXANDER and husband, Tom, of Clear Lake. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Caitlin and Patrick ALEXANDER, both students at the University of Iowa. Also surviving are her sister, Mary SIDDALL and husband, Gene, of Ada, Mich.; her mother-in-law, Mary CUSACK of Creston; sister-in-law, Ann DRAKE and husband, John, of Edina, Minn.; and brother-in-law, Thomas HANEY of Asheville, N.C. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, J.W. 'Bill" CUSACK; two sons, John William II and Matthew Gerard; her parents, and a daughter-in-law, Karen SWANSON CUSACK.

Ward Van Slyke Colonial Chapel in Clear Lake handled arrangements.

To submit your Ringgold County obituaries, contact Sharon R. Becker at
srbecker@windstream.net.
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.

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