Friday, February 19, 2010

Orpha May Rigter ...Grandma, Great Grandma

My only remaining Grandma passed away Friday. It's been a long, exhausting week of celebrating and honoring her memory, saying goodbye and reflecting. I was honored to be asked to help with her obituary and the memorial service yesterday. My next two posts reflect that:


Orpha May Rigter, age 80, of Williams, Iowa passed away Friday, February 12, 2010 at Bethany Manor in Story City, Iowa where she has lived since August, 2006. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, February 18 at the Bethany Manor Chapel, Story City followed by burial at the Williams Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday, February 17 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in Williams. A prayer service will be held following the visitation.

Orpha May Rigter, daughter of George and Rickie (Barkema) Olson, was born May 4, 1929 in Webster City, Iowa. She graduated from Kamrar High School in 1947 and that summer attended Iowa Teachers College in Cedar Falls. She eventually became a country school teacher at the same school she previously attended.

Orpha married Raymond Rigter on November 24, 1948, in Jewell, Iowa. They farmed near Kamrar before moving to Williams in 1960 where they farmed east of town. Orpha was a homemaker, wife, mother, grandmother and a waitress at the I-35 Restaurant for many years. She was an active member of United Methodist Church and UMW in Williams. Family was always most important to Orpha. She was happiest entertaining in her home and spent many hours decorating for all the holiday and family celebrations enjoyed there.

She is survived by her husband Raymond of Williams, four children: Sandy (Larry) Swanson, of Manchester, Susan (Terry) Doyle, of Ames, John (Sandy) Rigter of Williams, and Sally (Randy) Greenfield of Kamrar, nine grandchildren: Amy Swanson, Jordan Swanson, Angela (Chris) Hewitt, Alison Doyle, Cale (Amber) Doyle, Joseph “J.D.” Rigter, Dan Greenfield, Ben Greenfield, and David Greenfield, five great grandchildren: Tyler Doyle, C.J., Carter, Caleigh and Claire Hewitt, four nieces and three nephews, her brother-in-law Joel (Joan) Rigter of South Carolina and sister-in-law Elaine (Alvin) VanLangen of Jewell. She was preceded in death by her parents George and Rickie (Barkema) Olson, her sisters Georgia (June)/(Elmer) Timm, and Mary Ann Olson and two nephews.

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