Rita Crowder

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Rita K. Crowder, nee Ayers, 60, of Freeburg, IL, formerly of Taylorville, IL, born December 27, 1960, in Springfield, IL, died Saturday, January 2, 2021, at Barnes Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, MO.

Rita graduated from Taylorville High School, class of 1979. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 1992, and Master of Business Administration from Fontbonne University in 1998.  Rita was the Executive Director at Cedarhurst Assisted Living and Memory Care of Collinsville, IL, from 2014 to 2019. Prior to 2014, she worked in the healthcare industry for Pinckneyville Community Hospital, Perry County Health Department, and Sparta Community Hospital. For twelve years, she was a member of the management team and a Vice President for the communications and information technology company, CTS Technology Solutions in Sparta, IL. For two years, Rita worked for School Center, one of the first Content Management Systems for K-12 educational professionals.

She was a guest instructor and motivational speaker for business students at universities, colleges, high schools, and corporations, and an early organizer of the Randolph County Youth CEO program through the Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship. Rita was active in church and often served as a youth mission leader.  She enjoyed music, played the flute, piano, and organ. She liked being outdoors, traveling with her family, and decorating for the holidays with her husband, David.

Rita was preceded in death by a son, Hunter Crowder, in infancy; her maternal grandparents, Doyle and Stella, nee Ritter, Mulvaney; and her paternal grandparents, Ernest and Marguerite, nee Brunk, Ayers.

Surviving are her husband of 30 years, David Crowder, whom she married on May 26, 1990; a son, Elliott Alexander Crowder of Pensacola, FL; a daughter, Jolena Elizabeth Maria Crowder, of Freeburg, IL; her parents, Everett and Joyce, nee Mulvaney, Ayers of New Minden, IL; two sisters, Bonita Suzanne, nee Ayers, Davis of Taylorville, IL, and Anita, nee Ayers, (Ken) Henderlight of Knoxville, TN; a sister-in-law Gina Marie Williams of Percy, IL; two nieces, Brooke Davis and Ronna (Mike) Henniger; three nephews, Brandon (Leah) Davis, Blake (Stevi) Davis, and DonRay (Lori) Williams; and great-nieces, great-nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, and many friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Taylorville High School Band Program, 815 Springfield Road, Taylorville, IL, 62568, Freeburg Community High School Band Program, 401 S. Monroe St., Freeburg, IL 62243, or to the St. Paul’s UCC Youth Mission Program, 7 North Belleville St, Freeburg, IL 62243. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.

Funeral:  Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a private family memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Freeburg, IL, with Rev. Nic Showalter and Rev. Rick Mortimer officiating.  The service will be livestreamed on the church’s Facebook page.

A celebration of Rita’s life for friends and the community will be held at a later date.

 

Condolences:

65 Comments on Rita Crowder

Ron Lindvahl said : Guest Report Jan 19, 2021 at 9:40 PM

So many wonderful memories of Rita in school and church, Truly a special special lady. A memorial has been made to the Tville HS Band in her memory

  • Ddanville
  • IL
Joshua Jennings said : Guest Report Jan 18, 2021 at 3:42 PM

Rita was a shining example of how to life a live of service to others. She was a passionate advocate for her team, her residents and her family. She was constantly doing random acts of kindness like being the first one to wish you a happy birthday or giving you a pick me up compliment which would make you smile, but they also meant a lot coming from her as she was always impeccably dressed and put together. Most of all, I will be miss how she started every interaction with a smile and ended most with a hug. She will be missed by all who knew her.

  • St. Louis
  • Missouri
Charlene Joost said : Guest Report Jan 10, 2021 at 12:06 PM

Sincere Condolences to David and family. I am very sorry to hear of Rita's death.

  • Steeleville,
  • IL
Nancy McDonald said : Guest Report Jan 09, 2021 at 1:38 AM

Rita was one of the most amazing women I’ve ever met. It was a pleasure to get to know her over the years at Cedarhurst. She had a fantastic smile and amazing capacity of love in her heart, the world was a better place with her in it. May she rest in peace. I send my condolences to the her family, she leaves a void that will never be filled.

  • Sherwood
  • Oregon
Gayle Schafer said : Guest Report Jan 08, 2021 at 3:16 PM

I worked with Joyce many years ago in the Taylorville ASCS office. Rita's beautiful smile caught my eye in the Taylorville paper and I realized who that shining light belonged to. I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Rita. A life well lived. Peace and comfort to all who loved her.

  • Pana
  • IL
Elaine Esenbock said : Guest Report Jan 07, 2021 at 9:40 AM

Rita was a wonderful cousin to grow up with during my childhood my condolences go out to all her family I know she will be greatly missed as she was a great woman and a wonderful cousin

  • Tyner
  • Kentucky
Doug & Deitra Clifton said : Guest Report Jan 07, 2021 at 6:01 AM

We are so very sorry for the passing of Rita. Her laughter was so contagious, she never met a stranger and if she did, you would not be one for long. Rita will be missed by many, she touched so many lives near and far. Our family is keeping you all in our prayers and praying for peace and comfort. With Love Doug, DeeDee and family

  • Dyersburg
  • TN
Sara Morgan Francis said : Guest Report Jan 07, 2021 at 1:49 AM

I'm so sorry for your family's loss. Rita was a shining light every time I was fortunate enough to talk with her and passionate about the people and things she loved. I and my family pray for peace and comfort for you all as you mourn Rita's passing. Much Love to you from the Francis Family.

  • Smithton
  • IL
Janet and Don Mulvaney said : Guest Report Jan 06, 2021 at 11:24 AM

It is said of human history over 108 billion people have walked the earth. How many are truly remembered beyond their time here? For sure, before the Lord took our precious Rita, she lived in a way that brought genuine joy, love and positivity to all. Having known her for her 60 years and watching her consistency of character, this farmers daughter was indeed God's gift to us and a blessing to all she encountered and is 'one in a billion' spirits in the world that desperately needs more Rita's and her departure leaves a hole in our hearts. Prayers and love for her family as they walk through this difficult time.

  • Opelika
  • Alabama
Mary Jo Smith said : Guest Report Jan 06, 2021 at 11:07 AM

Favorite memory...there was a water issue on the main floor at Cedarhurst and I pop in on my hospice visit. And what do I find? Beautifully dressed Rita, as always, pitching, in cleaning up the water, in her HIGH HEELS! Now that’s a classy dedicated Lady! May the Holy Spirit cover your family with every grace and blessing. Peace, Mary Jo

  • Edwardsville
  • IL
Nancy said : Guest Report Jan 05, 2021 at 9:56 PM

Rita was such a beautiful person. You can see that bu looking at her picture and knowing that she was a sister of Anita. I can only imagine the bond and fun the 3 of you experienced. Praying for God to comfort your family and fill the void as only He can...Holding you close in my heart. Nancy

  • Powell
  • Tn
Pat and Donna Smoker said : Guest Report Jan 05, 2021 at 9:04 PM

Wishing you peace to bring comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your heart. Our deepest sympathies. Pat & Donna Smoker

  • Freeburg
  • Illinois
Dave and Dottie Luchtefeld said : Guest Report Jan 05, 2021 at 7:13 PM

We are so sorry to hear of Rita's passing and are sharing in your sorrow. Our sympathy goes out to all the family especially David, Elliott and Jolena. May God comfort and keep you at this time.

  • Freeburg
  • il
Ron & Ev Lesko said : Guest Report Jan 05, 2021 at 2:05 PM

We are very sorry to here of Rita's passing, our prayers are with all the family, especially Evert and Joyce. May God bless you.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Michelle Lentz said : Guest Report Jan 05, 2021 at 11:23 AM

My heart and prayers are with you all right now. Rita will be missed by so many, even those of us who never were blessed to meet her in person. My deepest condolences for the whole family. ❤️

  • Troy
  • IL
Kristi Nichols said : Guest Report Jan 05, 2021 at 9:25 AM

I’m so sorry to hear of Rita’s passing! She was such a kind, happy soul. My mom was a resident at Cedarhurst in Collinsville and always loved the time she spent with Rita. My condolences And prayers to her family. 🙏🏻

  • New Douglas
  • Il
Betty Asha said : Guest Report Jan 05, 2021 at 8:35 AM

It is hard to admit that you are gone. My heart is broken. May your beautiful soul rest in everlasting peace,Rita. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. May the lord confront the family and friends. Condolences 💐

  • Maryville
  • Tennessee
Betty Asha said : Guest Report Jan 05, 2021 at 8:29 AM

What a painful truth to admit that you are gone. Rita, May your beautiful soul rest in everlasting peace. My prayers and thoughts are with the family. Heart felt condolences 💐.

  • Maryville
  • Tennessee
Kelly Vittatoe said : Guest Report Jan 05, 2021 at 7:39 AM

May God bless you and your family with precious memories and His grace at this time and as you move forward. Much love to you all.

  • Knoxville
  • TN
Brenda Ebers said : Guest Report Jan 05, 2021 at 7:29 AM

My Heart is heavy and saddened by the loss of Rita. I know what you’re going through. I lost my husband November 1,2019. Condolences to you David and the children. No longer by your side but Forever in your Heart. A beautiful Angel gone too soon!

  • Willisville
  • ILLINOIS
Brenda Sue Ebers said : Guest Report Jan 05, 2021 at 5:48 AM

My heart is heavy and saddened by the loss of your loved one,Rita.I know how you feel because I lost my husband November 1,2019. Condolences to you David and the children. No longer by your side but Forever in your Heart.

  • Willisville
  • ILlinois
Gina Davis said : Guest Report Jan 05, 2021 at 12:18 AM

So deeply sorry to hear of Rita's illness and passing. My deepest sympathy to all of her immediate and extended family. I remember Rita as a truly beautiful soul. May she rest in eternal peace. Strength and peace to all she leaves behind.

  • Taylorville
  • IL
Bob and Irene Davis said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 10:44 PM

Our sympathy goes out to David Elliot, and Jolena and the Ayers family. Sending our thoughts and prayers for peace and comfort at this time. Rita was a blessing to all the many lives she touched.

  • Taylorville
  • Il
Judie Hastings said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 10:38 PM

Rita was one of the finest ladies I’ve ever known. She had a bubbly personality and a contagious laugh. She always seemed happy and joyful to be doing whatever she was doing. My condolences to David and her son and daughter and the rest of her family, especially her Mother who kept everyone updated on Facebook about her condition. God received a beautiful, kind Angel into His kingdom on January 2, 2021. Fly High, Dear Rita❣️

  • Pinckneyville
  • illinois
Janice Richards said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 8:41 PM

I am so sorry for your loss. There is one less light here on this earth. Prayers for comfort for you, David, Elliot & Jolena.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Kathy Branch said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 8:32 PM

We are so sorry for your loss. Rita always lit up the room and was so much fun to visit with. She will be missed. Our love and prayers to all of you. Verle, Kathy & Terry

  • Kinmundy
  • IL
Awule amos said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 8:29 PM

It had neemn a sad news i regrets for,is so touching. God gives and God takes, may her soul rest in enternal peace(Rip).

  • Juba,soith sidan
  • Central equotoeria state
Susan Montgomery said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 6:47 PM

Rita was such a delightful, inspiring woman. She will be deeply missed. She fought the hard fight, and fought it well. Love to her family and friends in this sad time.

  • Knoxville
  • TN
Alice Bunjan, daughter of Sonja Freeman @ Cedarhurst said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 6:47 PM

Our deepest condolences and sympathy to Rita’s family and friends and especially those who knew and loved her at Cedarhurst. My Mom said she especially enjoyed listening to Rita play piano. She was such a talented, smart, sincere and loving person. She was always smiling and ready to help. Rita was always smiling and greeting me during my visits there and she will be dearly missed.

  • Glen Carbon
  • IL
Kim Oplet said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 6:31 PM

Rest In Peace Sweet Rita...I will see you in Paradise!✌🏻❤️💋

  • Granite City
  • IL
Jenith and Gary Henson said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 6:23 PM

Our hearts ache for your loss Dave, Elliot,and Jolena. To know Rita was to love her She touched many lives She will be greatly missed.May God bless you and give you peace.

  • Steeleville
  • Illinois
Kim Rapp said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 6:22 PM

What great memories we all have of growing up in the Taylorville Methodist church. Rita went on to do great things and will be so missed for her beautiful spirit. Heaven gained another angel. Gone too soon. Prayers for all your family.

  • Morton
  • Il
Kirsten Bergkoetter said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 5:51 PM

I am so sorry for your loss. Rita's smile and laugh lit up any room she walked into and her positivity was contagious. I pray that God will hold you all close.

  • Freeburg
  • IL
Kim Proffitt said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 5:15 PM

My sincerest condolences to your family. I am so sorry for your loss. May God bless you and comfort you all during this time.

  • Elizabethton
  • TN
Mary Niemeyer said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 5:02 PM

So sad to hear of Rita's passing. She was a very special person. She had such a wonderful, infectious laugh. My thoughts and prayers to David, Jolena, Elliot, and her entire family.

  • Sparata
  • IL
Laurie Kuklinski said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 4:48 PM

Our deepest condolences to the Crowder family. Rita always had a smile on her face and a kind word to others. May she be smiling peacefully in heaven now. Hugs to all.

  • Freeburg
  • Il
Greg Ebers said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 4:20 PM

Saddened to hear of Rita’s passing. My thoughts go out to David and the kids. It was always a good time when you all came around. I’ll never forget when we all went to six flags, that was without a doubt the best time I ever had going there.

  • Nashville
  • Illinois
Janice Taylor said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 3:53 PM

I am so shocked & sorry to hear of the loss of Rita. I enjoyed spending time with her at various activities in town. 🙏🏻

  • Sparta
  • IL
Rhonda Burton said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 3:48 PM

I am so very sorry for such a huge loss! Rita was a year ahead of me in HS. I remember how well she played the piano! My prayers for healing for the world from this relentless disease and that you carry her and your memories in your heart forever!

  • Chapel Hill
  • NC
Allen Ritter said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 3:30 PM

Very sad to hear about Rita. She makes 3 in our “family” who have passed since September 1. Two from covid and complication. Be safe and know that we all care! If we could we would give each of you a big hug.

  • Xenia
  • Illinois
Vince Kwiatkowski said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 3:08 PM

I am heartbroken to hear of Rita’s passing into the Lord’s arms. At Cedarhurst, she helped me through the sorrow of my mother passing. Ms. Rita.....you were a friend. My deepest sympathy to her family.

  • Shiloh
  • Illinois
Apai Rose J said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 2:53 PM

It's so sad and heart breaking, Condolence. May the almighty God comfort her family, sisters, parents, in-laws etc. For the Lord gives and take. May her soul rest in peace 🙏🙏🙏

  • Juba
  • Central equatoria
M Janice Mitchell said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 2:37 PM

My heart-felt condolences are sent to Rita's family and, in particular, to Anita with whom I have had the privilege of serving as President of her Rotary Club of Bearden in Knoxville and of having her as a member of my BOD in 2019-2020. Through Anita, Rita's life was shared with us and we all felt we knew her well. Rest in peace, Rita.

  • Lenoir City
  • TN
Dianah Birungi Nelsen said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 2:13 PM

Rita, There are no words to express the shock anger, sadness, emptiness and loss caused by your passing. Rita was a sister and friend to many of us and welcomed us to her home with a smile and love. You are already missed. My heartfelt condolences to David, Jolena, Elliot, Anita, Bonita and entire family and friends. Sing with the angels my dear sista, Rest in eternal peace. Dianah, Colin and Elle Kampala Uganda.

  • Kampala
  • Central
Ann Linze said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 1:58 PM

So very sorry to hear this. She was such a happy, giving and loving person. Heaven certainly gained an angel. Prayers to the family

  • Pinckneyville
  • Illinois
Mary Ann Reeves said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 1:40 PM

My condolences to Anita, who is hero in her own right, and Rita's family during this devastating time.

  • Knoxville
  • TN
Amy faith said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 1:39 PM

Our deepest condolences to the Crowder Family. Prayers to the family and friends.

  • Richmond heights
  • Missouri
Verle & Linda Mulvaney, Jr. said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 1:31 PM

Our hearts are heavy and saddened with the loss of Rita. Condolences to the family. May her memory always remain close to your heart.

  • Xenia
  • IL
Beverly Brown said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 1:31 PM

Heartfelt condolences to Rita’s family. I worked with Rita at Sparta Community Hospital.

  • Sparta
  • Illinois
Tanya and Eugenio Vargas said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 1:15 PM

Our thoughts are with you and your family. May the love of those around you provide comfort in these most difficult times.

  • Oak Ridge
  • TN
Kim Holland said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 1:14 PM

Sending prayers & condolences to David & the children. Also condolences to the rest of her family.

  • Hecker
  • Il
Barbara Froemling said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 1:05 PM

As my sorority sister she was the best. She brought joy and laughter when she walked into the room. She will be missed. May she rest in peace.

  • Ava
  • Illinois
Randy and Deb Rathert said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 12:52 PM

We are so sorry for your loss. Hugs and prayers!

  • Campbell Hill
  • Il
Nancy Honn said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 12:39 PM

Rita has certainly touched so many people in her life and made the world a better place with her care and concern for others. A beautiful person with a beautiful soul. My prayers are now for your family to help ease their sadness.

  • Taylorville
  • IL
Holly Rick said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 12:32 PM

My deepest sympathy to Rita's entire family. She was a true bright light to so many people and will be deeply missed by her family, friends, coworkers and everyone who knew and loved her.

  • CARTERVILLE
  • Illinois
Patrina Boone said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 12:17 PM

My thoughts and prayers go out to Rita’s family as they navigate life without her here. May you find comfort and strength in each other and in our Lord, Jesus Christ. COVID is a terrible illness but thru Jesus our loved ones stand victorious in eternity. Patrina (Ritter) Boone (Larry (deceased due to COVID) and Phyllis Ritter daughter )

  • Kinmundy
  • Il
Chris, Melanie, and Natalee Proctor said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 12:15 PM

We are very sorry to hear about the passing of Rita. She was such a delightful woman, kind, caring, loving, and always had a smile on her face. She reminded me so much of my Mom. We know she will be watching over everyone from heaven. Please let us know if we can do anything for you or your family. Our deepest sympathy goes out to your entire family. Prayers for comfort and peace.

  • Marion
  • IL
Guebert Family said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 12:00 PM

We are very saddened to hear about the passing of Rita. She was always so kind and friendly whenever I talked to her. Prayers for David, Elliott, Jolena and the rest of the family. Willard, Michelle & Darin Guebert

  • Percy
  • Illinois
Lisa Bettis said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 11:55 AM

May our Lord bless and comfort you and your family during this time of grief. Please accept my sincere condolences. The Bettis Family

  • Knoxville
  • TN
Kelly Ethington said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 11:43 AM

David, Elliott, and Jolena - I had the great privilege to work with Rita for many years. I got to see first hand her joy and zest for life and how she shared that with others. She was an amazing, generous and vivacious woman who I considered a great honor to call a friend. She will be missed greatly! Please know that you are in my prayers daily. May God wrap His arms around you and provide you strength during this time!

  • Sparta
  • IL
Jody Vernier said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 11:36 AM

I am so sad. Rita was an upbeat spirit and a pleasure to know. She was young at heart and young in appearance. I told my children when she became ill I believe she might be 48 years old. You never understand Gods reasons. I lost my Mother when she was 60 too. Rita will be missed by all. Bless her family and keep them in your prayers. ❤️❤️❤️

  • Smithton
  • Illinois
Julie Rusciolelli-Campbell said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 11:31 AM

It is so painful to lose Rita because we loved her so much. Dave and I offer our love and support to Crowder, Ayers, Henderlight and Davis families. Peace to you all!

  • Saint Louis
  • MO
Jeanne, Ethan, and Grace Haege said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 11:28 AM

Rita brightened every room she walked into with her infectious smile and laugh. She will be greatly missed as a colleague and fellow soccer mom.

  • Saint Libory
  • IL
Rita See said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 11:22 AM

So sorry to hear of Rita's death. Please let Joyce and Everett know that my thoughts and prayers are with them.

  • Kinmundy
  • IL
Jean Reinneck said : Guest Report Jan 04, 2021 at 11:12 AM

Rita was such a bright light to all she met. The world is a better place because of her and she will be missed so much!

  • Belleville
  • Illinois

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