Rita Saia

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Rita Jean Saia, nee Lindow, 95, of Belleville, IL, died on Monday, May 4, 2020, at Delmar Gardens North nursing home in Florissant, MO.

Rita was born July 22, 1924, in Belleville, IL. She lived most of her life in the home where she was born on Mascoutah Avenue. She attended the Academy of Notre Dame.  During World War II she was a member of the USO.  It was there that she met the love of her life, Vincent “Jim” Saia. While Jim served overseas, they courted via letter.  During that time, Rita worked as a telephone operator and secretary for two different companies.  They got married after the war and were eventually blessed with eight children.

Rita’s life was devoted to her family and community.  She was an active member of St. Peter’s Cathedral Parish and the Mothers Club at the grade school.  Rita was known for her loving generosity to others and was a volunteer with St. Francis Thrift Shop and Meals on Wheels.  Her friendliness, selflessness, and charitable heart were examples to her whole family and everyone she met.  She often said she never met a stranger.  Whenever an unexpected guest showed up on her doorstep, they were always welcomed.  She would say “I’ll just put another bean in the pot”.  She also was known to make sandwiches and hand them out to any stranger who would come to her back door.  She had a heart of gold and lived true to her faith, sharing her love with everyone who knew her.  Even during her long illness, her loving, kind spirit shone through and endeared her to her caregivers.

Rita was preceded in death by her husband of 68 years, Vincent James “Jim” Saia; her parents, Matilda and Carl Lindow; her sister and brother-in-law, Dorothy and Cletus Schlarman; a nephew, Thomas Schlarman; and two grandsons, James Saia-Hicks and Jarad Daughtrey.

Rita’s legacy is her family, on whom she lavished her love and affection. The clan has grown quite large, starting with her children, Jeanne (Jack) West, Joan (Tom) Hicks, James (Gail) Saia, Jan (Christopher) Richards, Thomas (Shirley) Saia, Richard (Marge) Saia, Julianne (Francis) Colligan, and Jacqueline (Mark) Finn.
She is also survived by 22 grandchildren;
24 great-grandchildren;
her brother, Russell (Barbara) Lindow;
and nieces and nephews.

Certainly, her lemon pie, orange fluff, and lamb cake will be missed, but they are just examples of the care and creativity she put into every detail of every event to make them special.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.  Condolences to the family may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.

Funeral: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the funeral will be private with burial alongside her husband at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, MO.  A family celebration of Rita’s life will be held at a later date when the quarantine restrictions are lifted.



29 Comments on Rita Saia

Jim Wagner said : Guest Report May 12, 2020 at 8:39 PM

Jim please accept my deepest sympathy!! Your mom was amazing. Love and prayers to you and your family during this difficult time.

  • Ste Genevieve
  • MO
Msgr J Myler said : Guest Report May 11, 2020 at 3:01 PM

My prayerful sympathy. We will remember Rita at Mass here at the Cathedral.

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
David Garrett said : Guest Report May 08, 2020 at 11:51 AM

I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. I can remember that great smile of hers and that beautiful wave in her hair. She always seem to be a very upbeat person. It’s difficult losing somebody to Alzheimer’s that you love As was the case with my mother. It seems as though that when they die, it’s like you’ve lost them for the second time. It’s wonderful that you have such a large support group within your own families. God bless you all and keep you safe!

  • Okeechobee
  • FL
Gregory Voss said : Guest Report May 08, 2020 at 12:43 AM

Russ and Barbara, our family's deep respects and friendship. (Virgil and Jean Voss family--Greg, Jack, Suzanne, Tim and Jeannine)

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Greg Lang said : Guest Report May 07, 2020 at 12:28 PM

Jim, Please accept and extend to the rest of your family Margie and my sympathy for the loss of you Mother. May She Rest in Peace.

  • Mascoutah
  • Illinois
Debbie Schwartz Thacker said : Guest Report May 07, 2020 at 9:07 AM

Joni, my condolences to you and your whole family. Your mom was a special lady. I have not seen you since high school, but have such fond memories. Your mom always took time to speak to friends her children brought home and made us feel welcome.

  • O’Fallon
  • Il
Ron& Cindy Borkowski said : Guest Report May 06, 2020 at 10:07 PM

Tom, sorry for the loss of your mother

  • Highland
  • Illinois
Helen and Roy Kloess said : Guest Report May 06, 2020 at 6:51 PM

Rita was a wonderful cousin and we will always have good memories of her. You all are in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Belleville
  • Il
Jo’nell said : Guest Report May 06, 2020 at 5:04 PM

My deepest sympathies to the Saia family. The picture chosen here brought back memories of a very special lady. Always welcoming. Praying for Rita that she will join God in Heaven.

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Betty Gibbons said : Guest Report May 06, 2020 at 3:29 PM

Please accept Tom and my deepest sympathy at the loss of Rita. She was a lovely lady. Eternal rest to her. Betty and Tom Gibbons

  • Belleville
  • IL
Jack and Peggy Wottowa said : Guest Report May 06, 2020 at 12:40 PM

Our sympathy for your loss. we have fond memories of Rita & Jim who now rest peacefully in the arms of our Lord

  • Bellevillel.
  • Illinois
Cindy Stauder Vaughn said : Guest Report May 06, 2020 at 11:51 AM

My sincere sympathies to all the Saias. I have fond memories of coming with Cathy to Movie Nights at the Saia's. Your parents so generous to welcome MORE KIDS!

  • Belleville
  • IL
Ann Bedell Wachtel said : Guest Report May 06, 2020 at 11:49 AM

Whenever I drive down Mascoutah Avenue I think of your family and Uncle Russel and Aunt Barbara and our times together, you had wonderful parents. May she Rest In Peace.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Sue Joyce - Koesterer said : Guest Report May 06, 2020 at 11:39 AM

Sending hugs to the Saia Clan...? What sweet memories I have of your mom ! I know when the Joyce and the Saia families were together there were lots of laughs? I remember going to your house on Mascoutah ave and having so much fun! Thank you Mrs Saia for being in my childhood memories ? They make my heart smile?

  • Smithton
  • Illinois
margie schwartz said : Guest Report May 06, 2020 at 11:10 AM

Whenever I would have the chance to talk with Rita over the years (usually at the Cathedral), she always had her lovely smile and a good thought or word. I am the oldest child of Marcellus and Aurelia Biehl and, therefore, a distant cousin. Please accept the sympathy of our family and know that your Mom is remembered with much fondness.... and prayers.

  • belleville
  • illinois
Cathy Knight said : Guest Report May 06, 2020 at 11:06 AM

Dear Saia Family, Growing up, your home was my second home. Aunt Rita and Uncle Jim were always there for anyone who needed them. So many wonderful memories. I still have your mom’s hand written recipe for boiled icing. Please know that I’m with you in spirit as you lay your mom to rest. Xoxo Cathy

  • Lake Zurich
  • Illinois
Gerry Hasenstab said : Guest Report May 06, 2020 at 10:11 AM

Barb and I express our condolences to Jim and the rest of the family. Your no wax a gift to all. I so enjoyed coming to your house and seeing her. Her smile just brightened everything and everybody around her. Stay blessed with memories of her and your dad. Peace

  • Fairmont City
  • IL
James J Cuff said : Guest Report May 06, 2020 at 9:59 AM

Jan and Family I am so sorry to learn of the loss of your Mother. May your memories of the better times carry you through this difficult time.

  • Creal Springs
  • Illinois
cathy fuchs said : Guest Report May 06, 2020 at 7:28 AM

Alan and I want to express condolences on your mother and mother-in-law. We did not know her but our son Aaron and Susan has talked about her.

  • breese
  • illinois
Mary Ellen Sweeney Hentz said : Guest Report May 06, 2020 at 3:41 AM

Jeanne Sympathy and prayers for your family. May your Mom rest in peace.

  • Wood River
  • Illinois
Karen Brown said : Guest Report May 05, 2020 at 10:22 PM

Jan - you have my deepest sympathy on the loss of your mother. I knew she was a special person from all the things you would share when we worked together. Mothers from the greatest generation are like none other as reflected by her love and selflessness. May family and friends be of comfort to you, memories sustain you and God give you peace

  • Staunton
  • Illinois
Julie wier said : Guest Report May 05, 2020 at 8:15 PM

You all have my sympathy at the loss of an amazing woman. One of a kind.

  • Wildwood
  • Mo
Marcella Stauder said : Guest Report May 05, 2020 at 6:12 PM

Our Stauder family, wish sorrow and prayers for your mother's passing.She was a lovely person. We would always have a little chat after mass at St Peters, about Jim and Lon. Peace to the family. Mrs Bob Stauder have a little chat after mass at St Peters about Jim and our son,Lon.

  • Swansea
  • Il
Wayne Watson said : Guest Report May 05, 2020 at 5:48 PM

Jan, Sorry to hear of the loss of your Mom. My thoughts and Prayers are with you and your family. Wayne

  • Brighton
  • Il
Joni Saia said : Guest Report May 05, 2020 at 3:55 PM

Dearest Mom, Your life has been a model of kindness, generosity, compassion and unconditional love. I feel forever blessed to have had you as my mom and mentor. I miss you terribly! May I forever feel your guidance and beautiful spirit with me.

  • Santa Cruz
  • CA
Mary Jo Tucker said : Guest Report May 05, 2020 at 2:41 PM

My family and I offer sincere condolences for your loss.

  • Illinois
Jeanne West said : Guest Report May 05, 2020 at 1:44 PM

Mom, you will be greatly missed but will always be in,my heart. You will always be my new guardian angel.

  • Brookfield
  • WI
Kathy Steckler said : Guest Report May 05, 2020 at 1:24 PM

I extend my deepest sympathy and prayers to your family. I have fond memories of your mom and dad from days at Cathedral. Whenever I travel down Mascoutah Avenue I think of them. So very sorry for your loss.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Jan Steckler Saunders said : Guest Report May 05, 2020 at 12:09 PM

Rita led such a rich life and I am very thankful to have known her. Through my childhood friendship with Joanie, I was able to spend time with Rita at home, school, and church. One lovely lady for sure.

  • Woodridge
  • Illinois

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