Rita Ann Kropp entered eternal life on November 11 when she passed away peacefully in her home of 66 years. She was surrounded by her loving children and the prayers of many.
Rita was born to Louis and Lenna Donjon on October 28, 1935 at the Chase County Hospital in Imperial, Nebraska. She was the second child in a family of five children in addition to an aunt, Betty, who was raised alongside them. Rita spent her early years on the family farm near Champion, Nebraska. She attended a one room schoolhouse from first through eighth grade. The Donjon family later relocated to a farm closer to Imperial where Rita finished high school graduating in 1953.
After high school, Rita took a job at the Goodall Company in Ogallala, Nebraska. She later moved to Holyoke to take a job as a telephone operator at the Phillips County Telephone Company. Little did she know that this position would turn into more than just connecting phone calls, but ultimately a connection to the love of her life, Daryl Kropp.
After a brief courtship, Daryl and Rita were married on May 28, 1955 at St. Patrick’s in Imperial. Shortly after marriage, the couple began their new life at their home on Akron Street with the house they moved in from the country. It was in this loving home that they raised their eight children. Along with raising their own children, Rita also babysat.
One of the things Rita was most remembered for was her cooking. As her children grew a little older, she took a job as a cook for the Holyoke School District in 1973. She was a great cook, and ones’ mouth waters just thinking of the delicious cinnamon rolls she helped prepare. Rita retired from this position in 1995 to care for her husband. As a loving and devoted wife, she cared for him until his passing in 1997.
After Daryl’s passing, Rita poured her service and time into helping out the community. She spent many Fridays helping with Bingo at the local nursing home. She was also very active in her church family at St. Patrick’s especially in the Altar and Rosary Society. She loved traveling to the Deanery meetings at various parishes in the Northeast Colorado area.
Rita will be fondly remembered in so many ways. She will be remembered for her great faith and love for our Lord. She was a true prayer warrior for anyone in need. Her grandchildren especially remember playing Trouble and other games with her as well as snacking on popcorn and root beer floats. Her beef and noodles and red hot salad were always a family favorite. Rita had a great love for her family, friends, and country. She was a big supporter for freedom and religious liberty. Rita was very prolife; advocating for all from womb to tomb. She will be remembered for her generosity, loyalty, humility, and feisty spirit.
Rita was preceded in death by Daryl, her husband of 41 years, her parents, Louis and Lenna Donjon; brother, Glenn Donjon; and grandsons, Matthew Kropp and Kolbe Denman.
She is survived by her sons: Mike, Tom, Fred (Pam), Vince (Deb), Patrick (Kendell), and John (Lisa); and daughters: Lenna Gregorio (Joe) and Jennifer Denman (Trent). Rita is also survived by her brother, Don (Marilyn); sisters, Mary Ellen Smith (Rex), Barb Kuehn (DuWayne), and Betty Mueller. She leaves behind many grandchildren, great grandchildren, and friends who will miss her deeply.
The Rosary was held Tuesday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. at St. Patrick’s in Holyoke, Colorado. The funeral Mass was held at St. Patrick’s on Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 10:30 a.m. Celebrants were Father Jerry Rohr and Father Michael Bodzioch.
Memorial donations may be made to A Caring Pregnancy Center, EWTN, or St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. Baucke Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
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