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Rita Marcella Schmidt Wallerich obituary

Rita Marcella (Sexton) Schmidt Wallerich, 91, of rural Lake City, died February 3 at her home surrounded by family. She was born in Millville, Minn. to Edmund and Agnes (Laqua) Sexton on November 6, 1932.  She was always being told “you should have been a boy” as the eight siblings before her were boy/girl/boy/girl.     Marcella attended country school in rural Millville and high school in Plainview. She met her first husband, Thomas Schmidt, at a dance in Millville and married at St. Patrick’s Church in West Albany, Minn. on a Tuesday morning, October 10, 1950. The wedding dance was that Saturday in Kellogg and they went on a honeymoon to the Grotto of Redemption in West Bend, Iowa with her brother, Lawrence and Tom’s sister Dorothy, who were also married earlier that week. Since she was 17 years old, she resided on the farm that her husband’s great grandfather homesteaded in the 1860’s.  They were months away from celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary, but her life changed abruptly in 1980 when Tom died from asthma complications, leaving her with four of their 10 children still at home and a farm to run.
She was a widow for 30 years until she married Anthony (Tony) Wallerich of Pepin Hill on October 22, 2010. In fulfillment of their parents’ dream, their children turned the farm into a golf course, which opened July 1, 1997, on what would have been Tom’s 70th birthday.
She was a member of St. Mary’s of the Lake Catholic Church in Lake City. She had been a 4-H leader, religion teacher, and secretary/treasurer of the Pepin Hill Farmers Club. She enjoyed traveling and made trips to Germany, France, and Alaska and spent many winter months in Arizona with her oldest daughter, Diane.  Along with running the farm, she also worked at Pepin Heights, the Villa Maria, sold Stanley Products, and spent nearly every day working at the Lake Pepin Golf Course.   She never seemed to sit still; always working on a project, playing cards, quilting, baking, golfing or taking care of someone. When she did sit, she would “rest her eyes”, which was often confused with sleeping.
She was the lone survivor – outliving her nine siblings by five years.  Marcella and Tom had nine beautiful children and one ugly one.  Daughters: Diane Walden of Scottsdale, Ariz., Sue Bee of Lake City, Mary (David) Bluhm of Zumbro Falls, Rose (David) McNamara of Goodhue, Karen (Chad) Collins of Lake City;  sons:  Joe (Juli), Steve “Qui”, Gary (Vicki), David, and her favorite, Paul (Julee) all of Lake City, and bonus son Kevin Corrigan (Jodi) of Lake City. Waiting for her at the Pearly Gates would be her parents, first husband, sons in laws, Don Walden and Ken Bee; step son Greg Wallerich,  siblings and their spouses  – Richard (Mary), Rose (Ferdinand) Franke,  Robert (Margaret), Mildred (John) Dick, Pat (Lucy), Irene (John) Tritchler, Lawrence (Dorothy), Delores (Walter) Books and Frances (Don) Dick.  She is survived by her husband Tony, and children, twenty- six grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren.  Step children – Steve (Lora Richardson), Ron and Ann, all of Wabasha. Her legacy will live on through her family and all the lives she has touched. Thank you to all who have shared your support, love and memories throughout Marcella’s long and very blessed life.
A memorial Mass will be Friday, February 9, 2024, at 11 a.m. at St. Mary of the Lake Catholic Church in Lake City, with Fr. Thé Hoang and Fr. James Russell officiating. The Mass will be live-streamed on the Mahn Family Funeral Home Facebook page. A luncheon will be served following the Mass at the church. Burial will be at the church cemetery next to her first husband at a later date.  A celebration of life will be at Lake Pepin Golf Course starting at 3 p.m. February 9 following the Memorial Mass. Visitation will be at the church from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 8, 2024, in the gathering space and one hour before the Mass.  Online condolences may be sent to the family at Arrangements are by the Mahn Family Funeral Home, Anderson-Peterson Chapel.

The Lake City Graphic
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ISSN 2994-1059 (print)  ISSN 2994-1067 (online)