Dover - Rita Kropiewnicki passed away on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, surrounded by her loving children and grandchildren, Ronald Jr. and Natalie Rider. Throughout her life, Rita achieved professional success, but the occupations that she cherished the most were those of wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
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Rita was born and raised in Nanticoke, PA. In 1951, she met her future husband Matthew. After graduating from Nanticoke HS in 1953, she was a bookkeeper in Wilkes-Barre. She then became a copywriter at a radio station in Nanticoke. In 1955, now an Air Force wife in Greenville, SC, she worked for WFBC. Rita succeeded in her early career, but a much more important position soon took priority in her life, that of motherhood.
Rita and Matt were blessed with five children. Throughout this time, Rita served at home by holding down the fort while Matt was away flying. As their children grew older, Rita again endeavored on a career by working at WDOV in Dover. Later, she made lasting relationships working for Kent County, Madison & Co. in Smyrna, the State of DE and Wesley College. It was at this time, in 1997, that Rita’s life long love of learning led to her earning an Associate’s Degree in English Literature at Wesley.
After working, Rita enjoyed her retirement with Matt and their family. She loved that they all lived so close. A life long Catholic, she had a strong devotion to the Divine Mercy, the Infant of Prague and to the Virgin Mary. She also often said that her goal was to treat all guests as if Christ himself was knocking at her door. She loved entertaining and utilizing her collection of recipes by cooking and baking.
In her free time, she enjoyed playing cards (31!) and Scrabble. Rita also loved to write poetry, some of which was utilized by Madison and Co. in products that they sold to the public. Another favorite activity was watching game shows such as America Says, The Price is Right, Wheel of Fortune and Let’s Make a Deal. She also loved to dance with Matt and she knew from the moment they met that he was special, and she would spend the rest of her life with him. Her children and grandchildren were always her priority too. She particularly enjoyed attending their concerts and sporting events. She loved rooting on the kids and looked forward to handing out KitKats afterwards.
Rita was preceded in death by her devoted husband of 61 years, Matt, her son, Mark of Newport; her parents, Anna and Thomas Kotulak, of Nanticoke, PA; 2 brothers and 4 sisters; as well as several of her sibling’s spouses and children.
Rita is survived by her and Matt’s 4 children; 6 grandchildren; and 4 great-grandchildren. Survivors include their son, Matthew, Jr., of Cochranville, PA; their daughter, Patricia Clauser and her husband, Francis, of Dover; their daughter, Ann Rider, her husband, Ronald, and their daughter Natalie, of Dover and Ronald Jr. of Aberdeen, MD; their son Chris, of Wilmington; and their deceased son Mark's children, Joseph, his wife Bridget and their son Mark, of Bear; Kelly, and her son Jace, of Flint, MI; Stephen, his wife Ashley and their son Lucas, of Wilmington; and Robert, his wife Ellen and their daughter Isla, of Newport. Rita is also survived by 2 sisters, Bertha Zanowicz, and her husband Leonard, of Scotch Plains, NJ; and Marie Baka, of Toms River, NJ.
A viewing will be held Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020 from 6 until 8 p.m. at The Funeral Home of Michael J. Ambruso, 1175 S. State St., Dover, DE. There will be an additional viewing, at the funeral home, 10:30 until 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 12 p.m. at Holy Cross Church, 631 S. State St., Dover, DE. Interment will be private. Condolences may be forwarded via www.ambruso.com.