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Obituaries » Rita M. Brown

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August 22, 1938 - October 28, 2020

Burial Date November 5, 2020

A funeral mass will be held for Rita Thursday, November 5, 2020, at St. Catherine’s of Siena in Portage, Michigan. Her final resting place will be in the family plot at St. Edwards Catholic Church of Mendon. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church of Kalamazoo, care of the funeral home. Family and friends are encouraged to leave a condolence message.

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Rita Mary Brown, age 82, passed away early Wednesday morning October 28, 2020. She was born to Maurice and Mary Rawlinson on August 22, 1938. She is survived by her children Constance Hammond of Idaho, John Brown Jr. of Portage, Michigan, Tina Brown (Hassan Aljubran) of Vicksburg, Michigan, and Robert (Maureen) Brown of Portage, Michigan. Rita is also survived by her sister Elizabeth Parker. Rita is preceded in death by Maurice and Mary Rawlinson, father and mother, Charles Rawlinson, brother, and Margaret Merrill, sister. Rita talked fondly of her childhood and upbringing to her children and grandchildren. She was greatly influenced by her father’s faith, work ethic, and generosity towards others. His example helped shape the caring and loving person she grew in to. Growing up, Rita valued hard work, family, and education. She worked at Klein’s Drugstore later shifting to Upjohn’s and then to the family business, Park Lane Florist. While working Rita raised a family of four doing all she could to be the best mother she could be, always putting family first. Working at the flower shop was not a passion for Rita. In the early 80’s she took a job at the Kalamazoo County Friend of the Court which inspired her to return to school and earn her Associate’s degree to advance her career. For 20+ years Rita was a dedicated employee and had a positive impact on the lives of many in need. In addition to her work at the courthouse, she began to work at J.C. Penney in the ’90s. She enjoyed helping people and many would comment on her ‘above and beyond’ service. She also made lasting friendships with her co-workers. Rita retired from the courthouse to be a caregiver to her grandchildren and have an active role in their lives. Rita took the most joy in this chapter of her life. Her beloved grandchildren are Ashley Brown, Jasmine Moskalik, Jessica Sadiku, Maizie and Hailey Brown. Rita was caring and gentle. She put her family first always deferring her desires and needs for the needs of those she loved. She was selfless to a fault. Rita loved animals and instilled this love in her children. She always found a way to remind her children and grandchildren how very special each and everyone was to her and the world. This is a gift that will be treasured by her family throughout the rest of their lives.