In Memory of Rita Swinton

August 22, 1931 – August 30, 2021

Associate Rita Swinton died Monday, August 30, 2021, at the 11th Street Chautauqua Guest Home in Charles City. Rita graduated from Nashua High School and attended Mount Mercy College, where she studied to be a legal secretary. Rita married Charles Swinton on March 31, 1951, and they raised three children, Linda, Curtis, and Clair. Rita loved her children and adored her 4 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. Rita became an associate on September 18, 2010, after connecting with the Presentations through her sister, Carla Popes. Rita was a member of the Lantern Flames group located in the Charles City area.

Charles passed away in 2019, but Rita didn’t slow down. She continued to work one day a week at Cronin and Skilton right up until her 90th birthday. Her yard remained beautiful, her work ethic remained strong and her commitment to her family and friends never wavered. The world won’t be the same without this little 5-foot spark plug whose lesson — you’re no better than anyone else but no one is better than you — will endure for years to come for all those whose lives were lucky enough to be touched by this wonderful woman.

Associate Lisa Zwanziger fondly remembers, “Rita was a small woman in stature but had the biggest heart! She loved her church and everyone that went there. For many years, she led the rosary for our parish and Rita and I read for Palm Sunday Masses. Just weeks before her passing she voiced to me about her concern of who would lector in her absence. She was always a positive advocate when it came to church duties. Rita loved to know what was going on at all times and she wasn’t afraid to ask. Often she would ride with me when our associate group met and we had some amazing conversations. I miss her.”

Associate Sue Baldwin recalls, “Rita was a dedicated lifelong member of St. Michael and was always there to lend a hand. She was a member of St. Elizabeth Circle, had served on the parish council, St. Michael Guild and was a member of the welcoming committee. She led the rosary before Mass and was a lector at regular and funeral Masses. For years, she helped at the Parish Center for St. Michael Food Stand at the Big 4 Fair over Labor Day by browning pork chops (and lots of them). She was really missed this year and it took two people to replace her browning the chops. Her many God-given talents are missed, but she is at rest in the loving arms of her Savior.”

Sister Carla Popes shares, “Rita was a wonderful sister. She would do anything to help others and has been a hospitable presence wherever she went. Rita was a faithful friend to many and loved her St. Michael Church and the Nashua community. She was a stranger to no one in the area and loved rolling up her sleeves to help clean the church, be a reader at the weekend Mass or making a dish for someone who needed some home cooked meals. Rita took great pride in telling everyone that she worked for the Cronin Law Office for 76 years. She enjoyed life and began every day praying the rosary for all she promised to pray. Rita was always ready to join friends for an evening of playing cards or whatever else was suggested. Rita also loved being a Presentation associate for the past several years. We live in the hope that the God who created and called Rita at Baptism now basks in the arms of her beloved.”