Rita was born and grew up in Kansas City, Kansas. She was the second of four children born to Jimmie and Mary Hanson. She had an older brother Larry and two younger sisters, Carol and Jennifer. She went to Catholic schools and graduated from Bishop Ward High School in 1963. A few years later, she married LeRoy Kramer and they welcomed daughters Cathy and Kelly. She was a “household manager” and kept us organized, fed and transported to Bluebirds, softball practices and dance lessons. She dropped us off at the Shawnee pool in the summer. She bowled in several leagues. She did PTA and was “room mother” … once for both girls. She enjoyed gardening and loved her poodle, Mitzi. She instilled her love of nature and animals in both her daughters.
Changes in life led her to work outside the home at E.R.C., which later became Swiss Re. She performed clerical duties and managed files for the underwriters. Her daughters grew up and began welcoming their own children: Kaylee (Garett) Thornton, Sosha Fox and Trevor Fox for Cathy and Zane (Tracy) Crites and Seth Crites for Kelly. During these years, she met and married Jon A. Brown on June 10, 1988. They enjoyed dances at the Shriners hall, trips to North Carolina, the Black Hills, and Yellowstone Park. They took trips back to Pennsylvania to see Jon’s family. In 2009, Jon retired from TWA and Rita retired from Swiss Re. Two little dogs, Skipper and Barney, became part of their home. They went to movies… lots of movies. They went to sporting events and concerts, including Neil Diamond, Elton John and saw Manheim Steamroller almost every Christmas season for many years. They joined Platte Woods United Methodist Church and made many new friends. They went to many TWA retiree group lunches together. Great-grandchildren were arriving: Jaxon, Gavon, Jaiden, Mason, Penny, Piper, Levi, Milo, Lily and Lincoln. Jon’s children Scott (Cathy) Brown welcomed Joe, Julie (Justin) Kaveler and Allison (Isaac) Zenil. Kim Brown (Chris Ashland) added Brylan and Kierson. Cathy had become an RN and then obtained her Master’s in Nursing and works as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner locally and in western Nebraska.. She married Robert Cooke. Kelly became an award-winning floral designer and then went to college and obtained a Bachelor’s degree with a major in mass media studies and a minor in communication. She worked for a radio station in Springfield, MO. Life led her back to her first love of flowers and she now owns The Flower Patch & More in Bolivar, MO. She married Richie Coffey. Rita was so proud of them. Life slowed as Jon’s health worsened. They weathered the pandemic safely together. In October of 2022, Jon passed away. Rita began adjusting to life without him. In November, she fell and suffered multiple painful pelvic fractures. She went through rehab and went back home, like she wanted to be. Unexpectedly, she experienced an unknown medical event and passed away at home. She was a quiet woman with a gentle spirit. She will be missed by many.