Rita was born December 17, 1931 in Dell Rapids, SD, to Nicholas and Mary (Hilgert) Schwebach. She attended St. Mary’s Catholic School. She worked at the Dells Theater, Dells Creamery and Van Buren & Vogt in Dell Rapids before her marriage to Vernon V. Walker on April 23, 1955. The couple lived in Brookings and Dell Rapids, where Rita operated Rita’s Fabric Shoppe, before opening Walkers’ Fine Foods & Spirits in Flandreau in 1975. The couple retired from the restaurant business in 1996, only to take over the operation of the Old Dutch Inn in Dell Rapids from 1999-2000, when they retired “for real.” Rita was a long-time member of SS. Simon & Jude Catholic Church in Flandreau. She was a past regent of the Catholic Daughters. During retirement, she enjoyed scrapbooking and being “Gigi” to her great-grandchildren. Rita moved to Auburn, WA in 2012.
Rita was preceded in death by her husband, Vernon, on October 11, 2007. She is survived by three children: Cheryl (Joseph) Rook of Auburn, WA; James (Barbara) of Sioux Falls, SD; and Susan (Richard) Reeves of Smithfield, UT; seven grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.
On-line condolences may be left at the Cascade Memorial website. A memorial service and burial are planned in Flandreau in June, 2017.