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Rita E. Hamann, age 88 of Bridgeport, WI passed away Thursday, December 14, 2023, at home surrounded by her family. She was born in Prairie du Chien on May 5, 1935, the daughter of Rhodell and Hazel (O’Connell) Klema. She grew up on a farm on Shanghai Ridge near Wauzeka, WI and graduated from Wauzeka High School with the class of 1953. She then attended teachers’ college in La Crosse and Viroqua where she obtained her teaching certificate two years later. She taught in a one room schoolhouse on Wall Ridge near Eastman, WI for two years before working as a secretary at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Rita met the love of her life, William Hamann, at The Checkerboard dance hall in Prairie du Chien. They were married on June 17, 1959, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Wauzeka. Together, they raised 6 children in rural Prairie du Chien. Rita was an active member of St. Gabriel’s Church of the Holy Family Parish in Prairie du Chien. Her faith was a defining feature of her life. She taught CCD, first communion preparation, and was a member of the Parish Council of Catholic Women. She loved gardening and tending her flower beds and worked at Kemble’s Greenhouse in Prairie du Chien for many years. Most of all she cherished her family and loved spending time with them in a home filled with love, laughter, and song. She is survived by her husband of 64 years William; 6 children Jeffrey (Pamela), Mark, and Gary (Kelly) Hamann, Barbara (James) Welsch, Dianne (Kevin) Bay, and Thomas (Nicole) Hamann; sister Marjorie (Ed Weninger) Harpold; 19 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, siblings Michael Klema, Patricia Mezera, and twin sister Anita Lechnir.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be Tuesday, December 19, 2023, at 11:00 A.M. at St. Gabriel’s Church of the Holy Family Parish, Msgr. Charles Stoetzel officiating with burial in the Calvary Cemetery, both in Prairie du Chien. Friends may call at the Garrity Funeral Home on Monday, December 18, 2023, from 4:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M., where there will be a rosary at 3:30 P.M. Friends may also call on Tuesday from 10:00 A.M. until the time of departure for church.