Rita Mary Palen, 95, of Dubuque, passed away Wednesday, November 13, 2019, at Hawkeye Care Center.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, November 16, at Church of the Resurrection, 4300 Asbury Rd. Rev. Tom Heathershaw will officiate. Interment will be in Mount Calvary Cemetery. Friends may greet the family from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, November 15, at Egelhof, Siegert & Casper Funeral Home and Crematory, 2659 John F. Kennedy Rd., where there will be a prayer service at 2:30 p.m.
Rita was born March 21, 1924 in Dubuque, the daughter of Carl and Evelyn (Stillmunks) Schrup. She graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy. In 1946, Rita married Harold Palen in Dubuque. He preceded her in death on November 26, 1993. Rita was a member of Resurrection parish, where she was also a member of the Rosary Society. Rita was a Gold Star Mom; On January 3, 1971, Rita and Harold’s son Tony was MIA in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. Rita then joined the National League of POW-MIA Families from Southeast Asia; and remained a member. She was employed as a bookkeeper for O’Toole Office Supply for 16 years, until her retirement in 1981. She enjoyed reading and gardening. Rita was a wonderful grandmother; and will be sadly missed.
Rita is survived by two sons, John (Joann) Palen of Pardeeville, WI, and David (Elaine) Palen of Dubuque; four grandchildren, Jacob (Mia) Palen of Dubuque, Joseph (Megan) Palen of Dubuque; Nicholas (Andraya) Palen of Beaver Dam, WI, and Benjamin Palen of Pardeeville, WI; five great grandchildren; three sisters, Evelyn “Dee Dee” Stieber of Dubuque, Karen (Mike) Pauly of Winterset, IA and Mary Kay “Shatzie” Speak of Davenport; and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to her beloved husband, Rita was preceded in death by her parents; her son, Carl “Tony” Palen; and her sisters, Dorothy Brown, Arlys Runde, Sally Ann Ryan and Elizabeth Schrup in infancy.
Memorials may be made to the family.
The family would like to thank the nurses and staff at Hospice of Dubuque and Hawkeye Care Center for their care.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.egelhofsiegertcasper.com