Cover photo for Rita   Zerwas's Obituary
Rita   Zerwas Profile Photo
1928 Rita 2019

Rita Zerwas

June 7, 1928 — July 23, 2019

     Rita Marie, daughter of John A. and Mary E. (Hupke) Theobald, was born June 7, 1928, in Mapleton, Iowa. She grew up in Mapleton and graduated from Mapleton High School in 1946. From 1946 to 1948, Rita attended Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska where she earned her teaching certificate. She taught in Ida Grove for one year before coming to Manning to teach in the fall of 1949. She enjoyed five years as a full-time teacher.

On July 8, 1952, Rita was united in marriage with Francis J. Zerwas at St. Mary’s Church in Mapleton. Four children were born to this union. Rita and Francis made their home in Manning and Rita became a stay-at-home mom.    She had a love for teaching and in 1967 began a second career as a substitute teacher for 35 years in the Manning School system.  

   Rita was a member of Sacred Heart Church where she was active in Catholic Daughters, choir, Rosary and Altar Society, and taught CCD for several years. She was also a member of Little Flower Study Club and Wa-Tan-Ye. Throughout the years, she volunteered at the hospital snack bar, Hausbarn and Speak-up. She enjoyed golfing, bowling, playing cards and trips to the casino.

   On Tuesday, July 23, 2019, Rita passed away at Manning Senior Living in Manning, Iowa. She was 91 years, 1 month and 16 days of age.

   Rita is survived by four children: Jennifer Beck of Omaha, NE; Jessica Graner and husband Gary of Omaha, NE; Brad Zerwas of San Diego, CA; and Joanna Wanninger and husband Jim of Johnston; eight grandchildren: Stephanie Randall and husband Cory; Brian Beck and wife Emily Grenzke; Matthew Graner and wife Sherry; Steven Graner and fiancé Cody Wyatt; Michelle Michaelsen and husband Joe; Allison Graner and fiancé T.J. Johnson; Scott Wanninger; and Rachel Wanninger; four great-grandchildren: Jayden, Breck, Claire and Rori; and by nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Rita was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 52 years Francis Zerwas; granddaughter Katherine Beck; son-in-law Bob Beck; six brothers: Lester, Ralph, Donald, Harlan, and John and Paul in infancy; three sisters: Rosina Hoesing, Theresa Sperry (Rita’s twin) and Marie at birth.


Reverend John Gerald



Allison Graner     Brian Beck


Prayers of the Faithful  

Rachel Wanninger


Gift Bearers

Gary Graner     Jim Wanninger

Robert Beck - In Memoriam



“You Are Mine”     “Prayer of St. Francis”

“One Bread, One Body”    

“Let There Be Peace On Earth”

Sacred Heart Choir     Anne Muhlbauer, Organist


Casket Bearers ~ Grandchildren

Stephanie Randall     Brian Beck     Matthew Graner     Steven Graner    

Michelle Michaelsen     Allison Graner

Scott Wanninger     Rachel Wanninger    

 Katie Beck - In Memoriam



Sacred Heart Cemetery

Manning, Iowa

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