- March 13, 1952 - November 23, 2016
- Schoolcraft, Michigan
of Rita's Passing
P.O. Box 6051
Albert Lea, MN 56007
American Diabets Association
P.O. Box 11454
Alexandria, VA 22311
Kalamazoo Gospel Mission
448 N. Burdick St.
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
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Hackman Family Funeral Homes - Hackman Chapel
114 S Nottawa Street
Sturgis, MI 49091
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Memories & CandlesPrevious
“Steve my prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time. It was my pleasure to be a part of your lives during this journey and I wish...Read More »
1 of 14 | Posted by: Jodi Yohey - Kalamazoo
“Dearest Zerbe family,I am sorry for your loss. I pray God will comfort you and give you peace. Continued thought and prayers as you learn to live...Read More »
2 of 14 | Posted by: Kathy Goble - Warsaw, IN - Friend
“Steve and Family:We were saddened when we learned that Rita had ALS. And now we are more deeply saddened to learn of her passing. Please accept...Read More »
3 of 14 | Posted by: Gary and Leeanne Boone - FL
“Dear Steve, We are so saddened by the lose of your precious wife. We stand on the promises of God and know a reunion in heaven is ahead. We...Read More »
4 of 14 | Posted by: Ron and Linda Liechty - Niles, MI
“My condolescences to you, Pastor Steve and the rest of your family. I just heard about your wife and although I am saddened at her passing, she is...Read More »
5 of 14 | Posted by: DEBBY KELJENKINS - KALAMAZOO, MI
“Steve and family- -We are saddened by your loss and pray the Lord will hold you closely as you grieve and get used to life without Rita. We have lost...Read More »
6 of 14 | Posted by: David and Peggy Vos - Canton, NC
“Yes, Steve, you and Rita lived your lives as God desires us to do! AS,,"ONE".. Gen.2:24. I have cherished memories of Rita, Leah, you and me,...Read More »
7 of 14 | Posted by: A friend
“Beautiful lady, you are now with Jesus, complete, whole, and dancing! We will surely miss your presence and smile but are confident that we'll see...Read More »
8 of 14 | Posted by: Cal and Alicia Richmond - MI
“The Hackman Family and the entire staff extend to you our most heartfelt sympathy.
9 of 14 | Posted by: Hackman Family Funeral Homes - MI
“I'm so sorry to hear of Rita's passing. My mom had been updating me on how she was doing. I have so many wonderful memories of Rita and her hugs...Read More »
10 of 14 | Posted by: Carrie Cupp (Mattis) - Waterford, MI
“Rita will never be forgotten--her smiling personality and Christian testimony will always lite the way for others as they seek their way to God.
11 of 14 | Posted by: Mynard & Marge Holloway - Portage, MI
“So sorry to hear of Rita's passing. I never met her in person but I am friends with Steve on Facebook. Steve and I grew up in the Loree First...Read More »
12 of 14 | Posted by: Eldon Einselen - Goshen, IN
“Larry doctored with Doc Shroyer for years and has many good memories of him. We did not know Rita personally, but felt a closeness since we had a...Read More »
13 of 14 | Posted by: Linda & Larry Cline - Dunkirk, IN
“I have so many memories of playing outdoors with Rita, Butch, and Resa. I am having a difficult time realizing that Rita has passed. She was one...Read More »
14 of 14 | Posted by: Julia Jerles - Albany, IN
Rita Jo Zerbe age 64 of Schoolcraft, Michigan began her heavenly walk peacefully after a "beautiful fight" with ALS on November 23, 2016. Although the fight was difficult, her last breath was pain-free surrounded by her immediate family; her greatest joy.
She was born to her earthly journey on March 13, 1952 in Muncie, Indiana daughter of the late Herbert Lowell and Ellen (Bidgood) Shroyer.
Rita resided in Schoolcraft, MI since 2005. Prior to moving to Schoolcraft she lived in Warsaw, IN for three years, Sturgis, MI from 1996-2002 and her early life was spent in Dunkirk, IN where she was a graduate of Dunkirk High School with the class of 1970. She furthered her education at Taylor University in Upland, IN where she received a Bachelor Degree in Art.
On August 19, 1972 she married Steven Zerbe at the Bethel Methodist Church in Dunkirk, Indiana.
Rita was very artistically creative in nearly anything she did. She owned and operated from her home a full scale wedding planning business. She could personally take care of every detail of a wedding from making the dress to baking and decorating the cake. She was also an art teacher. Rita enjoyed teaching and wedding planning but her true passion was being the loving and dedicated wife, mother and grandmother she was. She and Steve were not just a happily married couple but a true team together serving nine churches in California, Michigan and Indiana.
She was a member of the Journey Church in Caledonia, MI and she enjoyed gardening, flowers, her art work and loved sharing her talents with her grandchildren that she so dearly cherished.
She is survived by her loving and dedicated husband of 44 years: Steve; two daughters: Allison (Ben) Davis of Battle Creek, MI and Erica (Jon) Allen of Caledonia, MI; five grandchildren: Brennan Davis, twins Sydney and Makenzie Allen, Micah and Emma Davis; step-mother: Carolyn Shroyer of Dunkirk, IN; five sisters: Resa Robertson of Greencastle, IN; Leslie (Tom) Forrest of Muncie, IN; Joy (Bruce) Gregg of Ossian, IN; Mary Kay (Mike) Sterret of Ossian, IN and Julie (George) Paulk of Arlington, TX; four brothers: Lowell "Butch" (Pam) Shroyer of Indianapolis, IN; Paul Huffman of Muncie, IN; Chuck (Susan) Huffman of Dunkirk, IN and Stephen (Beth) Shroyer of Brownsburg, IN and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents and special aunt: Carroll Shroyer.
The family will receive friends from 2:00 – 4:00 P.M. Sunday at the Radiant Life Church, 907 N. Nottawa St. in Sturgis, Michigan. Funeral services celebrating and honoring the life of Rita Jo Zerbe will begin at 4:00 P.M. Sunday at the church followed by the serving of a meal and continued time of fellowship in the church's fellowship hall. Pastor Archie Nevins will officiate. A graveside service and burial will take place Monday at the Rankin Cemetery in Bunker Hill, Indiana. A luncheon will follow the graveside service at the Loree Brethren Church on Strawtown Pike.
The Hackman Chapel of Hackman Family Funeral Homes, 114 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis, MI 49091, 269-651-2331 is honored to be entrusted with the arrangements.
The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Rita's memory consider the ALS Association, Gift Processing Center, PO Box 6051 Albert Lea, MI 56007 or the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 11454, Alexandria, VA 22311 or the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission, 448 N. Burdick St., Kalamazoo, MI 49007.
The obituary is also at www.hackmanfamilyfuneralhomes.com where personal messages of support may be left for the family.