Remembering Sister Rita Kuhn
The words that sisters are using to describe Sister Rita Kuhn as they absorb her unexpected death are “always kind” and “good”. With an affectionate chuckle, stories are being told of her lengthy tales of family and ministry and, in the same breath, her quiet service behind the scenes. Sister Rita was a woman of unsung generosity and good will.
Rita Helen Kuhn was born in Cleveland in 1949 to Peter and Helen Kuhn and was baptized at St. Francis Church. She attended Hazeldell Elementary School and graduated from Holy Cross School in Euclid. After graduating from Euclid High School, she worked at the Navy Finance Center for over 13 years, only leaving her lead clerk position there when she decided to enter the congregation in 1982. As Sister Rita Kuhn, she professed her final vows in 1988.
When Sister Rita was preparing for her future ministry, she attended Ursuline College, earning a B.A. in Business Education and was very proud of her teaching certificate. She served in the business department at Villa Angela Academy and Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School. After leaving VASJ, she served in several ways at Beaumont School, teaching keyboarding/computer classes, assisting in the Guidance Office and the main office and substituting as requested.
Because Sister Rita had both creative talents as well as business acumen, she was asked to take on the leadership of the Ursuline Laurel Tree Gift Shop as Director. She ministered in this capacity for ten years, leading other sisters and volunteers in making items for the shop as well as various craft fairs around the diocese. Her organization and dedication were unparalleled.
When the former motherhouse was closed, Sister Rita continued to be a woman of generous service in the new building, Merici Crossings, and in her volunteer ministry at Hillcrest Hospital. In spite of numerous health challenges, she continued to make items to donate for the annual Ursuline Derby Day fundraiser, created endless liturgy sheets to aid the sisters in prayer, unselfishly offered to drive a sister in need to doctor appointments and assisted in planning fun events for the community. At Hillcrest Hospital, she answered calls, kept records for the Spiritual Care Office and performed a phone ministry of prayer for patients. Upon receiving one of the calls, another sister said, “Rita has found her niche. She’s really good at this.”
In recent weeks, Sister Rita contracted a virus but appeared to be conquering it. With attentive medical care, she was ready to return to congregational activities. Apparently, her health challenges were insurmountable and she unexpectedly died while residing at Merici Crossings. Her family, friends and Ursuline Sisters will miss her laughter, her generosity and her stories.
Sister Rita’s parents predeceased her and she was an only child, but she is remembered by cousins and by friends who became part of her family over the years. She is also survived by her Ursuline Sisters with whom she spent 39 years of her life.
Services for Sister Rita will be held at St. Francis of Assisi, 6850 Mayfield Rd., Gates Mills.
Funeral Mass: Thursday, February 9 at 10:00.
Friends are invited to share in this celebration via live streaming through the church’s website: https://stfrancisgm.org/
Burial: All Souls Cemetery
Memorial donations may be made to the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland: www.ursulinesisters.org/donate
Arrangements by DeJohn-Flynn-Mylott
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