Cover photo for Rita Dorothy Briggs's Obituary
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1925 Rita 2013

Rita Dorothy Briggs

February 25, 1925 — December 9, 2013

Rita Dorothy Briggs, the eighth child of ten children of John H. and Rose (Wilwerding) Erlbacher, was born February 25, 1925, at her parents’ home in Grove Township, Shelby County near Earling, Iowa and died December 9, 2013, at the Friendship Home in Audubon, Iowa at the age of 88 years, 9 months, and 14 days. Rita was baptized and confirmed at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Earling, Iowa. She attended St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Earling. In April of 1946, she was united in marriage to Richard Briggs at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Earling. Three children: Robert, Charlotte, and Ricky were born to this union. They moved to Lincoln Township northwest of Audubon where they operated Richard’s family farm. Rita and Richard worked together on the farm and Rita drove tractor to help with cultivating crops and bailing hay. Rita always had a large garden and enjoyed canning the vegetables for their family. Richard was a pilot. They built a runway and kept an airplane on the farm. They enjoyed flying to the flight breakfast and attending farm shows with friends in neighboring states. Richard died in 1966. Rita continued to manage the farm and raise hogs. Later Rita worked at Nelson Manufacturing Plant in Manning, Iowa until she moved to Audubon in 1975. She was then employed in the dietary department of the Friendship Home for over 19 years. She also during this time operated a home cleaning business. Rita enjoyed her home until she moved to the Friendship Home in 2011. Rita was a faithful member of the St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Audubon, Iowa and the Catholic Women’s Group. She enjoyed playing cards especially if she was winning, watching national current events, and talking to her son Bob about political events. But most of all she enjoyed spending time with her family. Rita was preceded in death by her husband Richard Briggs; her son Ricky Briggs; her grandson Christopher Dean Fett; her parents; her brothers and sisters: Leonard and Lena Erlbacher; Jake and Irene Erlbacher; Elmer and Ann Erlbacher; LaVerne and Deloris Erlbacher; Johnny Erlbacher; Marie and Merrill Stolz; Irene and Vencent Kenkel; Ella Mae and Darrell Darnell; and Pat and Bob Malone; and her brother-in-law: Frank and Marilyn Briggs. Survivors include her children: Robert (Bob) Briggs of Atlanta, Georgia; Charlotte and husband Dean Fett of Audubon, Iowa; her grandchildren: Alecia and husband Brian Moser of Rochester, Minnesota; and Sara Wood, M.D. of St. Louis, Missouri; her great grandchildren: Alivia and Stella Moser both of Rochester; and Isabelle Wood of St. Louis; her sisters-in-law and brother-in-law: Beverly Tyree of Iowa City, Iowa; and Ardis Briggs Everett and husband James Everett of Independence, Missouri; numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Interment will be in Maple Grove Cemetery in Audubon, Iowa.

The family will meet friends Thursday evening from 5:00 to 8:00 P.M. with a Rosary at 6:30 P.M. at the Kessler Funeral Home in Audubon.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, December 13, 2013, at 10:30 A.M at the St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Audubon, Iowa.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rita Dorothy Briggs, please visit our flower store.


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