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Rita's Story

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Rita M. Colbath, age 86, of Traverse City, passed away Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at The Villa at Traverse Point in the loving care of her family.
Rita was born on Aug. 7, 1931, to Emil and Rose (Schaub) Steimel in Jackson. Rita was raised in Jackson, and attended Jackson High School where she graduated in 1949. After graduating high school, Rita went to work for a public accounting firm as a secretary. It was while Rita was working that she met her husband, David W. Colbath on Dec. 26, 1950, David's first day at the firm. On Oct. 20, 1951, Rita and David married in Jackson. After living in Jackson for sometime, Rita and David lived in; Boyne City, Cadiz, Kentucky, and in 1967 arrived in Traverse City, where they have been for the past 50 years.
Rita worked along side her husband as an office manager in his accounting business, Peninsula Business Service. She was a member, elder, and deacon at the Presbyterian Church in Traverse City where Rita and David have been 50 year members.
Rita loved to play bridge, where she often organized the bridge marathon at the Presbyterian Church. Rita had the most beautiful brown eyes, she was an elite conversationalist and thoroughly enjoyed talking and getting to know anyone she had the pleasure of being around. Rita was an avid sports fan and loved watching Detroit Tigers baseball and University of Michigan Football. Rita and David had their night time ritual, a game of Racko, hot fudge sundae, their Christian devotional, and then off to bed. Rita and David shared a lifetime of wonderful memories together, where they loved to travel, and enjoyed their time keeping up with their family.
Rita is survived by her husband, David; daughters, Janet Swain, of Petoskey, Carol (Brad) Pines, of Troy; grandchildren, Tiffany (Ryan) Murphy, of Kalamazoo, Megan (Nick) Berti, of Berkley, Wilson Pines, of Troy, Madison (Grant) Goodspeed, of Troy; and great-grandchildren, Damian, Silas, and Ava.
Rita was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Patrick Steimel; sister, Doris Kunkel; brother, James Steimel; and son, Stephen Colbath.
A memorial service for Rita will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 at the Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Melissa Lopez officiating. Visitation will take place one hour prior at the church. A luncheon will be held in the church reception hall immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be directed to the Presbyterian Church, 710 Westminster Rd., Traverse City, MI 49686.
Please share a memory with Rita's family by visiting her tribute page found at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
The Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services is serving the family.
Published on September 19, 2017
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