Rita Ress, 83, passed away peacefully on Thursday surrounded by her loving family. Rita was born Areti Zografos in Chicago, Illinois, on December 23, 1933 and was the daughter of the late Konstantinos P. and Eftuhya (Nee: Nicolaides) Zografos.
Rita graduated from Austin High School in Chicago “Class of 1952”. On June 14, 1953, at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church she was united in marriage to the love of her life, Pericles “Peter” G. Ress who preceded her in death on April 1, 2016. Rita has missed him every day since his passing.
Employed by the City of Racine for 25 years, Rita first served as a third-shift clerk for the City of Racine Police Department, then as information clerk/telephone operator at City Hall and finally retired in 2004 after working in the Department of Public Works. Each year, Rita enjoyed attending the annual Twenty Year Club festivities and connecting with many of her former colleagues and friends. Rita was also a long-time active member of Kimissis tis Theotokou Greek Orthodox Church. There she held numerous leadership roles and was a member & past president of the Ladies Philoptochos Society and was particularly proud to have been the first female president of the church’s Parish Council. She also fondly remembered her time as a Sunday school teacher and devotedly took on the responsibility of coordinating the security coverage for the annual Greek Festival. Rita was extremely proud of her Greek Heritage – her parents immigrated to the United States from both Greece & Turkey. Along with her husband, Peter, she lent a helping hand to Greeks who immigrated to this country to pursue the American Dream and devoted herself to causes that helped her homeland such as the Greek Committee for Cyprus, which provided aid to the Greek Cypriot Refugees in the early 1970’s. Rita was a wonderful cook, a skill learned from her father, and was known for making the best Pastichio. She also enjoyed Greek music and dancing. Rita also believed in giving back to her community and graciously donated to several charities and organizations.
She was a positive and optimistic person and people loved to be around her. Rita particularly liked catching up with old friends, loved a good joke, cherished Saturday evening family dinners and enjoyed an occasional card game or trip to the casino.
Perhaps the most fulfilling role was that of a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother who will be dearly missed. Rita served as a confidant, counselor, coach and cheerleader for her family, always championing their dreams and aspirations. Many who talked to her knew how proud she was of her family. And all should know how proud her family is of her. Rita was especially happy to have reconnected over the past couple of years with her close cousin Peter J. Zografos of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
To cherish and honor her memory, Rita leaves behind 3 daughters, Joyce (Salvatore) Muffoletto of Kenosha, Angela (William) Apmann of Caledonia, Connie Ress of Manhattan, NY; 2 adored grandchildren, Peter Reynolds of Racine and Allison Apmann of Orlando, FL; nieces, nephews, other relatives and dear friends. May her memory be eternal.
Family and friends will be received at Kimissis tis Theotokou Greek Orthodox Church on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. with Reverend Athanasios Pieri officiating. Entombment will follow at All Saints Cemetery, Pleasant Prairie. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Kimissis tis Theotokou Greek Orthodox Church in Rita’s name have been suggested.
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