Rita Carolyn Horst Lange, 90, passed away peacefully on Thursday, October 31, 2019 in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. She was born in Lakewood, Ohio February 22, 1929, the only child of Cecil Albert and Linda Mildred (Hitchcock) Horst. Preceded in death by her husband, Gilbert (Gil) Rudolph Lange in 2015. She is survived by two sons, Scott Robert (Pamela Shuman) of Chagrin Falls, Ohio and Richard Rudolph (Jennifer Peters) of Sellersville, Pennsylvania, four grandchildren, Stuart, Christian, Madeline and Lucy and 2 great-grandchildren, Samuel and Genevieve.
Rita Carolyn grew up in Waltham and Newton, Massachusetts and spent many happy summers with her cousins Fred Hochgraf, Helen Baldwin, Kimberly Hitchcock, Richard, James, Phil and Faith Wilder at their grandparents’ home in Delmar, New York. While in junior high school her family moved to Connecticut, where she graduated from New Haven (Hillhouse) High School in 1946. She attended Skidmore College for two years before receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Art with Education and English minors from Northwestern University in 1950.
During the 1950’s, she lived and worked in Los Alamos, New Mexico, San Mateo, California and Oxford, Ohio before settling down to teach art in the public-school system in Bloomfield, Connecticut. Rita Carolyn and Gil married in 1963 and raised their family in Bloomfield and East Hartford before Pratt and Whitney’s Government Products Division transferred them to Florida in 1976. Tequesta, Florida became their home for the next 15 years. Rita Carolyn actively volunteered in the school libraries, was a cub scout den mother, supportive band parent, practiced her art with newfound friends and loved to travel. When Gil retired in 1991, they moved to Blacksburg, Virginia to be near and care for her aging mother who lived to be 102.
The Lange’s were very active members of the Unitarian Universalist Association for many years, always serving on the building and grounds committees in Hartford, West Palm Beach, and finally in Blacksburg. Rita Carolyn made many lifelong friends in every state she lived and was a fast friend to many, always welcoming newcomers to the neighborhood with a smile and maps of the community.
Following Gil’s death, Rita Carolyn moved to Chagrin Falls and spent nearly 4 happy years at Hamlet Village, an assisted living facility. She died quietly in hospice care after a week in the hospital. In the spring of 2020, a family reunion/celebration of life memorial service will be held in Delmar, New York where she will be interred with her soulmate from 52 years of marriage.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests considering a donation to the Cleveland Clinic Hospice Memorial and Tribute Fund or to the charity of your choice.
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Cleveland Clinic Hospice Memorial and Tribute Fund