Rita Kay Sorkness, 74, passed away peacefully at Prairie Pointe Assisted Living in Altoona, WI on Wednesday, January 18, 2023. As she passed away peacefully, one of her last requests was that Beverly, the Activity Director at Prairie Pointe, sing “On Eagles Wings” to her, which was fulfilled.
Rita was born on October 5, 1948, to Gordon and Albertina (Ryser) Sorkness in Eau Claire. She graduated from North High School and went on to complete her bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. She had a 30-year career at UW-Eau Claire as a librarian in the Special Collections and Archives Department where she retired from on April 2, 2007.
Rita will be remembered for the kindness that she showed to anyone she encountered. She enjoyed talking about the Kennedy family and was passionate about politics. However, the thing she loved to talk about most was her family. She was always a thoughtful aunt to her nieces and nephew, and one of their fondest memories is the trips that she would take them on to Dayton’s each year to buy the collectable Santa Bears, which they still have, and will cherish even more now. Rita was an avid collector of angels and had one of the most beautiful Christmas trees as it was filled with only angels.
Rita is survived by her nieces Alison Sorkness and children Alexis and Evan of Cottage Grove, MN, Nicole Sorkness and son Shai of Sargent, TX, Jesse (Amanda) Sorkness and children Hannah and Ethan of Peewaukee, WI, and cousins Carol (Linda Eddy) Burckhardt of Vancouver, WA, David (Carol) Sorkness of 9 Mile Falls, WA, Karen (Jerry Simmons) Sorkness of Madison, WI, Ronald (Christine) Sorkness of Madison, WI, Alan Sorkness of Camarillo, CA, John Sorkness of Escondido, CA, and John (Leslie) Moen and their daughters Makayla and Makenna of Eau Claire.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers, Gregory and Rodney, grandparents, Albert and Bertha Ryser, Carl and Elizabeth Sorkness, aunts and uncles, Eldor (Gladys) Sorkness, Lydia Sorkness, Reuben (Donna) Sorkness, Kenneth (Ruth) Sorkness, Delano (Irene) Sorkness Nepstad, Morris Sorkness, Gilma (Harold) Broman, Dagny Sorkness, Lillian (Paul) Moen, Werner (Delores) Ryser, and cousin Glen Sorkness.
Funeral services will be 3:00 p.m Tuesday, January 31, 2023, at Smith Funeral Chapel (2222 London Rd, Eau Claire) with Pastor Paul Sullivan officiating. There will be visitation prior to the service starting at 1:00 p.m. Interment will be at St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery immediately after the service.
The family would like to thank the Prairie Pointe and Heartland Hospice staff for the amazing care and love given to Rita. Online condolences may be left below.