Rita M. Eberl, 95, of 1151 Looker Mountain Trail, Rixford, died Monday, Jan. 10, 2011 at Bradford Regional Medical Center after a brief illness.
She was born Sept. 24, 1915, in St. Marys, daughter of the late Joseph and Gertrude Schreiber Hammer.
On Thanksgiving Day 1936, she was married to Philip G. Eberl of Kersey, who preceded her in death in 1996.
She attended Sacred Heart Elementary and St. Benedict's Academy for girls, then worked for Stackpole Carbon Co. until her marriage.
During World War II, she was a volunteer "plane spotter" for the military. As a lifelong member of St. John's, then St. Raphael's Parish, she taught CCD for more than 20 years and was a member of the Altar Rosary Society. In the 1950s and early 60s, she was one of the many mothers who developed rehabilitation programs for the McKean County Crippled Children's Society and Camp-Lend-a-Hand.
After the death of her daughter Kitty in 1974, she devoted the next 30 years serving as a senior citizen advocate in McKean, Elk, Cameron and Potter counties. As a board member of the North Central Pennsylvania Office of Human Services and as an advocate to the state Director of Aging, she provided input on issues, concerns and the special needs of senior citizens.
She assisted in the development of senior centers and Green Thumb programs in Smethport, Eldred, Bradford, Mount Jewett and other communities in the four-county area.
She was a member and officer in AARP, RSVP, Catholic Daughters of America, McKean County Historical Society Volunteers and the Smethport Senior Center.
In 1989, Rita and Phil received the AARP Community Service Award.
An accomplished artist, she donated her paintings to friends, medical and business offices and many charity fundraising events. She wrote the "History of Rixford 1852-1989."
She enjoyed stamp and coin collecting, arts and crafts projects and spending the summer weekends at the family camp in Oswayo.
She is survived by three sons, Philip J. of Rixford, Mark (Linda) of Warren and John (Carol) of Malvern; a daughter, Rita Ann (Bill) Welsh of Rixford; eight grandchildren, Bill Welsh and Amy Clark, Jason and Jamie Eberl, Peter and John Francis Eberl, and Cayt Kirkman and Jessica Eberl; seven great-grandchildren, Eric Clark and twins Ben and Sam Clark, twins Alexa and Olivia Eberl, Gracie Eberl, and Forest Eberl; a sister, Mary (Mae) Sorg of St. Marys; and many family members throughout the east coast and Canada who love her as "Aunt Rita."
Besides her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by a daughter, Kitty, in 1974.
A private family Funeral Mass for Rita M. Eberl will be said by the Rev. Samuel Slocum of St. Francis Church, Bradford, as celebrant, and Monsignor Casimir A. Bogniak, pastor, as con-celebrant. Burial will follow in St. Raphael's Cemetery.
At her request, there will be no visitation.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Frame Funeral Home.
Memorials, if desired, may be made to Mount Irenaeus, P.O. Box 100, West Clarksville, NY 14786.