OBITUARY

Rita Rose Gorman

January 28, 1931September 29, 2020
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Rita was born on January 28, 1931, in Burlington, Wisconsin. She was the oldest of three children born to Edward and Florence Reesman. Her mother passed away when Rita was 19 years old, and Rita helped raise her younger brothers Robert and Russell. Her father remarried a few years later and Dorothy became her stepmother. Rita graduated from St. Mary’s High School in Burlington, Wisconsin in 1949.

Rita married Tom Gorman in 1958. The two decided that they wanted to start their life together in a warmer climate and Tom had already lined up employment in California. The two headed west after their honeymoon only to be stopped by a snowstorm. Not to be deterred, a day later they headed to California and settled in Elk Grove. There they made friends that would last a lifetime.

In 1959 Rita and Tom moved to Fresno and started their family. Patrick was born in 1961 and Mary in 1963. Tom was self-employed in the dairy industry and Rita was a legal secretary. They were lifelong Catholics and became active members in St. Mary Queen of the Apostles Church in Fresno, which in the early 1960s was a small mission parish of St. Alphonsus. Tom was a Life Member of the Knights of Columbus and Rita was a member of the Altar Society. Years later, they joined Our Lady of Victory Church and continued their involvement in parish ministries. Rita’s work with the Altar Society led to friendships that gave her great comfort and encouragement in her later years.

Rita was an enduring Chicago Bears fan which lead to some interesting Sunday conversations as Tom was a Packers fan and Patrick was a Vikings fan. Rita also liked the occasional shopping trip and visit to a casino. Rita was first and foremost a devoted and loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Patrick married Kasia in 2007. Mary married Bill in 2010. Granddaughters Michelle, Teresa, Hailey, Kinsie and Angela and great-grandson, Anthony were all a constant source of joy and pride, as well as entertainment for Rita.

After Rita and Tom retired, they traveled extensively and enjoyed many cruises. They frequently went back to Wisconsin to visit relatives. It was on one of these trips, in 2007, that Tom passed away unexpectedly just a couple months short of their 50th wedding anniversary. Rita went on to live on her own for several years at the family home that she and Tom had shared since 1960. She later moved into a condo closer to her children.

Rita was a breast cancer survivor, twice. In 2011 she fell and broke her leg and did such a good job of it that her surgeon told her that she would be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life. A testament to her German toughness, and to the surprise of no one who knew her, she was walking with a little assistance just a couple months later. She often reminded her surgeon of his errant prognosis on her follow-up visits.

A second fall along with deteriorating health and the passage of time caused her to move into assisted care in 2019. Even though dementia took root, she always recognized her family and smiled when they visited. She passed away peacefully on September 29, 2020.

Rita was preceded in death by her husband Tom and brothers Robert and Russell Reesman. She is survived by her son Patrick, his wife Kasia and their daughters Hailey and Kinsie; her daughter Mary, her husband Bill Cooper and Mary’s daughters Michelle and Teresa Ornellas, Teresa’s son Anthony, and Bill’s daughter Angela Cooper, and by Robert’s Wife Jean Reesman and Russell’s wife Mary Lu Reesman, Tom’s sisters in law Joyce Gorman, Betty Gorman and brother in law Phil Trimberger, along with countless nieces, nephews, family and friends.

The family would like to thank the administration and nursing staff at Fresno Guest Homes and Optimal Hospice. We also want to thank Monsignor McCormick and the eucharistic ministers from Holy Spirit Church who brought communion to Rita when she could no longer attend church in person.

In lieu of flowers the family would be grateful for donations to be sent to Catholic Charities 149 N. Fulton Fresno, CA 93701 or Poverello House 412 F. St. Fresno, CA 93706.

The visitation will be on October 12, 2020 from 1:00-3:00pm at Whitehurst. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Holy Spirit Catholic Church on October 13, 2020 at 10:00. Due to COVID restrictions, the Graveside Service is private.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.whitehurstsullivan.com for the Gorman family.

  • FAMILY

  • Rita was preceded in death by her husband Tom and brothers Robert and Russell Reesman.


    She is survived by her son Patrick, his wife Kasia and their daughters Hailey and Kinsie; her daughter Mary, her husband Bill Cooper and Mary’s daughters Michelle and Teresa Ornellas, Teresa’s son Anthony, and Bill’s daughter Angela Cooper, and by Robert’s Wife Jean Reesman and Russell’s wife Mary Lu Reesman, Tom’s sisters in law Joyce Gorman, Betty Gorman and brother in law Phil Trimberger, along with countless nieces, nephews, family and friends.Rita was preceded in death by her husband Tom and brothers Robert and Russell Reesman. She is survived by her son Patrick, his wife Kasia and their daughters Hailey and Kinsie; her daughter Mary, her husband Bill Cooper and Mary’s daughters Michelle and Teresa Ornellas, Teresa’s son Anthony, and Bill’s daughter Angela Cooper, and by Robert’s Wife Jean Reesman and Russell’s wife Mary Lu Reesman, Tom’s sisters in law Joyce Gorman, Betty Gorman and brother in law Phil Trimberger, along with countless nieces, nephews, family and friends.

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  • PALLBEARERS

  • William Cooper, Active Pallbearer
  • Joseph Garcia, Active Pallbearer
  • Ray Garcia, Active Pallbearer
  • Terry Heinrich,, Active Pallbearer
  • Joe Gill, Active Pallbearer
  • Randy Patton, Active Pallbearer

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

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