Rita Lynn Brotherton

January 25, 1947February 2, 2021

Rita L. Brotherton, age 74 (affectionately known as Rhino Rita), passed away on Tuesday, February 2, 2021. She lived her life with a true passion for making a difference with everyone who crossed her path. Rita was born in South Bend, IN to the late Mr. and Mrs. Zeke and Zelda Shapiro. She was a resident of Nashville, IN, Hamilton, MO, Terre Haute, IN Jeffersonville, IN, and San Diego, CA. Rita earned her B.S. in Education, M.S. in Psychology and her Ed.S. From Indiana University. She made a positive impact with students as a guidance counselor, psychology professor and a supervisor for student teachers. She found true joy and inspiration in working with children and young adults. Rita married the late Dr. William Brotherton on January 1, 1972 in Bloomington, IN. They celebrated twenty-nine years of marriage before his early passing. During this time, they had two children. Rita truly enjoyed volunteering regardless of what city she resided in and had a love of arts and nature. She volunteered for many organizations, including The Tulare County, CA Symphony, The Morro Bay, CA Natural History Museum, The Falls of the Ohio State Park in Clarksville, IN, and The Howard Steamboat Museum in Jeffersonville, IN. Rita was known for her larger-than-life personality, strong wit, fierce love of family and friends and the art of forgiveness, regardless of what adversity she faced. She taught her children to be strong, compassionate, honest and to always have a true sense of integrity. She will be missed more than words can express. She is survived by her daughter, Amy McHugh (Nick McHugh) of Louisville, KY and son, James Brotherton of San Diego, CA, her brother and sister-in-law, Paul and Diana Shapiro of Nashville, IN; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Alan and Judy Brotherton of Muscatine, IA; nieces and nephews; Rachel, Shane, and Ian Smith of North Liberty, IA and Sarah and Clay Farebrother of North Liberty, IA. A full graveside funeral service will be held on Friday, February 5, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. at Green Lawn Cemetery in Nashville, IN. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Congregation Beth Shalom in Bloomington, IN. If you are interested in contributing to the Bill & Rita Memorial Bench at Indiana University, and maybe another one at the beach, please contact James Brotherton.


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


Rita Lynn Brotherton

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Stephen Friedman

March 30, 2021

One of the few people I have met who had the love of life and laughter so strongly possessed by Rita Shapiro. When I reflect back on our past, I laugh out loud. We will miss you!

Stephen (Subby) Friedman

Gaye Harrison

February 7, 2021

Rita was one of the most unique people I have ever known. The only one of our group with a drivers license in high school, Rita would pack us freshmen up in her car (Sandi, Subby, Fat Man, Nate and me) and drive us to Tower Hill on Lake Michigan. I believe her grandparents were from Buchanan Michigan, on the way to the beach. Most recently I was able to reconnect with Rita when she was in charge of Eastern Illinois University student teachers in the field, and that brought her to Charleston on occasion. It was a joy to get together with her. I’m so sorry, Amy and James, for your loss. Rita stays very much alive in all our hearts.

Mindy Miller

February 6, 2021

I was in the same class with Rita at McKinley Elementary. I moved to the Inianapolis area but never forgot my classmates and stayed in touch with a few. I loved South Bend. I doubt if Rita would have remembered me, but I remember her well. My condolences to the family.

Donna Brook Wexler

February 6, 2021

Rita was a childhood friend who left many smiles in my heart. I knew she’d do some important work in this world. May her memory be a blessing 💖

Phil & Sue Johnson

February 6, 2021

We are so sorry to hear of Rita’s passing. Bill and Rita were dear neighbors to us here in Terre Haute. Jamie and Amy you are in our prayers.