OBITUARY

Donna Mae Rittenberg

October 10, 1928April 12, 2018
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Donna Mae Rittenberg, 89, of Williamston, passed away on Thursday April 12, 2018. Donna was born on October 10th, 1928 in Arenac Township, MI, the daughter of James and Mildred (Barnes) Payea. Donna and her husband Gerald (Chuck) have been 50 year residents of the Williamston - Webberville Area where they enjoyed raising their kids, gardening, farming, and enjoying friendships. Their lives began on the opposite sides of the Rifle River in Arenac County. They developed a love for fishing, swimming, and enjoying the wilderness - all values they passed on to their family: Larry (Kathleen), son; Sharon (Bill) Mize (daughter), and Diane Rittenberg, deceased.

During their years in Michigan, they enjoyed many opportunities to visit the U.S. with their friends, Jim and Nairda Monroe. Together, they saw almost every state in the U.S. with a focus on enjoying the wilderness, especially the Mountains of Western U.S., all of Canada, and Alaska. They never lost their love, or appreciation, for the outdoors and the need to protect the environment.

Many local friends admired them for the productive and diverse gardens and wonderful hospitality. Donna was noted for her hard work in canning vegetables, as well as being acclaimed for her fantastic cooking - especially home made bread and lemon pies.

Donna was a great fan of the Detroit Tigers. When the Tigers were on TV, she took control of the remote away from Gerald. (He knew better than to argue with her about watching the Tigers!). She loved to listen to Ernie Harwell and his historical knowledge of the game.

Donna came from a large family (8 siblings). Family reunions were a big thing in her younger years. She was also proud of her Grandfather, Captain Bert Payea who spent many years piloting large ships up and down the coast of Lake Michigan. She also loved living with her Grandparents when they worked on lumbering in the upper peninsula.

Donna is preceded in death by her husband Gerald (2017), a daughter Diane Sue Rittenberg (2017) and a grandson Charles Huntington III (2001). She is loved and survived by her son; Larry (Kathleen) Rittenberg, her daughter; Sharon (Bill) Mize, her grandchildren; Brian (Tracey) Rittenberg, Marianne (Darin) Keuhn, Kylie Huntington, Aaron Huntington, and her great grandchildren; Abigail Keuhn, Mitchell Keuhn, Quinten Garcia, and her surviving brother; Bill (Cheryl) Payea. A funeral service will be held on Monday April 16, 2018 at 11:30am at Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, Williamston chapel 205 E. Middle St., with visitation from 10:30am – 11:30am. Donna was fortunate in making new friends and receiving outstanding care while residing at the Brookdale Meriden in Haslett, complemented by compassionate care of Hospice of Lansing and Dr. James LaBerge.

Instead of flowers, the family would prefer contributions in memory of Donna be sent to Hospice of Lansing, 3186 Pine Tree Road Lansing, MI 48911.

  • DONATIONS

  • Hospice of Lansing

Services

  • Visitation Monday, April 16, 2018
  • Funeral Service Monday, April 16, 2018
REMEMBERING

Donna Mae Rittenberg

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K Edward Atwood

April 16, 2018

To Donna's family,
Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. May your many memories help you though this difficult time. My sincerest condolences.
Ed

Sharon Mize

April 15, 2018

Donna, my Mom, was one of the most loving, caring, helpful, companionable woman you would ever hope to meet. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother as well as a giving and caring woman to their friends and neighbors. Mom canned food from their huge garden or helped with the canning until the last few years. Many years they shared their bounty with relatives, neighbors, their church family or anyone who wanted or needed from their excess. What joy they felt in the giving or helping or sharing. The same went for her wonderful cooking. She was known far and wide for all her homemade breads, rolls, pies and for being on the spot to fix a meal for anyone who stopped by to visit. I cold write a book on how wonderful of a wife and mother she was during all of our growing up years. She never missed a little league baseball game, any event at our school, whether it was a sports or a band recital, Mom was there as well as Dad if he were home from his construction job in time. We were wanted, loved, helped and supported our entire lives. Heaven is blessed to have you. Rest and rejoice in peace Mom. We will love and cherish you for the remained of our lives. I will forever miss you.

FROM THE FAMILY
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Biography

Donna Mae Rittenberg, 89, of Williamston, passed away on Thursday April 12, 2018. Donna was born on October 10th, 1928 in Arenac Township, MI, the daughter of James and Mildred (Barnes) Payea. Donna and her husband Gerald (Chuck) have been 50 year residents of the Williamston - Webberville Area where they enjoyed raising their kids, gardening, farming, and enjoying friendships. Their lives began on the opposite sides of the Rifle River in Arenac County. They developed a love for fishing, swimming, and enjoying the wilderness - all values they passed on to their family: Larry (Kathleen), son; Sharon (Bill) Mize (daughter), and Diane Rittenberg, (daughter deceased).

During their years in Michigan, they enjoyed many opportunities to visit the U.S. with their friends, Jim and Nairda Monroe. Together, they saw almost every state in the U.S. with a focus on enjoying the wilderness, especially the Mountains of Western U.S., all of Canada, and Alaska. They never lost their love, or appreciation, for the outdoors and the need to protect the environment.

Many local friends admired them for the productive and diverse gardens and wonderful hospitality. Donna was noted for her hard work in canning vegetables, as well as being acclaimed for her fantastic cooking - especially home made bread and lemon pies.

Donna was a great fan of the Detroit Tigers. When the Tigers were on TV, she took control of the remote away from Gerald. (He knew better than to argue with her about watching the Tigers!). She loved to listen to Ernie Harwell and his historical knowledge of the game.

Donna came from a large family (8 siblings). Family reunions were a big thing in her younger years. She was also proud of her Grandfather, Captain Bert Payea who spent many years piloting large ships up and down the coast of Lake Michigan. She also loved living with her Grandparents when they worked on lumbering in the upper peninsula.