Rita J. Brandtner passed away on Saturday, February 6, 2021 at the age of 80. Born March 23, 1940 to the late Frank and Mary Thomas in Lincoln Park, Michigan. Rita was the beloved wife of Allan (Al) Brandtner, Sr. They enjoyed over 63 years of marriage and were blessed to have an everlasting love.
In addition to her loving husband, Rita is survived by her children Allan (Al B) Brandtner Jr. (Jude Rodriguez), Dolores Nickerson (Bob Nickerson); daughter-in-law, Meg Brandtner; granddaughters, Madison Mau (Nathan Mau), Alexis Rakestraw (Clay Rakestraw); nephew, Frank Thomas (Rhonda Thomas) and many extended family members and friends.
Rita is predeceased by her son, Brian Brandtner; her brother, Frank Thomas & sister-in-law, Dianne Thomas; and sister-in-law, Linda Wegkamp. Rita was a proud Navy wife, where Al & Rita enjoyed raising their 3 children in various duty stations in California, Japan, Illinois, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Virginia, where they decided they would be their place of retirement. Their favorite was Hawaii, where they enjoyed numerous vacations over the years as a couple or with family and friends. To celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, Al and Rita renewed their vows on their favorite island, Kauai, at the Fern Grotto, surrounded by their children, loved ones and their beautiful granddaughters.
As her children grew up, Rita started a successful career at Sears, starting in the catalog department and eventually retiring as a manager of the hardware department. After retiring from Sears, she pursued her passion for travel by becoming a travel agent for CI Travel. Rita and Al were able to enjoy many travel adventures over the years.
Rita was a proud “Nana” to her granddaughters and was overjoyed when each of them came into her life. Much like her own mother, Christmas was her favorite time of the year, where she enjoyed spoiling her husband, children, and grandchildren, no matter the age. Meanwhile, Al enjoyed spoiling Rita with jewelry during any holiday or special occasion.
All who knew and loved her will dearly miss Rita. Al and Rita have been members of the Back Bay Wildfowl Guild for more than 30 years.
Pictured to the left Jamie Champe sharing a war story with Al and Rita at our 2016 Fall Barbeque.