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Rita Elizabeth Michael

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Rita Elizabeth Michael, age 94, died Tuesday, December 19, 2017 at the Church of Christ Care Center in Clinton Township. Rita was born June 22, 1923 in Detroit to the late Mike and the late Theresa (nee: Walski) Celmar.

Born and raised in Detroit, it is where Rita grew, matured and attended school,…and where she also met the man who would change her life, the dashing, Joseph Michael. The two dated and ultimately fell in love, a relationship they enjoyed and held close. Then Joe was called to serve our country and the two were relegated to maintain their love over a long distance and the difficulties of war. Yet their love held strong and true, and she was there with open arms to welcome him home and pick up where they left off prior to Uncle Sam's calling. And it wasn't long after Joe's return from the Navy that the two lovebirds began making plans to share their "I Do's"…a beautiful ceremony that took place on August 31, 1946. It was on that wonderful day that the two became one and began their lives together as husband & wife, a journey which found them enjoying the blessings of children in the 3 handsome boys they welcomed into the world.

Rita was quite proud of the fact that, during World War II, she was one of the many patriotic women who supported the war effort by serving as one of history's iconic "Rosie the Riveter's." While her man was over there, she was here doing her part to assure his safe return, as well as the same for all of our troops. The many Rosie's who gave of their time and efforts were a valuable part of all that went into our eventual Victory, and Rita was there!

Rita was known for her strong and abiding faith, and was devout in her beliefs. It helped to keep her focused and centered, and was a guidepost through many of life's rocky roads. One of those was definitely the loss of her son, Joseph, who passed away in July of 1986 just prior to his 31st birthday. We're not supposed to bury our children, but with the help of her Heavenly Father, Rita pressed on and set an incredible example for many who were hurting along with her. She also enjoyed working out her faith by standing with her husband in support of the Knights of Columbus. Rita loved being a part of the many charitable outreaches that embodied the work and ministry of the Knights.

We all have outlets and pastimes we enjoy when the work is done and it's time for a little personal pleasure,…and Rita's were definitely associated with music. If she wasn't listening to it or singing her own little ditty to it, she was cuttin'-a-rug to it as if she was channeling Ginger Rogers. She loved to dance and could kick her heels up with the best of them as she covered the dance floor like a seasoned professional.

For those of us with sibling's, we could probably share many stories about the ups and downs that accompany growing up with a brother and/or sister. But Rita was blessed to share something extremely special with her sister, Betty. Not only did they enjoy a close-knit relationship that began as children, their adult years carried that on as they lived next door to each other and visited every day. Even into Rita's nursing home stay, which spanned over 11 years, Betty was there most every day abiding with her sister and loving on her as they'd known all their lives.

The joys of friendship were also special to Rita through the blessings of two dear people in her life, Marguerite & Eddie. There reached a point when Rita & Joe decided they had lived through enough winters and exchanged the cold and snow for sunshine and warmth by becoming Florida Snowbirds. Marguerite & Eddie had already taken the plunge (so to speak) by basking in the glory of the sunshine state in the city of Cypress Gardens, so there was no better place to be for Rita & Joe. Friends from second grade, these four BFF's knew how to "hang loose" with style and panache,…without ever the fear of snow!

But of all that filled her heart with joy, nothing could match the elation she felt each time she shared the company of her beloved grandchildren. Three beautiful boys that infused her being with a love that only a grandparent can fathom, boys that would grow in stature and grace,…much in part to the love and care that Rita showered upon them. And it only came natural for this giving, generous and kind-hearted lady who touched countless hearts and souls throughout her life's journey. She will be missed immensely.

Beloved wife of the late Joseph. Dear mother of Mary Ann, Sandra Komarnicki, and the late Joseph. Beloved sister Jerry Celmar, Elizabeth Celmar. Loving grandmother of Michael, Gary (Sarah Dill), and Johnny.

Visitation for Rita will be held Thursday, December 21st from 3-9 pm at the D.S. Temrowski & Sons Funeral Home, 30009 Hoover Road at Common (12 ½ Mile Rd) in Warren.

She will lie in state on Friday from 9:00 am until time of the Funeral Mass at 9:30 am at St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church in Warren.

Please share memories at Rita's guest book above.