Rita Anne Zellner, 91, of Greensburg, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, after a years-long battle with Alzheimer's. She was born February 18, 1930, in the house her father built near the family dairy farm in Union, New Jersey. After attending St. Mary's High School, she continued her studies at Holy Name Hospital School of Nursing, graduating first in her class. Throughout the 1950s, Rita worked as a nurse anesthetist at several hospitals in the New York City area, including seven years at St. Elizabeth's in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Later in life, she was employed as a phlebotomist at Jeannette District Memorial Hospital.
She married George Joseph Zellner on September 10, 1960. Their first two daughters were born in England, where George was working with Westinghouse Electric Corporation to build the Royal Navy's first nuclear powered submarine, the H.M.S. Dreadnought. After moving back to the U.S. in 1963, they added a son and five more daughters to the family while living in the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia areas. They also cared for numerous foster babies through Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Greensburg.
In addition to her husband George, Rita was predeceased by her parents, Henry E. Ehrhardt and Anna M. Fuhs Ehrhardt; three brothers and their spouses, William J. Ehrhardt Sr. (Marion), Paul A. Ehrhardt Sr. (Phyllis), and John J. Ehrhardt (Una); brothers- and sister-in-law, Charles M. and Joan M. Zellner Scheuermann Sr., and Robert R. Schnabel Jr.; son-in-law Robert E. Kagle Jr.; and niece Catherine R. Ehrhardt.
She is survived by eight children, Anne Marie Zellner, Mary (Donald) Kish, Joseph (Gianna) Zellner, Barbara (Edward) Sadler, Martha Kagle, Ruth (John) Douglass, Susan Zellner, and Gretchen Zellner; and 11 grandchildren, Kathryn Kish (Lucas) Young, Rachel and Sarah Kish, Anastasia Zellner, Katelyn, Zoë, and E.J. Sadler, Samuel and Owen Kagle, and Lily and Margaret Douglass. She is also survived by sister-in-law, Anne Zellner Schnabel; and a large extended family.
Rita will be missed by her CFM (Christian Family Movement), book club, and mall-walking friends, as well as by her parish family at Our Lady of Grace Church, where she was actively involved for nearly 50 years. She volunteered with many charitable organizations including the American Red Cross and Excela Health Hospice, was actively involved with the pro-life movement, and co-founded the Seton grief support group.
A memorial service will be scheduled at a future date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the University of Pittsburgh Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (https://www.adrc.pitt.edu/volunteer/donate/), write a letter to an old friend, or perform a random act of kindness. LEO M. BACHA FUNERAL HOME, INC., 516 Stanton Street, Greensburg is assisting with arrangements. www.bachafh.com
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