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On Friday, March 9, 2012, God called Hinderika “Rita” Sieders home. She passed away peacefully, with her family at her side, at the age of 85.

Rita was born Feb. 16, 1927, the oldest of three children, to Thie and Jacoba (Schuurman) Zwinderman in Nieuwe Pekela, The Netherlands.

Rita left her homeland and immigrated to Canada on her own at the age of 23, by boat and train, to join her fiancé, Harm (Bill) Sieders. They married on July 19, 1950.

In 1954, they settled on their farm on the River Road, where over the next 32 years they lived and raised their eight children.

Throughout her teen years in Holland, Rita trained as a seamstress. She carried the love of sewing to Canada with her. Rita had a unique ability to transform a discarded item into something useful; a talent she was well-admired for.

Many a friend was made during her working years in the Fort Frances area. Rita brought joy as a volunteer at the Emo Day Hospital, the Fort Frances Community Christmas Dinner, and as a 4-H leader.

Her grandchildren were the other great love in her life. Grandma always took time to play. The devotion to her family and her church was central in her life.

After Bill’s passing, Rita moved to Flinders Place in Fort Frances, where she rekindled old friendships and made new ones.

“Riek” will be remembered as a devoted wife and mother, a fun-loving grandma, and as someone who opened her home to many.

Rita was predeceased by her husband, Harm “Bill” in 2010.

Rita is survived by her children, Henry (Susan), Mary (Terry) Martinson, Joyce (Ray) Martinson, Rita (Nick) Youroukos, Grace (John) Hettinga, Ted (Jenny), Hilda Sieders (Don), and William (Diana).

She also is survived by 17 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

A time of remembrance of Rita’s life will be held Saturday, March 17, 2012 from 1-3 p.m. in the fellowship hall at the Christian Reformed Church in Emo, Ont.

A family service and interment will take place in the Emo Cemetery at a later date.

If friends so desire, in memoriam donations may be made to the Palliative Care Unit of the Riverside Health Centre facility c/o Northridge Funeral Home, P.O. Box 89, Emo, Ont., P0W 1E0.

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