Rita Mathes, age 79, of Hilbert, died peacefully at home from cancer, on May 23, 2012 while lovingly surrounded by her family. Rita was born on January 28, 1933 in the town of Lebanon, New London, daughter of the late James and Margaret (Hogan) Allen. She was a graduate of New London High School, class of 1950. Rita married Robert Mathes on September 28, 1957. He preceded her in death on January 20, 1998. Rita worked at Kimberly Clark and other various jobs in the Appleton area before she was married. After she was married, Bob and Rita farmed in the town of Woodville, as well as raised their five children. After Bob’s death, Rita moved to Hilbert. She was very active in the American Legion Auxiliary, St. Mary’s Christian Mothers, and she volunteered her time at St. Vincent de Paul. Rita was very proud of her children and enjoyed spending time with family, especially her grandchildren and her recently born great-granddaughter. Over the years, she also enjoyed bowling, playing cards, and casino trips. Rita was also proud of her Irish heritage, so much so that she celebrated St. Patrick’s Day twice a year with her Irish and “wannabee” Irish friends. She cherished her trip to Ireland in 1985 with family and friends. Rita will have a very special place in our hearts. She is lovingly survived by her five children James (special friend Tracy) of Neenah, Steve (Kim) of Chilton, David of Black Creek, Brian (Laurie) and Amy (Dick) Gast all of Hilbert; grandchildren Pam (Kevin) Manley, Jeff, Andy, and Jason Mathes, and Kim and Sheila Gast; one great-granddaughter Paige Manley; two sisters and one brother-in-law Mildred (Paul) Schafhauser of Oshkosh and Eileen Mielke of Neenah; nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends. Rita is preceded in death by her parents, her husband Bob, one granddaughter Michelle, four brothers John, Eugene, Jerome, and Roger Allen, and one sister Marguerite Frieders. Funeral Mass will be held at 4 00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at St. Mary Catholic Church, Hilbert. Officiating at the Mass of Christian Burial will be the Rev. Mike Betley with burial to follow in the church cemetery. Friends may call at the church on Tuesday afternoon from 1 00 p.m. until 3 45 p.m. with Mass to follow at 4 00 p.m. Online condolences may be made at A memorial fund has been established in Rita’s name. The family would like to extend their sincere thanks to the Calumet County Hospice Agency, especially Chris and Holly, for their wonderful care and compassion.