Rita Marie Brayer Howe, 58, of Shelburne, transitioned on to another form on Oct. 8, 2012, at her Shelburne home surrounded by her loving family. Born in Marshfield, Wis., on Feb. 17, 1954, Rita was the daughter of Irma Brayer and the late John Brayer. She went to Columbus High School in Marshfield, Wis., and then went on to graduate from University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. While Rita excelled in various professions (at different times, she was a nurse, lawyer, and clinical psychologist), she is most remembered for her brilliant inner light and outward compassion.
A devoted wife and mother, Rita made it her mission to cultivate authenticity, kindness, humor, and wisdom within her family. She led by example; she was light-hearted enough to laugh at herself, selfless enough to put others before her, and intelligent enough to hold three degrees.
Anyone who had the honor of knowing Rita will agree that when you were with her, it was as if you were the only person on the planet that mattered. She was the ultimate listener and always offered insightful, honest, and loving guidance to those around her. She truly was a people person and in every action she took, she elevated her surrounding community in countless ways.
Rita was the life of the party. She enjoyed dancing, spontaneous adventures, digging into a good book, gliding throughout the house singing songs from musicals, laughing so hard her belly would ache, sweating at aerobics class with her friends, chatting on the phone, walking the family pup, and cozy evenings at home with the family.
The essence of Rita cannot be put into words; instead, we all feel her in our hearts. And now, we see her in every living thing.
Among her survivors are husband James, son Tanner and wife Hillery and their children Chloe and Doon, son Justin and wife Caroline, son Andrew, and daughter Julia and husband Trevor. She’s also survived by her mother Irma, and eight siblings, Donald, James, Paul, Mary, Jane, Mark, Steve, and Patrick.
Please join us for a memorial service at All Souls Interfaith Gathering on Monday, Oct. 15 at 6:15 pm to celebrate her full, radiant life on earth. Feel free to arrive early to walk the labyrinth. The service will be followed by Rita’s all-time favorite treat: cherry pie á la mode.