Cover photo for Rita Beehler's Obituary
Rita Beehler Profile Photo
1926 Rita 2021

Rita Beehler

February 15, 1926 — March 25, 2021

It’s hard to describe or sum up ninety-five years in just a few paragraphs.  Rita had a great life with a few detours along the way, some happy, some hard to deal with.  To assist her through all of her experiences, she should be credited with being the eternal optimist, she always said that tomorrow would be a better day.  She held a deep connection to her Catholic faith, believing that the ultimate resting place would be with our Eternal Father in heaven.

 Rita was born on the family farm in Silver Lake, Minnesota on February 15, 1926 to Stephen Pokornowski and Clara Mallak Pokornowski.  Rita married Frank J. Cafferty in 1945 in Silver Lake, Minnesota.  After having four children, the oldest of whom was six, and just ten days after Frank and Rita’s daughter Doreen was born, Frank was involved in a car accident which took his life. 

With the help of a strong family and her connection with the Catholic Church, Rita continued on with life.   After a few years she bought a modest house in Winsted, Minnesota.  One evening while gone with her four children, visiting her parents, that house burned down. 

 In 1955, Rita married Reuben Zimmerman.  On March 29, 1957, they had a son, Stephen G. Zimmerman.  At eleven months old, in February of 1958, Stephen contracted a virus which took his life. 

Reuben was never healthy after the loss of their son.  He ultimately lost his multiple battles with cancer in 1967. 

In the meantime, while Rita was raising her family in Winsted, Minnesota, she decided that the menial jobs that were available to her were not sufficient for her aspirations.  Rita enrolled in and completed her course study for training in cosmetology and started her lifelong career as a successful beautician.  In 1966, Rita moved herself and her family to St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

  Rita met Vic Beehler and they were married in 1970.    They lived in St. Louis Park, Minnesota until 1981 when they moved to Sandpoint, Idaho.  Vic and Rita were avid square dancers.  Together, they spent many hours on the dance floor, square dancing, as well as dancing Polkas and Waltzes.  They danced very well together as they glided across many dance floors.  They lived as inseparable soulmates.

After retirement, Vic and Rita spent winters traveling and eventually bought a winter home in Florence, Arizona.  Vic passed away in 2006 just as they were getting ready to leave their Arizona home and return to Sandpoint.  

Because she was always gracious and caring, it was easy for Rita to make friends.  She had many friends in Sandpoint, at their winter home in Arizona, and numerous other parts of the United States.  Rita continued to spend the next few winters in Florence until her health declined a bit and she didn’t feel comfortable being alone. 

The past few years, Rita spent most of her time with her daughter, Doreen Dolyniuk.  It was because of Doreen’s constant care and the many visits from her family and friends that Rita was very much at ease and ready for whatever was to happen. 

Rita is survived by Vic’s two daughters, Lorna (Fred) Germain, Minneapolis, MN, Donna (Dennis) Wieder, Vancouver, WA, her three sons, Dennis Cafferty, Sandpoint, ID, Kenneth (Shelia) Cafferty, Rathdrum, ID, Frank S. (Jean) Cafferty, Sandpoint, ID and her daughter, Doreen Dolyniuk, Coeur d’Alene, ID.  She is also survived by eleven grandchildren, Rochelle (Paul) Gibbs, and Darcy (Chad) Steger both couples from Minneapolis, MN, Christina (Mike) Miscovich, Cold Foot, AK, Kipp (Jenny) Cafferty, Minneapolis, MN,  Amanda(Mark) Wilkins, Spokane, WA,  Sean (Leah) Cafferty, Post Falls, ID, Meggie ( Dave Dail) Cafferty, Moscow, ID,  Jonas (Rachel) Cafferty, Minneapolis, MN, Dr. Curtis (Shannon) Wozniak, U.S. Air Force,  Warrant Officer III Anthony J. Wozniak, U.S. Army, Kaitlyn (Brandon) Shelton, Post Falls, ID, as well as many great grandchildren, and step grandchildren.

The Rosary/Vigil service will be said at 10:00 am, Wednesday, March 31, 2021 in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.

Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted at 10:30 am, Wednesday, March 31, 2021 in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church with Father Sleeva Raju officiating.  Inurnment will take place in Pinecrest Memorial Park.

Memorials may be made to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Sandpoint, Idaho or Sandpoint Area Senior Center, Sandpoint, Idaho where Vic and Rita loved to spend time having lunches, playing Bingo and playing cards.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rita Beehler, please visit our flower store.


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