Rita C BrilzJuly 21, 1930 ~ November 11, 2017 (age 87)
Rita Cecilia Brilz, 87, of Boise, passed away peacefully at home of natural causes on November 11, 2017. Rita was born on July 21, 1930, in Salt Lake City, Utah to Joseph and Helen Keiser. The oldest of ten children, she graduated from Judge Memorial High School in 1947 and St. Mary of the Wasatch College in 1951. In 1954, after teaching Navajo children for three years at the Intermountain Indian School in Brigham City, Utah, Rita moved to Boise. She taught second grade at Garfield Elementary School for two years and became an active citizen of Boise for the rest of her life. In 1955, she met the man who would become her husband, Ed Brilz. They were married on January 21, 1956, at Sacred Heart Church in Salt Lake City, and then returned to Boise to start a family. Between 1956 and 1963, they had four children – Stephen, Maggie, Mark and Ann.
Very active in St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Rita served on the Parish Council and in numerous other positions over the years while also teaching reading and occasionally acting as a substitute teacher at St. Mary’s School, where she and Ed sent each of their four children. In 1976 Rita began working part-time for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise. She remained an employee of the diocese for 39 years, officially retiring in April, 2016. She was also affectionately known as the “Cookie Lady” at St. Mary’s for her efforts to raise funds for school scholarships through monthly cookie sales at the church.
Over the years, Rita devoted an enormous amount of love and energy to her family, friends, and community. Her home was a warm and welcoming one, as she and Ed enjoyed entertaining their large network of friends and relatives. She loved to be active, and when not involved in school activities or other events in the lives of her children, and later her grandchildren – as she very often was – she enjoyed the company of her many friends in her bridge club, Chickenfoot club, study group, birthday club, and group of Merry Widows. She was a proud member of her sorority, Beta Sigma Phi, for over 60 years. A devoted wife, loving mother and reliable friend, she was active and engaged with her family, her friends and her community, right up until the last months of her life. Her loving kindness and feisty spirit will be greatly missed.
Rita is survived by her children, Stephen of Tulsa, OK, Maggie and Mark of Boise, and Ann of San Francisco; her daughter-in-law Kim Brilz, sons-in-law Steve Herrick, Karl Bigler, and Travis Prowell; her grandchildren Mackenzie, Phaedrus, Scott, Parker, Lilly and Jackson; her sisters and brother, Gertrude, Josephine, Anna Marie, Louise, Theresa and George; and many, many in-laws, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ed, and her brothers and sister, Edward, John and Mary Catherine.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, November 17, 2017 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 2612 W. State Street. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Rita’s name to St. Mary’s School.