Eliza Marguerite Rzeszotarski, 84, of Emmet, died Friday, Feb. 3, 2023 in Atkinson.
Visitation will be held from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023 at Seger Funeral Home in Atkinson with a 7 p.m prayer service.
Visitation will continue from 9-10:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 10, 2023 at First Presbyterian Church in Atkinson.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 10, 2023 at the church in Atkinson. Pastor Wayne Owens will officiate. Music will be provided by soloist Teresa Janzing.
Pallbearers will be Eliza's grandsons Jason Brotsky, Chris Farrier, Troy Farrier, Shane Farrier, Sean Farrier, Aaron Juracek, Max Welshans, Craig Cullen, Brent Cullen and Matthew Cullen.
Burial will be in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Atkinson.
Memorials may be made to the family for future designation.
Eliza was born Dec. 4, 1938 to Frank and Ruth Johnson of Long Pine. When Eliza was 10 months old, her mother Ruth died and, when Frank was unable to care for the toddler, she went to live with her aunt and uncle, Hans and Anna Johnson of Ainsworth, who loved, nurtured and raised her as their own daughter. By all accounts, little Eliza was a sweet little girl and a good student.
Eliza graduated from high school in Ainsworth and went on to teach school in Sparks. During this time, her sister- and brother-in-law introduced her to a local widower. They fell in love and she and Don Rzeszotarski were married on June 21, 1959 in Atkinson. Eliza became an instant parent to Don's daughter at that time and later gave birth to four other daughters during the marriage. She embraced motherhood by sewing matching dresses for her daughters, leading Girl Scout troops, teaching Sunday School and a myriad of other activities that allowed her to be involved with her daughters.
Eliza, Don and the girls took many trips together. They never had luxury accommodations and usually ate picnic lunches along the way, but they still managed to travel to places such as Yellowstone, the east coast, the west coast, the Canadian Rockies, Yosemite National Park, Washington, D.C. and more. The travels the family took together are some of the family's favorite memories.
Tragedy struck the family in 1992 when the family's youngest daughter Roseanne died in a car crash. The couple turned to the Compassionate Friends organization to help them through the difficult days of grief. Some years later, they channeled their grief into helping others going through similar situations. They reached out to other grieving parents and started a local chapter of Compassionate Friends. Their resilience during a difficult time was a model of how to handle adversity to their daughters.
After the couple became empty nesters, Eliza entered the working world by first working at Seger's Café in O'Neill and later working for NorthStar Services, where she worked with disabled adults, a job she enjoyed immensely. After she stopped working, she was a hospice volunteer for AseraCare where she would sit and lend support to patients in the final stages of life. Service to others was the theme of her life and many people are the beneficiary of her kind and giving heart.
After Don died in 2012, Mom filled her days with family and church activities. She loved her children and grandchildren unconditionally and nothing delighted her more than spending time with them. She made amazing cinnamon rolls and chicken noodle soup for her family.
When Eliza's health began to fail, she moved into Prairie Winds Assisted Living and later into the Good Samaritan Center, both in Atkinson. In true Eliza fashion, she accepted the life changes with grace and positivity. Her final days were marked with visits and calls from her many grandchildren and children, all of whom are the better because of how loved they were by her. When she left this life on Feb. 3, 2023, she was surrounded by her four daughters praying and singing over her.
The legacy Eliza left behind was one of faith in God and love of family and we will all be the better for it.
Eliza is survived by four daughters Roxanne (Russ) Brotsky of Surprise, AZ, Joan (Mike) Farrier of Lindsay, Susanne (Mitch) Boese of Newton, KS and Joyce Cullen of Augusta, KS; 17 grandchildren; 38 great-grandchildren; one sister Jean (Murray) Mellor of Atkinson; and one sister-in-law Ruth Johnson of Lebanon, MO.
She was preceded in death by her husband Don Rzeszotarski; one daughter Roseanne Rzeszotarski; parents Hans and Anna Johnson and Frank and Ruth Johnson; nine siblings Frank Jr., Dan, Chet, Niels, Ralph, Sarah Furry, Ruth Wallace, Johanna Johnson and MaryAnn Luther; one son-in-law Gary Cullen; one infant grandson Justin Rzeszotarski; and one infant great-grandson Logan Cullen-Plugge.
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