September 16, 1933 ~ July 23, 2020
Rita Hedwig Engelbrecht, 83, of Ashburn, Virginia passed away on July 23, 2020. She was born in Jamaica, New York on September 16, 1933, the daughter of Frederick and Katharina Schmid. Rita was the 1st generation of her family born in the United States.
Rita grew up in Manhasset, New York where she lived across from tennis courts. She enjoyed watching many tennis matches, and eventually learned and became good at the game herself.
After graduating high school, Rita attended college in Bristol, Tennessee - quite the change from suburban, New York. She made lifelong friends and spoke about this time in her life often, especially to her college-aged grandchildren. After college, Rita worked for a defense contractor where she met John, her husband of 59 years. She loved to ski and organized several ski trips with her friends from work. Rita traveled several times in her life to Germany - her parent's birthplace.
Rita and John were blessed with 3 children and 5 grandchildren. Rita and her family moved from New York to Maryland in 1976. There she grew a vegetable garden and cooked crabs caught on the Chesapeake Bay.
Once Rita retired, she spent her life volunteering for "Meals on Wheels" and the women's emergency shelter through her church. She took language classes in Spanish to enable her to teach English as a Second Language (ESL). She was recognized by the Governor of Maryland for her service.
Rita loved to cook and enjoy sweets - chocolate and Toosie Roll Lollipops were her favorite. The wonderful nurses who took care of her while in assisted living affectionately called her the "lollipop Lady"
Rita is survived by her husband of nearly 60 years, John Engelbrecht; Karen Engelbrecht Alsbach (Royce-husband, Cole/Dylan/Madison children); son Scott Engelbrecht (Carol-wife, Al and Wes children); and sister, Kathy Effley. A celebration of life will take place at Our Savior's Way Lutheran Church in Ashburn, Virginia on Thursday, July 30th, 2020
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America at www.alzfdn,org.
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