Rita Jane Goodman, 85 of Arthur, IL passed away at 10:04 AM on Saturday, September 16, 2023 at the Arthur Home.
Visitation will be held from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Thursday, September 21, 2023 at the Vine Street Christian Church, 249 South Vine St., Arthur, IL. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 AM on Friday, September 22, 2023 at the church. Burial will follow in the Arthur Cemetery. The Edwards Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
Rita was born on March 26, 1938 on the family farm in rural Windsor, IL. She was the daughter of Clinton Everett and Catherine Rita (Kearney) Wall. She married Charles Marshall Goodman on June 11, 1961 in Windsor, IL. He passed away on December 29, 2016.
She is survived by two sons, Michael S. Goodman and his wife Stacy of Arthur, IL and James E. Goodman and his wife Mindy of Normal, IL, four grandchildren, Nathan Goodman of Peoria, IL, Karly Goodman and her fiancé Anthony Lunsford of Armington, IL, Michaela Goodman and Clint Goodman both of Normal, IL, and two sisters, Mary Ann Lowry of Springfield, OH and Nancy Oxley and her husband John of Madison, WI.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, one sister, Patricia Purcell and her husband Charles Purcell, and a brother-in-law, Gordon Lowry.
Rita’s passion for education was evident from an early age. After graduating from Windsor High School in 1956, she furthered her knowledge by earning both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Education from Eastern Illinois University. Rita’s pursuit of knowledge and commitment to excellence laid a solid foundation for her future career.
Throughout her professional life, Rita made a profound impact on countless students’ lives as an educator. She began her journey by working as a clerk in the Maternity Ward in the Mattoon Hospital while attending college. Following this role, she taught at Robinson for one year before finding her true calling as a 5th-grade teacher in the Arthur School District. Rita dedicated an impressive 36 years to shaping young minds and fostering a love for learning within her students.
Beyond teaching traditional subjects, Rita played an active role beyond the classroom walls. She kept scorebooks for basketball and track and field events while also lending her voice as an announcer during track meets. Her commitment to supporting extracurricular activities highlighted her dedication to holistic education.
Even after retirement from teaching, Rita remained actively engaged within the community. She joined Rockome Gardens restaurant as both a hostess and cashier, where she continued to brighten people’s days with her warm smile and friendly nature.
In addition to being a passionate educator and dedicated worker, Rita possessed numerous hobbies and interests that brought joy to her life. She had a talent for crocheting, creating beautiful Afghans that she lovingly sent to Honduras for newborn babies. Rita also enjoyed needlepoint embroidery, which allowed her to express her creativity and attention to detail. Rita was an active member of the Vine Street Christian Church in Arthur, IL, where she served in the Christian Women’s Fellowship (CWF). She held many offices within the Arthur American Legion Auxiliary as well as participating in The Arthur Business and Profession Women’s Club, PSI IOTA XI teacher’s sorority, and the Douglas County Retired Teachers Association.
Another source of joy for Rita was being an “Old School Gamer,” playing card games, and board games – with Canasta being a particular favorite. However, above all else, Rita cherished the time she spent with her grandchildren and attending the events they were involved in.
Memorials may be made to Vine Street Christian Church or The Arthur Home.