Rita V (Kruse) Gaffer

Born: Mon., Mar. 1, 1937
Died: Thu., Oct. 11, 2018


4:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Mon., Oct. 15, 2018
Location: Woodland Hills Funeral Home

Mass of Christian Burial

10:30 AM Tue., Oct. 16, 2018
Location: St. John the Baptist

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Woodland Hills
(507) 387 - 5504

Rita Valeria (Kruse) Gaffer came into this world on March 1, 1937 in Mankato, Mn and left our world on October 11, 2018 in Mankato, Mn. to join her beloved husband Robert and son Timothy with the angels in heaven. She grew up with her parents Raymond Henry and Elsie Caroline (Holmichel) Kruse on the farm in St. Clair, Mn and attended St. Clair schools, graduating in 1955.  She was married to Robert Gaffer (Bob) on April 28, 1956 in St. Clair, Mn. Their union would bring 7 children into the family and a lifetime of adventure, laughter and memories in their household. Rita enjoyed nothing more than feeding and raising this group of stairstep Gaffers! She also helped Bob run a Pure Oil Station from 1961-1972 and a 76 Gas Station from 1972-1976 and to start up Gaffer Small Engines in 1976 on Hyw.22 in their backyard. She did everything from running the counter and bookkeeping to sorting the parts in the back. Rita and Bob traveled to many different places with their children and grandchildren. Sometimes by plane, sometimes by camper and many times on a green bus.  She loved discovering new things in each place, especially the flowers and plants she would find. Her garden was her passion and mowing was her joy. You could always find her outside doing either thing with some of her favorite plants such as allium, hollyhocks and those delicious raspberries. Lavender was one of her favorites in both flower form and color and when she was wearing purple there was a lift in her step. She had many friends and could always count on them and her grandchildren to keep her up to date with her soap operas and Hallmark movies. Anyone that knew Rita knew that she loved visiting the casinos and could always take time to push a few buttons or pull a few levers. Any of the family that were legal age were fair game for a ride to and back from Shakopee, Morton or Red Wing. She loved being able to spend so much time at concerts, games and activities that her grandchildren and great grandchildren invited her to attend. Birthdays were a special time, with everyone gathering with her to celebrate, she never missed one when she could go.

Rita is survived by Sons and Daughters: Linda (Jon)Paulson of St. Peter, Mn., Dan Gaffer of Nicollet, Mn., Steve (Kathy) Gaffer of New Richmond, Wi., John (Jana) Gaffer of Hudson, Wi., Sue (Dana) Franzen of Hawkeye, IA., Christine (Matt) Newville of Mankato, Mn. Grandchildren: Tina (Gabe) McClain, Laura Gaffer (Ryan  Fitzloff), Ashley (Nate)Bullerman, Nate Gaffer, Adam Gaffer, Ryan (jenny) Skaggs, Justin Gaffer, Chris (Emily)Skaggs, Bryan Gaffer, Amanda Gaffer, Tyrrell (Jenni)Gaffer, Corey (Caitlin) Gaffer, Nerissa (Jeff)Hoag, Natasha Gaffer, Ali Newville (Noah Fisher), Sami Newville, Gabbi Newville, Victoria Newville, Mitchell Newville,  Great-Grandchildren: Noah Gaffer, Cierra McClain, Jonathan McClain, Caleb McClain, Riley Fitzloff, Briggs Fitzloff, Tynley Fitzloff, Landyn Bullerman, Tassyn Bullerman, Clifftyn Bullerman, Katelyn Skaggs, Tyler Skaggs, Madeline Skaggs, Oliver Gaffer, Theodore Gaffer, Adelaide Gaffer, Baby Gaffer, Owen Hoag, Michael Hoag. Brother: David (Rose) Kruse, Sisters: Sr. Ramona Kruse, Mary (Lamar) Juliar, Evonne Kruse, Helen Tom) Laitinen , Katie Harbour, Annie (Jim) Shimota, Sister in-law, Jeanie Kruse Brother in law Tom (Cib) Gaffer, along with numerous nieces and nephews.

Rita was proceeded in death by her husband, Robert Gaffer and son, Timothy Gaffer. Parents Elsie and Raymond Kruse, Brothers: Dennis Kruse, Jimmy Kruse, Sister: Jeri Kruse.  As our wonderful mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend leaves a life time of beautiful memories behind, we shouldn’t cry because it’s over but smile because it happened.

Visitation will be held on Monday, October 15, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Woodland Hills Funeral Home. A Memorial Mass will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, October 16th at St. John The Baptist Catholic Church in Mankato. Visitation will continue one hour before services at the church.  Memorials are preferred to St. John’s Catholic Church in Mankato, Mn.

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Condolence Booklet

Marilyn Denn
   Posted Sat October 13, 2018
My prayers are with you all. She was a great lady. God has her in his hands. She was a loving soul in all she did. God Bless you all.

Tammy Conant
   Posted Sat October 13, 2018
Sending prayers and lots of hugs to your family. She will be missed by all and very loved by many. Although I was in preschool I remember she was always nice to me.

Chloe Brine
   Posted Sat October 13, 2018


Thinking of you, The Hudson Gang Brines Turners Jensons Haesemeyers Cooks Hanes Jones Giffords Nancy

Mueller’s Sensory Works
   Posted Mon October 15, 2018
When someone you love becomes a memory, those memories become a treasure. Thinking of the Gaffer family during this time.

Scott and Teresa Schulz
   Posted Tue October 16, 2018
John and Jana and family,
We are so sorry to hear about your mom. Our thoughts and prayers to you and your family during this trying time. Sorry we cannot be there.
Scott and Teresa

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