Born Dec. 29, 1915, Rita was one of 13 children of Frank and Bernadine (Deters) Harpenau. She was raised and educated in Le Mars. Before her marriage to Marvin Kolbeck in 1946, Rita worked at Sacred Heart Hospital. Later with her husband, Marvin, they farmed near Le Mars until 1975 when they retired to town and Rita began working for the Le Mars Public Schools at the lunch program.
Rita was a life-long parishioner of St Joseph's Catholic Church of Le Mars. She was a member of the Christian Mothers Society and the Catholic Order of Foresters. Besides being a homemaker, wife and mother, Rita was also an avid quilter and loved playing cards with family and friends.
She is survived by her four children: Jane Beller and her husband, Chuck of Le Mars, Linda Denner and her husband, Bruce of Nashua, N.H., Wayne Kolbeck of Le Mars, and Janet Dirksen and her husband, George of Le Mars; and a sister-in-law Shirley Harpenau.
Rita will be affectionately missed by her 14 grandchildren and their spouses, who loved to visit Rita and play cards with her. Rita was proud of her 10 great-grandchildren and enjoyed having the whole family come for holiday events.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Marvin Kolbeck who died in 2007; a daughter-in-law, Linda Kolbeck; and her 12 brothers and sisters: Jack, Henry, Joseph, Anthony, Isidore, Clarence, and Al Harpenau; Mary Kolbeck, Philomena Schwartz, Regina Harpenau, and Evelyn Miller and their spouses, and the Rev. Leo Harpenau.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Le Mars with the Rev. Kevin Richter officiating. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery in Le Mars. Visitation will be anytime after 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Feuerstein Funeral Home in Le Mars where there will be a Christian Mother's rosary at 4 p.m. and a vigil prayer service at 7 p.m.
Pallbearers will be six grandsons: Mike Beller, Bill Beller, Brian Kolbeck, Kevin Kolbeck, Andy Dirksen and Scott Dirksen.