Rita Louise Welle, age 100, of Goodland, Kansas passed away Friday, July 29, 2022, at Richmond Health Care and Rehabilitation Center in Richmond, Kansas.
Rita Welle, daughter of James and Bessie (Hess) Sponsel, was born in Sherman County Kansas on October 19, 1921. When she was three months old, her parents moved to Cheyenne Wells, Colorado. They lived there for nine years. Her mother died when Rita was seven years old putting a strain on the family. It was decided that her dad should place her and two of the sisters in the Abilene Boarding School. She was there through the eighth grade, which was as long as they kept them at that time. From there, she returned to Cheyenne Wells where she lived with her sister, Frances where she attended high school.
She was married on June 25,1939 to Harold Welle. They lived on a farm at Arapahoe, Colorado where they farmed and ranched. They weathered many storms, drought and hail. In 1953 they were forced to sell all of the cattle due to a severe drought. Vowing to not have to do this again, they put in the first registered irrigation well in Cheyenne County, it showed what water could do.
In 1963 they sold the farm to retire, but soon bought The Trail In Motel in Cheyenne Wells. They ran it for 9 years and then sold it to try to retire a little longer this time. They purchased a motorhome and travelled through 49 states, Mexico, Canada and 5 European countries.
After Harold's passing, she moved to Goodland in 1990 to be closer to some of her sisters. She worked at Carnegie Arts and Red Cross. Rita spent her spare time playing cards, crocheting, reading and going around the area playing bingo.
She spent several years in the Goodland Nursing home after becoming unable to live alone in her house. She spent about a month in the Richmond Nursing home in Richmond Kansas where she passed away.
She was preceded in death by her husband, 2 infant daughters, her parents, brother Bud Sponsel, and sisters Frances Pilger, Mertle Vinduski, Blanche Beltch, Veronica Pilcher, Opal Ihrig, and Teresa Schreivogel.
She leaves to mourn her son, Linden Welle and his wife Marcene (Wolfe) of Fort Morgan Colorado, daughter Rose Welle (Woods) of Richmond Kansas, 3 grandchildren, Darrin Welle and wife Ricelle of Morgan Heights California, Janna Baker (Welle) and husband Doug of Wray Colorado and Verle Welle and wife Rhonda of Osawatomie Kansas, 5 great grandchildren, Brock Welle of Osawatomie Kansas, Jordan Welle (wife Kimberly) of Wellsville Kansas, Toya Welle of Washburn Iowa, Tonya (husband Donnie) Welch and Mark Baker in the US Navy, and 8 great great grandchildren, Jaden Welch, Karson Welch, Kaysen Welch, Tristan Welch, Zachary Welle, Adalynn Welle, Ryliegh Welle, Skylar Welle, and many more friends and relatives.
Memorials may be designated to OLPH Catholic Church and may be left at the services or sent in care of Bateman Funeral Home, P.O. Box 278, Goodland, Kansas 68835. Information or online condolences visit www.batemanfuneral.com
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