Rita Diane Christoferson, 76, passed on Sunday, May 9, 2021. She was born in Shelby on September 9, 1944. She was the 10th born out of 11 children to Felix and Isabel Atkinson. She was raised in Sunburst, married George Alvin Christoferson on June 10, 1961. They had their 1st born child, Brian, in 1962. Brian was born in Shelby and shortly after they all moved to Lewistown. It was there that their 2nd son Doug was born. After a short stint in Lewistown, they all moved to Cut Bank for a few months and then to Conrad. This is where their 3rd and final son, Russell, was born. In 1973 they all moved to Kevin where Rita was a housewife, mother, and a bus driver for the Kevin School District. In 1979 the family again uprooted and moved to Sunburst where she worked as a custodian for the Sunburst High School.
Here she could keep a close eye on her 2 oldest sons and then in 1981 she transferred to the grade school where she could be close to Russell and his activities. Not only did she work at the school but went into a video rental partnership with Kay Kimmet at what used to be Joni's Salon. While at the grade school she also took on the extra task of punching tickets during lunch time. She really enjoyed that job as she got to have contact with almost every student in school. After several years in the school system as custodian she said the cleaning chemicals and standing on her feet all day was getting to her. In 1996 she worked for City of Sunburst as town clerk as well as taking care of the cemetery book. Rita worked there until retirement in 2009. She divorced Alvin in 1994 and then became close friends with Martin Sveum. Although they never married, she loved taking on the roll as farm wife and having an extended family. She loved taking the meals out to the farm during seeding and harvest and taking care of the cows with Martin. Martin and Rita took on a few business adventures together such as the Sunburst restaurant, miniature horses and the M and R RV Park. She was with Martin up until his death in 2009. Mom never had a shortage of things to do during her retirement. She enjoyed going to coffee with ladies, games with Tom, Verna and Ila, bingo at the American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary, VFW Auxiliary secretary, the machines at the casinos and even just the drive to Shelby to get her pills and lottery tickets. She was always up for a Refiners game up until it became too hard to get around. She always wanted to be included to go to her grandkids and great grandkids programs. She would rather go out than stay in so we always invited her to birthday parties, graduations, Hutterite events, anniversaries, church programs etc.
Memorial services will be held Saturday, May 15, at 10am at Sunburst Methodist Church. A Zoom link is available if cannot attend service. Because Rita was always one to put together a family get together her sons are asking that her family get together out at Doug and El's place for a camping/bbq/bon fire reunion, it very well could be one of the last reunions.
She was preceded in death by her mother and father; sisters, Doris (Zane), Bertha (Leo), and Betty (Allen); and brothers, Clarence (Burgie), Leonard (Delia), and Gerald. She was survived by her siblings, Barbara (Jack), Shirley (Bill), Tommie and Barry (Josie); her sons, Brian (Cindy), Doug (Ellen), and Russell (Rachel); her grandchildren, Garrett (Brittany), Betsey (Jeremiah), Cole and Kaden; and great grandchildren, Gavin and Ezra; as well as a co-zillion aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.
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