Rita Claire Sauve Metyko, 94, died beautifully and peacefully with members of her family present and went to the God she so loved on June 24, 2012.|
Rita was born in Walkerville, near Windsor, Ontario, Canada July 7, 1917. She graduated with a B.A. in Art Education, minor in Sociology, in 1938 from Wayne University, Detroit, Michigan; with graduate work at Michigan State University. She was a devoted wife, married 45 years to Frank J. Metyko, a Consulting Civil Engineer. She was also a devoted mother and homemaker with five sons, daughters-in-laws, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, and was a world traveler (visited every continent), author, and speaker.
Her main hobby was art but she also enjoyed tennis and bridge.
She is preceded in death by Frank Joseph Metyko, husband; Michael Joseph Metyko, son; Paul Sauve, brother; and Gay Oleson, sister.
She is survived by her sons, Kurt Metyko, daughter in law Barbara Metyko, Joe Metyko and wife Sharon, Mark Metyko and wife Laura, Jimmy Metyko and wife Minh. She is also survived by her grandchildren: Christofer Metyko and wife Diana, John Metyko and wife Patricia, Aaron Metyko, Emily Metyko, Mathews Metyko, Mary Katherine Metyko, Walker Metyko, Maxwell Metyko, and Melissa Metyko; her great grandchildren: Anika Metyko and Camila Metyko; and numerous nieces and nephews in Michigan and Texas.
Rita was a parishioner and past Parish Council member of St. Michael's Catholic Church and with husband Frank helped establish the parish at its current location in the early 50's. She was also a member of the Mental Health Association, the League of Women Voters, the Charity Guild of Catholic Women, the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre, the Contemporary Arts Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts. She was a charter member of the Houston Baptist Museum Society, the Rice University Media Center and the Alley Theater Guild. In addition, she served on the Boards of the Institute of International Education - Houston Region, National Conference of Christians and Jews, YWCA - Houston, Shalom Center, Houston Council on Human Relations, Young Women's Christian Association, Inter-faith Workshop, and the Advisory Board of St. Joseph's Hospital and was a member and secretary of a Harris County Grand Jury.
Her greatest focus, however, was Theresians International, a global ministry that welcomes all women who desire to grow spiritually within a Christian community. In 1965, she was a charter member of the first Theresian community founded in Houston, Texas. During the next five years, Rita was President of the local Theresian chapter. In 1970, Rita had an opportunity to speak privately with Mother Teresa in Calcutta while on a trip to India. When asked for her advise about serving others, Mother Teresa counseled Rita to minister first to her own family, then if there was time to her neighboring community, and finally if there was still time to minister to those most forgotten in the world, the mentally ill. After returning home from this trip, Rita and several friends were trained in this new ministry for people recovering from mental and emotional illnesses. This activity proved to be so dynamic in the lives of these people that it encouraged Rita to start up the "Fifth Dimension" in the Theresian community.
In 1974, Rita was elected to the Theresian World Ministry. At this time, she accompanied her husband, Frank, on his extensive travels as International President of Serra Club. As he promoted vocations to the priesthood, Rita promoted Theresians. In 1976, Rita was appointed Director of Extension for the Theresian World Apostolate. Rita traveled to England, Ghana, Bankok, Australia, Hong Kong, and Nigeria speaking, educating and assisting others to start the Theresian movement.
As founder of Houston's Fifth Dimension, Rita launched a pathway for other Christian women to provide service and resources to the mentally ill. This became a life-long commitment of Rita's. As International President of Theresians, Rita was determined and courageous as she spoke from her heart raising the consciousness of women world-wide.
Some honors and awards are "Woman of the Year", award in 1973, by Dominican College for Women; Volunteer Activist Award, USA, by the National Center for Voluntary Action; Lady of Grand Cross in the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre by His Holiness Pope Paul II; 1980 Founders Award, by Theresian World Ministry; Woman of Valor Award for 1981, by the National Jewish Fund; and Distinguished Alumni Award in 1982, by Wayne State University.
With all the accolades and experiences, Rita's proudest accomplishment was raising five sons. She was a loving parent, whose love and devotion to her children was boundless. Her love and dedication to her faith, her family, and her ministry made a difference in our society and her legacy will live on forever.
The family will receive friends on Friday, July 6, 2012, from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm, with a Rosary at 6:30 pm in the Hunters Creek Chapel at Earthman Funeral Directors, 8303 Katy Freeway, Houston, Texas 77024. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Saturday, July 7, 2012, at 10:00 am at St. Michael's Catholic Church, 1801 Sage Road, Houston, Texas 77056.
In Lieu of Floral Offerings-please send donations to: Magnificat Houses for the Homeless and Recovering Ill, P.O. Box 25415, Houston, Texas 77265
Published in Houston Chronicle from July 3 to July 5, 2012