1955 - 2020
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Rita Zimmerer's passion for life was an inspiration to everyone she touched. She was a world builder, a creator, and a dreamer that could connect to anyone. A cup of coffee was always served with an amazing story that ended in laughter. While there are many things Rita will be remembered for, her incredible storytelling will never be forgotten as the stories will continue to live on in all that have heard them. Our wife, mother, sister, aunt, and dear friend, Rita Ann Zimmerer, passed away on Saturday, June 13, 2020, at her home in Long Grove, IL. Rita was born on November 3, 1955, in Boston, MA, the daughter of Louis P. DeBenedictis and Giovannina Calandra DeBenedictis. On July 27, 1985, Rita married Peter J. Zimmerer. They lived in Winfield, IL, and Huntington Beach, CA before moving to Long Grove, IL in 1994 where they remain today. Rita graduated from Chamberlain College in Boston, MA before starting her career in sales at Drackett-Bristol Meyers in 1979. Following that she held sales positions at Russ Berrie, Tonka Toys, Enesco Imports. Terraglyph, Interactive Studios, Tiger Electronics, and Playnet. Rita was instrumental in the video gaming industry where she served as the Executive Vice President at Sunsoft helping design, develop and distribute over 100 video games for Nintendo, Sega, and Sony systems. Rita is quoted as saying, "This technology will revolutionize the way we live" and she couldn't have been more correct. Rita was committed to creating immersive games used to tell a compelling story. During her career, she was a Founding Director of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Science, where she was awarded the Warner Brothers President's Award, and selected to Orange County Metropolitan's Top Ten Businesswomen in Orange County, California in March 1994. In her business and personal life, Rita's ability to weave tales brought people together. In 2000, Rita opened BriteToys to continue bringing joy to young and old through toys. Her vibrant personality and tenacious work ethic allowed her to succeed in her career. Rita was an avid traveler both in the US and overseas. She enjoyed immersing herself in other cultures and expanding her world view through their unique history. Rita saw life as an adventure to be lived fully. However, her favorite place was Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester, MA. A visit to Rita's home always came with wonderful food and laughter. She was an excellent cook, who saw food as a way of showing those she cared about love. Rita and her daughter Janell could often be found in the kitchen cooking up new creations and quoting Julia Child. Though her body is gone she will live on in everyone she touched with her smile, her laughter, her food, and her love. She is survived by her husband Peter Zimmerer and daughter Janell Zimmerer, Long Grove, IL; sisters Donna DeBenedictis, Danvers, MA; Jennine Castleton (Jerry), Laguna Beach, CA; Julie Pagano, Boston, MA; brother Louis C. DeBenedictis; nieces Shelby Hewitt, Julianna Francis, nephew Garrett Dolaher and brother-in-law Malcolm Hewitt. Per Rita's request, there will be no viewing. She will be cremated, and her ashes will be interred in Gloucester, MA with a private family service at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Rita's name may be made to the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois at https://www.nkfi.org/honor-and-memorial. Online condolences and special memories can be shared with Rita's family at www.glueckertfuneralhome.com.

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Published in Daily Herald on Jun. 28, 2020.
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June 29, 2020
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