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18000 Interstate 45 S
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Rita Collard


1941 - 2019
Rita Collard Obituary
Rita Paulsen Collard
1941-2019
Family and friends around the world are mourning the loss of Rita Collard. Standing almost five feet tall but larger than life, she made this world a more wonderful place to be. She made colors brighter, tastes sweeter and love stronger than ever thought possible. Every stranger was a friend, and every friend was family. Born January 11, 1941 in Olathe, KS to Henry and Frances Paulsen, Rita was the baby of six children. She attended Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison, KS and St. Joseph High School in Shawnee, KS. Living as a single girl in Kansas City, her life quickly changed the moment she met her husband. On September 1, 1962 she married Joseph Collard of Green Bay, WI. After only a 3-month courtship, they proved 57 years later that it would probably last. They had their first daughter, Chris, in 1963 and then moved to Appleton, WI where they had their second daughter, Laura, in 1964. Shortly after that, they moved to Wilmette, IL to have their third daughter, Colleen, in 1968. Once the nomadic family production was complete, they headed back to Overland Park, KS, for a bit, then after a quick stop in Fort Worth, TX, they planted roots in Houston, TX in 1974. Weeks in the suburbs were followed by weekends fishing at their beloved cabin on Lake Livingston. Rita's happiest times were spent cooking, needlepointing her expanding family's Christmas stockings, traveling, fishing, mahjong and laughing with family and friends. She was a life-long devout and practicing Catholic. Rita was always doing something for somebody else, never once thinking about herself. Any room that Rita was in was the center of every celebration. Now we celebrate her life and memory, and those of us who loved her will forever have a void in our hearts. She is survived by her equally irreplaceable husband, Joseph A. Collard, her daughter Christina M. Johnston (Scott) of Oshkosh, WI, her daughter Laura A. Hickman (Tom) of Spring, TX and daughter Colleen T. Stelmaszek (Mark) of Cypress, TX. Rita is also survived by her five grandchildren (Benjamin Hickman, Cade Hickman, Taylor Johnson, Ian Stelmaszek and Noah Stelmaszek) and one great-granddaughter (Freya Hickman). A visitation will be held on Friday, November 29, 2019 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. (with a rosary to follow) at the Forest Park Funeral Home (18000 I-45 South, The Woodlands, TX 77384). A funeral mass will be held on Saturday, November 30, 2019 at 8:00 a.m. at Saint Anthony of Padua Catholic Church (7801 Bay Branch Dr., Spring, TX 77382). In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to "Mount St. Scholastica, Retired Benedictine Sisters" (801 South 8th Street, Atchison, KS 66002-2724). This is a cause very dear to her heart, and all donations are greatly needed and appreciated.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Nov. 24, 2019
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