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Death: July 23, 2011

Rita Tuttle

July 23, 2011

Rita Marie (Fossati) Tuttle was born on August 7, 1927 in Victoria, Texas to Ella May (Vogt) Fossati and Frank Louis Fossati. She the eldest daughter and the third child born to the Fossati clan. She started out as a tomboy and grew up during the height of the Depression; she was surrounded by brothers so she had to be tough! Her mom and dad would move the family to Port O’Connor each summer as soon as school was out. The Fossati kids would enjoy an idyllic three months going fishing, crabbing and swimming . After high school and World War II, Rita moved to Houston, working for Good Year. She became friends with fellow co-worker Lois Sallach whose husband had a nephew just home from the war. They introduced the two, and the Tuttle saga began! On November 11, 1951, Rita married the love of her life, Arthur Tuttle, Jr. in Victoria. Their love story lasted almost 60 years. They had seven children - five daughters and two sons - who produced fourteen grandchildren, and thirteen great grandchildren. During their union, Rita and the children followed Art to the Port of New York, the Panama Canal, and finally settled in Houston in the early 60’s. The lure of a simple country lifestyle led them to Frydek in the early 70’s. While Art worked as a pilot for the Port of Houston Ship Channel, Rita raised the family and became engrained in both the Frydek community and St. Mary’s Parish. She took great pleasure in helping with the annual Frydek Grotto Celebration, running the plant booth for many years. She also enjoyed creating craft projects for the country store and auction.

She so loved seeing her large family laughing and being together! Holidays, including the large Port O’ Connor July 4th picnic, were her favorite times of the year. She loved to cook and try new recipes, and no one could ever make a cheese pie as good as hers! She took great pride that the family deli, Fossati’s Delicatessan in Victoria, operated by her sisters, is the oldest deli in Texas.

Rita’s youngest brother Vincent was disabled; her sister and brother-in-law, Gloria and Frank Borreca were pioneers with the Cullen Center. They encouraged her to volunteer in the artisan group, which was primarily weaving and chair caning. For years, she drove to Houston each week to donate her time and talent. When Art retired from the Houston Pilots in 1991, Willow River Farms, a beautiful retirement community for disabled adults opened in San Felipe. Art’s retirement meant the homestead was not quite as big as it once was, so Rita went to work full time with the artisan group at Willow River Farms, teaaching ceramics and weaving. She had a great dedication to the disabled individuals at Willow River. She truly put her heart into her work as she assisted the residents with their projects. Novemberfest, the annual celebration at Willow River, was one of the important days on her calendar. Later, all the Tuttle kids would volunteer with the event, honoring the tradition she started. She continued to visit the residents and staff long after her retirement.

Rita’s love of Vegas and Louisiana was legendary, as was her dedication to her beloved Dallas Cowboys. She enjoyed playing bingo, dominoes, lotto tickets, board games, puzzles, and painting ceramics. The highlight of her summers was spending time in Port O’ Connor fishing, crabbing, relaxing and being with her large, extended family. She also loved to work in her garden; her dill pickles, jams and jellies were renowned. Nothing tasted better than the fresh produce from her vegtable patch!

Rita died on July 23,2011 from complications of COPD. Although the family will miss her tremendously, a sense of comfort is shared by all who knew and loved her, as she is at peace with the Lord. Few memories exist of our beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother that do not include her stack of prayer cards and her ever-present rosaries. Her tremendous faith gave her strength to quietly sustain and support those she loved. First and foremost in her life was God, His beloved Son and the Blessed Mother.

Rita loved her four sisters: Veronica Pahmeyer, Gloria Borreca (Frank), Cathy Wyatt (Rabb), and Therese Bomersbach (Johnny); and five brothers: Frank Anthony (Malvera), Greg (Patty), Xavier (Annette), Gerard(Antoinette), and Vincent. Two brothers (Greg and Vincent) and two sisters-in-law (Patty and Annette) preceded her in death, along with her parents, and numerous aunts and uncles.
Her seven children include Diane Tuttle Wuthrich, Arthur Tuttle (Lee), Susan Lockstedt (Brian), Robert Tuttle, Cindy Whitzel (Greg), Rita Havel (Jim), and Judy Tuttle Wurth (Tom). Robert preceded her in death. Fourteen grandchildren were her pride and joy: Brian Wuthrich, Nicholas Wuthrich, Monica Monticello, Arthur Tuttle II, Laura Tuttle, Christopher Wallace, Krysti Wallace, Eric Crosby, Kimberly Crosby, Katie Crosby, John Baker, Melanie Whitzel, Megan Whitzel, and Ryan Whitzel. Megan and Katie preceded her in death. Thirteen great grandchildren also survive along with numerous nieces and nephews, and countless great nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of concern, prayers, cards, phone calls, and visits during the last year. Your acts of kindness are so appreciated! Our deepest gratitude to Reverand Thuy Quang Nguyen and Deacon Jerome Losack for their continued visits to the hospitals and assisted living facilities, and to Dr. Jasmine Boleva for her kind, gentle care. Our thanks and prayers to the wonderful staff at The Hampton, and Chineme Wopara for the love and time you gave our mother. Our hearts are forever grateful!

If desired, donations can be made in Rita’s name to St. Mary’s Catholic Church or Willow River Farms.


Monday July 25, 2011, 5:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.

St. Mary's Catholic Church-Frydek

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Rosary and Wake Service

Monday July 25, 2011, 7:00 P.M.

St. Mary's Catholic Church-Frydek

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Funeral Mass

Tuesday July 26, 2011, 10:00 A.M.

St. Mary's Catholic Church-Frydek

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