Cover photo for Rita M. Spieker's Obituary
Rita M. Spieker Profile Photo

Rita M. Spieker

April 27, 1924 — April 29, 2023

Rita Margaret (Maher) Spieker, 99, of Sylvania passed away on Saturday, April 29, 2023, at Hospice of Northwest Ohio with family by her side, where she was a patient for a short time. Born April 27, 1924, in Toledo to the late Robert and Regina (Brown) Maher. Rita married the late John K. Spieker, Jr. on November 30, 1946.
Rita graduated from St. Ursula Academy in 1942 and continued her education at St. Vincent School of Nursing where she received her RN degree in 1945 fulfilling her passion and dedication to caring for others. Straight out of nurses training, Rita enlisted in the Army Nurse Cadet Corps. By the time she was to go, World War II had ended. At St. Vincent Hospital, Rita was hand selected to assist Dr. Frederick Douglas who was the pioneer of Cleft Palate Surgery. This was a huge honor for Rita, and she displayed this accomplishment with gracious pride. Rita was also a private duty nurse for the McIntyre family who had a child with Polio. During that assignment, Rita occasionally traveled with the family on President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s personal train. The Roosevelt and McIntyre families were longtime friends and frequently traveled to Green Springs, OH to visit the hot springs for polio therapy.
Rita volunteered in the migrant camps, as well as at Little Sisters of the Poor for many years. After raising her six children, Rita went back to work caring for retired and aging religious life at the Ursuline Center from 1974 to 1980. Rita also shared her nursing skills at Gesu School and Church when needed. Rita set such a wonderful example for her children as to the importance of giving back to others in need, and that what you do impacts those around you. This was validated when John was in the hospital and a young nurse approached Rita asking if she had ever worked in the migrant camps. After confirming that she did, the young nurse hugged Rita and told Rita that it was because of her that this young lady went into nursing. After all those years, Rita’s kind, loving, giving heart was remembered and carried on.
While Rita and John did enjoy travelling across the U.S. with their children on many summer vacations, they also enjoyed trips abroad for just the two of them. In their later years, Rita and John spent their winters at their condo in Ft. Myers, FL and summers at their cottage in Reading, MI. Rita’s biggest passion and pride was her family and the gatherings they enjoyed over the years. Rita was a life-long member of Gesu Church.
To carry on her legacy, Rita leaves her children; Catherine (Eldridge “Mason”) Smith - Maumee, Mary Beth (Thomas) Appleton - Sylvania, Patricia (Kenneth) Artner – Crystal Lake IL, John K. (Kathy) Spieker, III – Canton MI, Rebecca (James) Tillman – Saginaw MI, and Jennifer (David) Kulish – Toledo, 13 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and 2 angels on the way, sister-in-law, Stephanie Maher, as well as many nieces, nephews, and friends.
In addition to her parents and beloved husband, Rita was welcomed home to Heaven by her grandson, Justin Spieker, brothers; Robert Maher and Lawrence Maher, sisters-in-law, Theresa Maher, and Betty Dobbs, and brother-in-law; Donald Dobbs.

Thank you, Mom, for your unfailing love and support shown to us every day of our lives. You have led by example with your grace, dignity, and love for us. You will never know how many lives you’ve touched. You will be greatly missed by all of us. We love you unconditionally.
Mass of Christian burial will be at 11:00 am Friday, May 5, 2023, at Gesu Church, located at 2049 Parkside Blvd. Toledo OH 43607. Family will greet friends from 10:00 am until the start of Mass. Interment will follow in Calvary Cemetery, Toledo, Ohio. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to Gesu Church, St. Ursula Academy, Hospice of Northwest Ohio, or to a non-profit of the donor’s choice. Urbanski Funeral Home a Life Celebration Home 5055 Secor Rd. Toledo, Ohio is assisting the family. To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rita M. Spieker, please visit our flower store.


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