Rita A. Hoag
Rita Hoag left the world peacefully just before midnight on January 20, 2022, after several hard-fought weeks at AdventHealth Shawnee Mission Hospital. She faced her cancer diagnosis and time in the hospital with the same quiet dignity and kindness by which she lived her life. Rita did not complain or lament, but persevered and made certain to offer love and thanks to her family, friends, and many other caregivers. The nurses and CNAs at the hospital were united in their fondness for Rita.
Rita was born in Kingman, Kansas, on February 23, 1951, and moved to Yates Center, Kansas with her family at the age of ten. After graduating from Yates Center High School, Rita attended Business College in Wichita, Kansas.
Perhaps spurred by her love of Elvis Presley, on February 20, 1971, Rita married Gilbert Hoag. She was a beautiful bride and likely had no appreciation for the many crosses she would have
to bear as Gilbert’s wife, including his off-color jokes, loud whistling, energetic singing, and alleged terrible driving. Rita was frequently heard to shout “Gilbert!” on family road trips.
Rita and Gilbert moved to Bonner Springs, Kansas, where Rita took a job at The Chieftain, and later worked for Fairbanks Morse. Rita went to work for the City of Bonner Springs, Kansas, after their children, Chris and Melissa, were born. She was wholly dedicated to the City, worked tirelessly to make it a better place, and was widely recognized as the preeminent expert on most things “Bonner.” Several years after everyone kept asking when she was going to take the plunge and start annoying Gilbert at home, she finally retired as the Bonner Springs City Clerk in 2014.
Rita’s proudest accomplishments were working for the City and her children. She was a loving mother to Chris and Melissa, despite adding onions to almost every meal she made for dinner, at least for a time. Her fried chicken and potato salad, which was shockingly onion-free, were always a hit. When they were little, she liked to call Chris “Christopher Charles Hoagawitz” and Melissa “Suzy ChapStick.”
A love for travel shaped the family’s adventures and continued for Rita into her golden years. Memories were made during trips to Pikes Peak, Disney World, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and, of course, Graceland. Later, she and Gilbert traveled frequently with friends. They made numerous trips to Branson, Missouri each year and visited the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Canada, and Ireland. Rita cherished these trips, which were filled with jokes and laughter.
Rita loved and had many good times with Chris’s wife, Jodi Hoag, and Melissa’s husband,
Chris Sherman. She was overjoyed to have five beautiful granddaughters, Ashleigh and Brooke Hoag and Audrey, Zoe, and Lily Sherman. She was exceedingly proud of her granddaughters and got a kick out of their creativity, spunk, and humor, even when they were giving her onion-flavored candy or hiding fake cockroaches and spiders to creep her out.
After she retired, Rita’s life of service to others continued. She volunteered for the Bonner Springs Chamber of Commerce, Vaughn-Trent Community Services, and many other local organizations. She truly enjoyed this work and was sad that she may have to give it up when she was diagnosed with cancer.
Rita also loved plants, playing cards, watching Lifetime and Hallmark Channel movies,
reading, Daniel O’Donnell, and sipping on a cup of hot tea. She was particularly fond of
her mom’s Christmas cactus, which she had grown to a gargantuan size and seems to be in near constant bloom.
Rita has a large extended family and is survived by her two sisters, Kathy Koelsch and Janet Fullerton, her brothers, Gerald, Ron, Martin, Jerome, Leo, and Donald Jacobs, her sister-in-law, Rosie Steinbacher, her brother-in-law, Jim Hoag, and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and other family members. She was predeceased by her father and mother, Harold and Lucille Jacobs, several of Gilbert’s brothers, sisters, and their spouses, and other beloved family members and friends.
Rita will be missed terribly by all, but she most assuredly will not miss the little snakes that somehow kept getting in the house over the last two years. She hated those snakes, and all others, with a white-hot passion.
The family will have a visitation at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, 5501 Monticello Road, Shawnee, Kansas 66226, on Friday, January 28, 2022, from 9:30-10:30 a.m., followed
by the Rosary at 10:30 a.m. and a Funeral Mass at 11:00 a.m. A luncheon will take place at the Church following the graveside burial. All family and friends are invited to attend.
In lieu of flowers, Rita’s family kindly asks for donations to Vaugh-Trent Community Services or the Sacred Heart Catholic Church.