Rita R. Cowher, 87, of The Oaks at Pleasant Gap (previously of Houserville) passed away peacefully on April 13 after an extended battle with breast cancer. Born November 3, 1932, in Washington, Indiana, the daughter of the late Harold F. and Mary (Allen) Spaulding. The family moved to Tyrone, PA in 1939 where Rita grew up. She attended St. Matthew Catholic School and graduated from Tyrone High School in 1950. It was in Tyrone on November 22, 1950, at St. Matthew Catholic Rectory that she married Carey F. Cowher, who preceded her in death on May 3, 2010. She is survived by two daughters: Elizabeth (Dwayne) Smith of Bellwood, PA and Sharon Cowher of The Woodlands, TX. Additionally, a brother Dale (Mary) Spaulding of Strasburg, PA, sisters Patricia McDermott of Guthrie, OK and Vicki (Bradley) Aults of Tyrone, PA as well as numerous and well-loved nieces and nephews. Special "grandchildren" Katie Brunermer (McCauley), Megan Brunermer and Phillip and Matthew Williams will also greatly miss Nana.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by an infant son, and brothers Richard and Deskin Spaulding.
Rita worked at Penn State University for several years in the Soil Testing Lab and then in Continuing Education. She was an avid reader, a beautiful seamstress, a gifted knitter, and a talented quilter. She loved music and young children.
A celebration of Rita's life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Centre County Library, 200 N. Allegheny St., Bellefonte, PA 16823, to your local library or to Four Diamonds at Penn State Children's Hospital, 1249 Cocoa Avenue, Suite 115, P.O. Box 852, Hershey, PA 17033-0852.
Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at www.kochfuneralhome.com.
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