RITA M. CIHAK, 31, of Jackson, passed away on Saturday, August 10, 2013 at the Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Mass of Christian Burial was held at the Church of the Good Shepherd Church on Saturday, August 17, 2013 with Father Brian Sutton and Father Jerome Verdick officiating. Burial was at the Good Shepherd Cemetery in Jackson.
RITA MARIE CIHAK was born on May 23, 1982 in Worthington, Minnesota, the daughter of David and Judy (Olson) Cihak. Rita passed away at Sioux Falls Sanford Medical Center after suffering an epileptic seizure near her Jackson farm on Saturday, August 10, 2013 at the age of 31 years, 2 months and 18 days.
Rita lived in Jackson County her whole life and graduated from Jackson County Central in 2000. She continued her education at Minnesota West Jackson Campus and graduated with a degree in Mechanics. While there she developed her love of transmission repair.
Rita farmed with her parents and family on their family farm west of Jackson. She was adept at all phases of animal husbandry while taking care of cattle, sheep, horses, donkeys, swine occasionally, chickens, geese, turkeys, and goats. She had a special talent with all animals and acquired and rescued many animals including: cats, dogs, pot belly pigs and even a grey fox. Her firm but gentle soul and nature enabled her to bring the animals back to health and productive life. In true Cihak equestrian tradition her pride and joy was her curly haired horse, Jem. Her love of animals led her to creating Ritas Critters for Good Samaritan Jackson and Head Start. Her gentle spirit and firm manner also made her a wonderful caretaker of her many nephews and niece.
Rita enjoyed many activities with her family. She enjoyed coon hunting with her brothers and she was an expert marksmen due to her fathers training. She enjoyed the outdoors while working, camping, and fishing. She was a superb photographer and she enjoyed cross stitching, baking pies and going to the movies. She was a volunteer for her nephews scouting adventures. Her dry, quick wit and intelligence made her a wonderful family member.
Rita loved to travel and she seized any opportunity to go on a trip. Among her favorite trips was a trip to Toronto, Canada where she saw a taping of the Red Green Show and met the cast. Her favorite trip was 3 weeks in Australia and New Zealand where she snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef and went on a Lord of the Rings location tour.
Indeed, Rita was a gift and a gift-giving person, not only with her time and energy, but with her very life. More than 60 people have benefited from the life of Rita Cihak through the gift of organ donation, her most precious gift. People who have never known her and never will are the beneficiaries.
Rita is survived by her mother, Judy Cihak of Jackson; 6 siblings, Paul (Cindy) Cihak of Jackson, Brenda (Tim) Bachenberg of Windom, Krista (Tim) Knakmuhs of Jackson, John (Jill) Cihak of Lakefield, Laura (Shaun) Marotzke of Benson, and Mark (Val) Cihak of Sioux Valley; 12 nephews and a niece.
Rita was preceded in death by her grandparents, her father, David and a nephew, Joseph Cihak.
Blessed be the memory of Rita Marie Cihak.