Rita Bearns

Born in Buchanan County, IA
Born on Sep 6, 1928
Departed on Nov 13, 2023

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Rita Joesphine Bearns of Cedar Rapids passed away peacefully on November 13, 2023 following a brief illness.  Visitation will be held on Sunday, November 19, 2023 from 2 to 4 PM, with a rosary beginning at 1:30 pm, at Cedar Memorial Westside Chapel.  Mass of Christian burial will take place on Monday at 10:30 am at St. Ludmila’s Catholic Church with Father Ken Glaser officiating.  Burial will follow at Mount Calvary Cemetery.

Rita was born in Buchanan County, Iowa on September 6,1928 to Catherine (Hickey) and Daniel Kiley.  Her family moved to Cedar Rapids when she was 15 years old, and Rita graduated from St. Patrick’s high school in 1946.  Upon graduating from high school, Rita received her nursing degree from Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in Davenport, IA and then went to work at the VA Hospital in St. Louis, MO.  It was during this time when she met James J. Bearns and they were married at St. Patrick’s Church in Cedar Rapids on May 24,1952. 

Rita worked at St. Luke’s Hospital as a registered nurse until her retirement in 1986. She will be remembered for her passionate care of others and assisted family and friends when they were convalescing.  Rita was very proud of her Irish heritage and enjoyed baking cookies. She was very independent and cut her own lawn until she was 87 and stopped driving at 93. 

Rita is survived by her children Tom Bearns, Mary Bearns, Pat (Tom) Arp, Jim (Karen) Bearns and Anne (John) Himmelsbach. Also surviving are five grandchildren Chad (Megan) Arp, Eric Himmelsbach, Katie (Grant) Mathis, Chris Bearns, Nick Bearns (Whitley Porter) and seven great-grandchildren, many cousins, nieces and nephews, including a special niece – Cheryl (Jack) Ortmann. 

Rita was preceded in death by her parents; husband Jim; son’s Mark and Daniel; grandson Mark Himmelsbach and her siblings and their spouses:  Lorena (Wesley) McLean, Daniel (Wahneta) Kiley and Kathryn Kiley.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to The Gardens of Cedar Rapids, and Mercy Hospice, for their care of Rita.