Rita M. (Wcisel) North

September 26, 1932 ~ June 9, 2022 (age 89)


Rita M. North, age 89, of South Bend, IN, passed away in her home, and was called to Heaven on Thursday, June 9, 2022.  

Rita was born the fifth child of Lillian and Alex Wcisel in 1932 in South Bend, Indiana. She was blessed with loving parents and five other siblings that were proud of their faith and community.  Rita graduated in 1950 from South Bend Catholic High School.  She married James North on May 17, 1958 at St. Hedwig Catholic Church in South Bend, IN. Together they worked hard, raised a family, and enjoyed life’s simple pleasures. Rita is survived by her daughter, Cindy (Paul) Bilinski; and sons, Mark North (Sherry); Jeff North (Sheila); her grandchildren, Eric Bilinski (Kristin); Ryan Bilinski (Jamie); Nate North; Mackenzie North; Courtney North; and great-grandchildren, Robby, Cora, and Luke Bilinski.

Rita was preceded in death by her parents, Lillian and Alex Wcisel; husband, James; brothers, Al and Ralph; and sisters, Helen, Delores, and Dorothy.  Twin sons, William and Michael, also preceded her in death shortly following their birth. 

Rita was a devoted wife and mother, but above all a faithful servant of our Lord.  She was a lifelong member of St. Therese Little Flower Catholic Church where she attended mass without fail until her health would not allow her to attend in person.  Rita retired from Indiana Bell, where she worked as a telephone operator for many years.  She volunteered at Little Flower Food Pantry and Christ Child Society, and was a member of the Telephone Pioneers.  

She never missed an opportunity to be with her grandchildren for a school ceremony, play, or sporting event.  She enjoyed spending time with family on holidays, and having a house full of people and getting the latest updates on life while playing cards.  Rita’s quick sense of humor always made people laugh.

Rita’s bright smile and caring nature touched the lives of many friends and family members throughout her life.  She would often tell stories of her life growing up attending Catholic grade school in South Bend.  Her journey in life was filled with wonderful friendships that supported each other during the hardships in life, and also celebrated the many joyful blessings God provides in this world.  Attending church, playing card games, talking on the phone, enjoying a play, and visiting with her Sassy Sisters were some of her favorite activities.  She also enjoyed cheering on the Notre Dame Women’s Basketball team for many years.    

An unknown author left this message that meant a lot to Rita and it seems appropriate to share:

“We can’t feel saddened over the loss of those we love without first remembering the joy of loving them.  The real sadness would have been never having had them in our lives at all.  With each memory, let our hearts be reminded that nothing can ever take away the beauty we have known, for love remains a part of us forever.  We who have truly loved are blessed.  Let love be your strength. “ 

Rita had a blessed life; she lived, laughed, prayed, and loved.  She knew that true joy and peace can come from the simple things in life.  May she continue to inspire all those who knew her.

Visitation will be from 10-11a.m. Thursday, June 16, 2022 at St. Therese Little Flower Catholic Church, 54191 Ironwood Road, South Bend, IN  46635.  A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11:00 a.m. Thursday in the church.  Cremation will follow.  Burial will take place at a later date in St. Joseph Valley Memorial Park, Granger, IN.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Christ Child Society of South Bend, 2366 Miracle Lane, Mishawaka, IN  46545 or Little Flower Food Pantry, 54191 Ironwood Road, South Bend, IN  46635. 

Kaniewski Funeral Home, South Bend, IN is handling arrangements. To send online condolences, please visit 

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June 16, 2022

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St. Therese, Little Flower Catholic Church
54191 Ironwood Road
South Bend, IN 46635

Mass of Christian Burial
June 16, 2022

11:00 AM
St. Therese, Little Flower Catholic Church
54191 Ironwood Road
South Bend, IN 46635

Cremation will follow

Burial at a later date

St. Joseph Valley Memorial Park, Granger

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