Harrell Funeral Home of Austin
4435 Frontier Trail
AUSTIN TX 78745
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Rita Ann De Winne was born on February 19, 1959 in Poughkeepsie, NY, and passed away on January 22, 2023 at the age of 63 years old. Rita was the Daughter of Aurora Hughes and Thomas Hughes. Rita was predeceased by father, Thomas Hughes and mother... Read More
Rita Ann De Winne was born on February 19, 1959 in Poughkeepsie, NY, and passed away on January 22, 2023 at the age of 63 years old. Rita was the Daughter of Aurora Hughes and Thomas Hughes. Rita was predeceased by father, Thomas Hughes and mother, Aurora Hughes.
She is survived by Bill De Winne (Husband), Kimberly De Winne (Daughter), Heather Darrell (Daughter), Tanner Darrell (Son-in-law), Hunter Darrell (Grandson), Cameron Darrell (Granddaughter), Thomas Hughes (Brother), Terry Hughes (Sister-in-law), Rosemary McCarthy (Sister), Steve McCarthy (Brother-in-law), Dianne Zepp (Sister-in-law), Charlie Zepp (Brother-in-law), and many loved nieces and nephews.
Rita went to high school at Highland High School in Ulster County New York and graduated in 1977. She went on to earn a degree/certificate in Secretarial Science from Krissler Business Institute in Poughkeepsie, New York. She worked for IBM for 14 years in New York and New Jersey retiring in 1991 after the birth of her second daughter.
She was married to Bill De Winne on September 24, 1983 at Marist College in Poughkeepsie New York where they met on August 8, 1977. They spent 45+ wonderful years together living in Monroe, NY; Ramsey, NJ; Wyckoff, NJ; Lawrenceville, GA; Brentwood, TN; Austin, TX; Braselton, GA; and finally moving back to Austin in 2016. They have 2 wonderful daughters and 2 beautiful grandchildren all of whom were the loves of her life.
She enjoyed all outdoor activities; walking, hiking, gardening, golf and was an amazing cook. No doubt she inherited this amazing talent from her Mom Aurora. She especially loved being the best Nana to her grandchildren. She loved to read stories , do puzzles, play with a huge LEGO collection, crafts and going to the playground and pool with Hunter and Cameron. She included them in all of her activities like baking cookies, feeding Lily, and keeping the bird feeders filled and plants watered. She loved fresh air and sunshine!
She especially loved the Mid-Hudson Valley of NY, Atlanta, GA; Nashville, TN; Austin, TX; Charleston, SC; Santa Fe, NM; Destin, FL; and Port Aransas, TX.
She will be remembered as a beautiful, loving, caring, loyal Wife, Mother and Nana! She also volunteered for various causes and events and was very proud of her more than 8,000 volunteer hours at Ascension Seton Southwest hospital.
Her final wishes of simple cremation and no memorial services will be honored. Memorial donations may be made to Ascension Seton Southwest Hospital in Austin, Texas; St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN.
The family wishes to extend their love and gratitude to all of her many friends, colleagues and volunteers. She will be forever loved and greatly missed each day.
In Her Own Words
I recently found this note that she wrote in 2013. It probably had something to do with one of her volunteer activities that she supported asking her for her "bio" probably to recognize her for her service. It's Rita through and through.
"Grew up in Highland, New York. In the Hudson Valley, snuggled between the McIntosh Apple Orchards!
Parents Dad (Tom) Full Irish and Mom (Aurora) Full Italian. The Best of both Worlds. Just think of all those Good Foods! Corned beef cabbage, potato salads, Lasagna, Meat balls, sausage and peppers, eggplant parmesan, cannoli, tiramisu, cookies, cakes, apple pie.... YUMMMY! I guess that is why I like to cook!
Aurora will be 93 in July, Tom passed 18 years ago.
I am middle child of 3. 1 older sister, Rosie and 1 younger brother, Tom. Lots of outdoor activities when we were young. Bike riding swimming, camping, hiking, baseball, football, sleigh riding, ice skating. Many fun memories of our friends in New York.
Graduated Highland High School Class of 1977. There were 125 our Class!
Graduated from Business School and was hired by IBM. Worked for IBM for 14 years. Loved it. Started off in the MLC Quality Control Area in Fishkill, NY and finished up in Telecommunications in Franklin Lakes, NJ.
Met my Sweetheart Bill at Marist College in NY! How could I resist - He was so Nice (and still is) and a Star Athlete! Center for the College Basketball team. We will be married 30 years in Sept. We have known each other for 36 years Wow!!!!
We have 2 daughters. Heather a graduate of Texas A&M and working for Accenture and Kimberly a Senior at Baylor University. We are very proud of them.
We Moved to New Jersey. I volunteered with Jr. Woman's Clubs of Ramsey. Girls were little by that time Heather in Kindergarten we were making our first move to Atlanta!
The 3 years that we were in Atlanta the Braves won and the Olympics were there! I kept busy being Brownie/Daisy Girl Scout Troup Leader, Class Mom, ALTA Tennis Mom.
We then relocated to Brentwood, TN. The whole Family Loved Tennessee! While we were there the Titan's Football Team was in the Super Bowl!
We were in lovely Brentwood for 3 ½ years. During this time I was a Member of Brentwood New-Comers. And also, a Soccer, Swim team and Cheerleader Mom!
We all cried when we had to leave. But timing was good Heather going into High School and Kim going into Middle School.
We relocated to Austin, Texas for a great opportunity for Bill with Volvo Cars of North America. Within a short time we were enjoying Texas.
We were meeting such wonderful people. One of the first events we went to was The Pound House in Dripping Springs. Our family met Mary Faria there. She was handing out information about Seton Southwest which had only been open for a short time. We talked with Mary for a while and she said (in her inviting voice) "Rita you should volunteer at the Hospital!" All who know Mary can hear her saying this - she is so nice. That was 10 years ago! I started volunteering at the front desk and enjoyed that very much. I had to change my volunteer status to "On the Run" when the Girls schedules started to get crazy! Volleyball, Basketball, Cheerleading, Pals...
During this time also I was Volunteering for the Chamber of Commerce in Dripping Springs where I met some wonderful People. Also, was working at a Day Spa in Dripping Springs.
Volunteering at Seton Southwest
There is a special something a charm in each person that I've met through Volunteering. It is a Blessing to know each one of them! One of my favorite people is our Volunteer Services Director, Della Needham. Della is such a wonderful Leader to our Volunteer Services. She always leads us in a great direction and makes the Volunteers shine!
When an opportunity arises take it! You meet awesome people along the way!
I have learned so much from the talented people of Seton Southwest Volunteers. Compassion, friendship, organization, decorating, card making, sewing, gluing ideas. Friends have said, "Where did you learn that Idea? So Lovely!" I always say, "my talented friends at Seton Southwest!!" Learning from friends - what a Blessing.
Along with all their talents (the SSW Volunteers) the biggest is the compassion that I have seen for others! They are treasure to my heart! I have found that many of the Volunteers work very quietly and they don't realize how much joy they bring to others! They are my favorite people! You can count on them. Just make a call and someone is there to help in any way they can.
I have enjoyed volunteering very much. If you move to a new community the best thing to do to meet new people is to volunteer! What a great opportunity to get to know the lay of the land and to meet fabulous people with a purpose.
During the years of volunteering at SSW I have had the opportunity to be at the reception desk, publicity chair, hospitality chair, Fall Fest chair and help out at these wonderful events: Goala, Soul Development Wellness Event, Heart Walk, Autism Walk, Bake Sales, Garage Sales, Garden Sales, Hosted Bunco, Board Meetings, Call Committee, Holiday Bazaar setups / take downs, Nominating Committee, Soup a Bowl, Regifting Sales, Ice Cream Social, Christmas Stocking Workshop, Petal Ball Work Shops, Tailgate Fundraiser, Sidewalk Sales.
It is a Special honor to be a Volunteer at Seton Southwest!
Dripping Springs Nominee for Unsung Hero for Outstanding Contribution to the Community (did not win).
When I worked for IBM (in addition to my regular job at IBM) I also was a Chairperson for the IBM Club. It was an organization that set up activities for IBM employees and their families. Entertainment tickets, trips, sporting events.
I worked part time for John Christian Jewelry
I am a Member of the Dripping Springs Women's Club
Polo Club Homeowners Association Hospitality Chair and Safety / Security Chair
Chaired events in Polo Club such as National Night Out police and fire event, Halloween night event and hospitality at meetings
Dripping Springs United Methodist Church Volunteer at yearly garage sales and Golf Tournaments
Volunteered at "Dripping With Taste" wine and food festival
Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary fundraising table centerpieces for evening event
Walk 3 miles a day most days!
Love to work out in my yard and exchange plants with friends
Walk Bella and Lily our 2 little white dogs
Have been known to ring a door bell to drop off a warm banana bread or flowers
Day is not done until you make someone smile!
Love to hear someone laugh. Someone who makes me laugh is a friend forever! Giggle!
Special spots I have visited. Love beaches: Maui, HI, Bermuda, Florida, Australia, Bahamas, Destin, FL, Monterey, CA. Love toes in the sand and sound of the ocean.
My Favorite 2 Quotes
#1 - My very favorite is "Promise Yourself" (I have had this since High School)
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet. To make all your friends feel that there is something in them. To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. To think only the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best. To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile. To give as much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
Christian Dwight Larson
The Blessings God gives to us are the Blessings that we give to others.
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