December 5, 1928 - January 12, 2021


A private Mass of Christian Burial will be on Wednesday, January 20th, 12:30 PM at the Church of St. Paul in St. Cloud for Rita Marie Toenies, age 92, who passed away peacefully with family by her side on January 12, 2021 at Good Shepherd Nursing Home in Sauk Rapids. Rev. Leroy Scheierl will officiate and burial will be at Assumption Cemetery. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Williams Dingmann Funeral Home in Saint Cloud. The service will be live streamed and you can follow the link on Williams Dingmann Funeral Home website. Click on live link at the bottom of this page to watch the live streaming on Wednesday at 12:30.

Rita Marie Heinen was born on December 5, 1928 in St. Cloud, Minnesota to Hubert and Rosalia (Nentl) Heinen. Rita grew up in New Munich where she attended Immaculate Conception School. During World War II, she left school early in her education to help her father who operated the gas station in New Munich. She married Cel Toenies on April 22, 1950, at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Loretto, Minnesota. Rita and Cel moved to Roscoe after their marriage. They then moved to Gaylord, where they lived until 1976. They lived at Lake Jennie near Hutchinson for several years before moving to Watertown and then to St. Cloud.

Rita was a homemaker and worked as a nursing assistant at the Gaylord Hospital and Burns Manor Nursing Home in Hutchinson. She was a nurturing person who enjoyed taking care of others. Rita was also a very talented artist and attended art school as a young woman. Her family and friends cherish her beautiful landscape and floral paintings which she did, not only on canvas, but on wood objects and such things as crosscut saws. She loved to sing and participated in church choirs for many years. She also enjoyed gardening and spending time with her children and grandchildren. Rita was very kind and friendly and enjoyed visiting with others and had a very cheery disposition. She was a member of St. Paul’s Church in St. Cloud.

Her family meant the world to her and she will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.

Survivors include her children, Bill Toenies of St Cloud, Mark Toenies of Buffalo, Mary (Bob) Johnson of Calgary Alberta, Canada, Judy Brandriet of Auburn, Alabama, Joan (John) Elton of St. Cloud, Diane Lauer and special friend, Patrick Billskemper of Cannon Falls and John (Patty) Toenies of Big Lake; 10 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren; sisters, Arlene Moening of Waconia and Maureen (Al) Luetmer of Melrose.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Cel in 2011, parents; sister, Doris Hazuka, infant sister Dorothy and brother-in-laws, Joe Hazuka and Ken Moening.

The family would like to extend a very special thank you to all of the staff at Good Shepherd Nursing Home – Memory Lane in Sauk Rapids and St. Croix Hospice for their compassion and beautiful care of Rita.