Memorial services for Rita Vanessa Tracy, 82, Lawrence, will be at 2 pm Sunday, November 1, 2020, at Trinity Episcopal Church, with the Rev. Rob Baldwin officiating. The service will be livestreamed at https://www.facebook.com/pg/TrinityLawrenceKS/posts/ Inurnment will take place in the Matthews Chapel columbarium at the church following the service. A public Celebration of Life will be held at a later date when gathering restrictions are lifted. Mrs. Tracy died Thursday, October 8, 2020, at The Windsor of Lawrence.
She was born September 10, 1938, in Leavenworth, Kansas, the daughter of Wilbert Gottlieb and Evelyn Vanessa Schreiber. She graduated from Leavenworth High School in 1956. She later graduated from the University of Kansas in 1960 with a BSN in Nursing. She also graduated from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio in 1972 with a MS degree in Family Life and Child Development. In 1984 Rita received a MS degree from the University of Kansas in Maternal and Child Health Nursing and was certified as an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner.
She married Dr. Dick Blaylock Tracy on May 29, 1964, in Leavenworth. He survives of the home. Other survivors include a daughter Vanessa Milota (husband Barry) and grandson Joshua Milota, Lawrence; a sister, Velta Rose Kramer, Manhattan; nieces Lou Ann Claassen (Dale), Manhattan, Lisa Mancin (Mark), Platte City, Mo., and children Tristan and Rosie, Judith Tracy, Ellen Tracy, and Mary Slusser Tracy (Chris), River Forest, Ill.. She was preceded in death by her parents, a brother-in-law, Bud Kramer, and a brother-in-law, Father Max Tracy.
Mrs. Tracy was a Registered Nurse for forty years, retiring from Washburn University after 24 years of teaching in the School of Nursing. Prior to teaching nursing, she was employed at the University of Kansas Hospital, Kansas Neurological Institute in Topeka, the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, and Athens Mental Health Center in Athens, Ohio.
Mrs. Tracy held membership in the American Nurses Association and the Kansas State Nursing Association, Eta Kappa Chapter of Sigma Tau International, Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, and The Society of Rogerian Scholars. She also participated in numerous volunteer activities in the Lawrence and Topeka communities. Over the years, she volunteered at the Topeka Rescue Mission where she initiated and conducted a nurse managed clinic. She volunteered for Mother to Mother, and taught women’s health at the Douglas County Jail. Over the years, she volunteered for numerous organizations including LINK, and the Jubilee Café.
Mrs. Tracy was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Lawrence for many years and served in a variety of ministries. She and her husband were both ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons by the Right Reverend William E. Smalley, Bishop of Kansas on September 9, 2000. She and Dick both served at Trinity from 2000 until their retirement.
The family suggests memorial contributions to Trinity Episcopal Church, the Lawrence Community Shelter, or the Alzheimer’s Association, in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana St., Lawrence, KS, 66044. Online condolences may be sent at rumsey-yost.com