Maurita "Rita" Penn

Departed on Feb 29, 2024

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Maurita “Rita” Penn, of Marion, Iowa, died on February 29, 2024. Rita was born to Paul and Bernice Devereux in 1951. She grew up on a farm near Dougherty, Iowa, the second youngest of nine children. She attended the University of Northern Iowa from 1969 to 1973 where she studied mathematics and first went on a date with a fine young man named Doug Penn—partly because he had a car. Doug and Rita married on August 19, 1972, and settled in Marion, where she worked at Rockwell Collins and raised two daughters, Megan and Michelle. 

Rita was an exceptionally kind and gentle person who enjoyed travelling with her husband and friends. She especially liked her trips to France, Italy, England, her ancestral homeland of Ireland, and Key West, Florida. Rita was also a devout parishioner of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. She loved to cook and bake (her pies were of particular renown) and was an excellent hostess. A few of her other favorite things include spirited games of ping pong, playing Scrabble, watching Jeopardy, finding a good shopping deal, the occasional trip to the casino, and being around family and friends. She was a wonderful and loving mother. 

Rita battled Parkinson’s Disease for more than fifteen years, and her last few years were especially challenging. But thanks to her husband’s devoted caregiving, she was able to stay in her home until the very end. She died surrounded by family. They are so grateful she is no longer in pain, but the pain of her absence will be forever felt.  

She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Kathleen Milligan, and her brothers Bill, John, Terry, and Donovan Devereux. She is survived by her husband of over fifty-one years, Doug; daughters Megan (A.J.) Johnson of Marion, Michelle Penn (David Varel) of Littleton, Colorado; brothers Alex (Shirley) Devereux of Marion, Pat (Jean) Devereux of Iowa City, Bernard (Linda) Devereux of Longmont, Colorado; sisters-in-law Donna Devereux of Hampton, Iowa, Sue Devereux of Walker, Iowa; brother-in-law, Tom (Cathy) Penn of Cedar Rapids, Iowa and numerous nieces and nephews.

A Funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday March 5, 2024, at St. Joseph Catholic Church. A visitation will be held on Monday March 4, 2024, at Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home from 4-7 p.m.  Burial: Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery. 

Memorials may be directed to Camp Courageous or St. Joseph’s Catholic Church of Marion.