Rita Sweeney Obituary (1951 – 2021) – Madison, WI

Sweeney, Rita Christine

MADISON – Rita Christine Sweeney, age 69, died on Sunday, May 9, 2021, after a long illness. Rita was born on Sept. 27, 1951, in New London, Conn., and grew up in Norwich, Conn., graduating from Norwich Free Academy in 1969.

Rita was in the first female class of Georgetown University’s Undergraduate College in Washington, D.C. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1973 and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She then studied economics at Princeton University, earning her M.A. in 1975. While at Princeton she received a fellowship to study at the Swedish Institute for Social Research, University of Stockholm, where she studied the impact of government programs on women’s participation in the labor market.

Before moving to Madison, Rita worked at the Agency for International Development and was a lecturer in economics at Fordham University. In Madison, Rita joined Christensen Associates in 1982, continuing as a senior economist until she retired in 2018.

Rita was an active member of Luther Memorial Church, serving at various times on their social ministry, facilities planning, and pastoral call committees.

Rita was warm, funny, and compassionate, and a woman of strong convictions. She was an excellent cook and skilled at weaving rugs. Her interests ranged from Nahajo culture, to reggae and folk music, and theatre and opera. She enjoyed mystery novels and loved to travel. Shortly before her illness she visited Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan, and Havana, Cuba.

Rita is survived by her husband, Philip Schoech; son, John Schoech of San Jose, Calif.; and sister, Paula Sweeney (Steve Asin) of Bethesda, Md. She is also survived by nephews, Dan Asin (Jess Newton) and Sam Asin; and by nieces, Melissa Onderisin (Bret), Nicole Vogrin, and Becky Vogrin. She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Sophia Sweeney; and her son, Andrew Schoech.

Details about the service and COVID safety protocols can be found on the Luther Memorial website (luthermem.org). Reservations are requested to attend in person. Please use the link provided on the website, or call the church office to leave a message, (608) 258-3160 ext 11.

The family thanks the Hebron Oaks staff at Oakwood Village, Holly Hanson of UW Health, Dr. Greta Kuphal, and Dr. Elizabeth Felton for the care they gave Rita in her final years.

If you would like to contribute in Rita’s name, the family suggests the following organizations: Advancing Real Change, Inc. (advancechange.org), Doctors Without Borders, the Luther Memorial Church Foundation, or the Oakwood Village Foundation.

Please share your memories at www.cressfuneralservice.com.

Cress Funeral & Cremation Service

3610 Speedway Road, Madison

(608) 238-3434

Published by Madison.com on May 16, 2021.

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