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Rita's Story

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Rita A. Goldsmith, 87, Batesville, died Thursday, June 1, 2017, at the Waters of Batesville.
Born Jan. 22, 1930, in Batesville, she was the daughter of Marie (Ollier) and Clarence Kerker Sr. She married Arthur Goldsmith June 9, 1951, at St. Louis Catholic Church. A homemaker, she was also an Immaculate Conception Academy alumnus.
Rita was known throughout the country as the "Duck Lady." In her front yard, she would dress her decorative "ducks" (they were actually geese) each day with a theme. It could be the announcement of a birth in the family or someone's birthday. It could be a holiday theme, or it could be somebody famous such as boxing promoter Don King. Her ideas and energy were endless. She was featured twice in the Cincinnati Enquirer and received letters and notes from people all over the country who had been through town and marveled at her handy work. If the duck's theme didn't change for a couple of days, people were checking with the family to make sure Rita wasn't sick.
Other interests included collecting ash trays and Native Indian artifacts, watching professional wrestling, feeding her birds, enjoying her fish aquarium, attending her grandkids' ballgames and, according to the family, she was a huge Elvis fan. Her family noted with pride that Rita became the care giver for her parents and her in-laws as they aged. They also discussed that everything that made her happy was right at home. She loved flowers and flower gardening around the yard and teased she could get flowers to grow in the cement. Her children will miss Friday nights when everyone gathered at the house, although any given day saw several of the kids stop by. They will also miss chili Saturdays. Every Saturday, Rita would put on a big pot of chili that was shared with all family and friends who stopped by. Oddly enough, while her sons would bring home frogs, snakes or whatever when they were little, she was okay with that. But, to their amusement, she had a real phobia of cats.
Rita is survived by her husband Artie; daughters Cathy (Paul) Laugle, New Point, Connie Goldsmith and Carin (Toby) Walsman, both of Batesville, and Carla (Matt) Oesterling, Oldenburg; sons Jim (Betty) Goldsmith and John (Darlene) Goldsmith, both of Batesville, and Joe (Janeen) Goldsmith, Oldenburg; sisters Rosemary Holtel and Barbara Heidlage, both of Batesville, and Betty Waters, Cheviot, Ohio; 21 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.
In addition the her parents, she was also preceded in death by brothers Clarence "Cork" Jr., Robert "Bud" and Jerome "Jake" Kerker.
Visitation is Monday, June 5, from 4-7 p.m. at Weigel Funeral Home. Funeral services are 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 6 at St. Louis Church with the Rev. David Kobak, O.F.M., officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.
The family requests memorials to the Alzheimer's Association.
Published on June 4, 2017
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