Rita Adams Sick, 95, of Wellsville, died Monday, December 12, 2022 at the Hart Comfort House with her family at her side. Born November 26, 1927 in Mount Kisco, NY, she was the daughter of the late Clinton and Eleanor (Hubbard) Adams. In Rita’s early childhood years, she and her family resided in Ridgefield, CT, where her father was employed as the head poultryman on the country estate of the Buckley family. In 1935, during the height of the Great Depression, her family moved to Genesee, PA and began dairy farming. The next decade of Rita’s life involved the endless hard work of life on a dairy farm initially without electricity or indoor plumbing, and later, all the sacrifices required for the American war effort during World War II. This life experience shaped her values of thrift, practicality, and a strong work ethic without complaint that endured for the remainder of her life. Rita graduated from the Genesee school in 1945 as valedictorian of her graduating class and went proudly off to Waynesburg College that fall at age 17. She received her Bachelors degree in 1949, graduating Magna Cum Laude. During the summers and school breaks she worked at the Chapman Burroughs store in Genesee to pay her own way through college. The summer following her college graduation, she lived with her aunt in New York City and worked as a hostess at the iconic Hotel New Yorker on 8 th Avenue, where she became a devoted, life- long fan of the New York Yankees.
Rita’s teaching career occurred by happenstance. She wanted to attend law school and viewed elementary teaching as a temporary way to finance that goal. She quickly fell in love with being a teacher and made it her career. Her first teaching job as Miss Adams was in Whitesville in 1950. She also taught a year at Andover before accepting a job offer from Wellsville Central School. She moved to Wellsville in 1952, where she met her future husband Robert Sick. Rita completed her Master’s of Science degree in Elementary Education from SUNY Geneseo in 1953. Bob and Rita were married July 1, 1955 at Trinity Lutheran Church. In 1960 they moved to the family farm on North Hill. Despite vowing to never live on a farm again, Rita found herself again living in the country. She and Bob spent many enjoyable years raising their family on the farm. North Hill was the site of innumerable family reunions and holiday celebrations over the years and was the favorite place to visit of all the nieces and nephews and eventually, grandchildren. Many wonderful memories were made on the farm by her children and their cousins and friends. Rita loved hosting family events and the holiday table was always full of her homemade pies, cakes and cookies. Rita was an avid gardener, nature lover, and bird watcher. She could identify any tree, bird, or wildflower. She spent countless hours tending her magnificent flower beds, both at her home on North Hill and later her house on Central Place, and got great enjoyment making them a thing of beauty for passersby to enjoy.
Rita retired in 1984 after 31 years of teaching in the Wellsville Central School district. Her committed devotion to teaching and her student’s education and learning was the centerpiece of her life. After they both retired, she and Bob enjoyed “snow birding” in Ocala, Florida for many years, where they made many dear friends. In her later years, Rita gave up traveling and enjoyed participating in many local groups including the Red Hat ladies, the quilting group, and her beloved exercise classes. She was an especially avid reader and kept current on world news and politics up until her final days. Rita was a proud member of the Catherine Schuyler chapter of the NSDAR and was a life member of the National Education Association and the Delta Kappa Gamma.
Rita was a woman of deep Christian faith and a longtime member of the Trinity Lutheran Church of Wellsville
Rita was predeceased by her husband Bob on October 13, 2009, after 54 years of marriage. In addition to her parents, Clinton and Eleanor Adams of Genesee, she was also predeceased by three of her siblings, Clinton Adams of Rochester, Arlene Lang of Ithaca and Dick Adams of Washington.
Rita is survived by her two children: her son, David (Marsha) Sick, and her daughter, Cynthia (Kevin) Schreiner, all of Wellsville; her granddaughter, Lindsey Sick (Kenneth Borda) of Elizabeth City, NJ; three grandsons, Brendan Schreiner (Hallie Brewer) of Portland, Oregon, Benjamin (Katrin) Weyland of Heidelberg, Germany, and Shawn (Melissa) Schreiner of Arnold, Maryland; and a great-grandson, Tim Weyland of Heidelberg. She is additionally survived by her brother, Gordon (Joanne) Adams of Genesee, PA, a sister-in-law, Doris Adams of Milton, Washington, and a large extended family including numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews, and many dear friends.
Rita’s family would like to thank all the many wonderful medical providers and caregivers who made Rita’s last years enjoyable, especially the staff at Manor Hills, who made it possible for her to be active, independent, and feisty as ever, right up to the last weeks of her life.
Family and friends are invited to call on Friday, January 6th, 2023, from 2 – 4 and 7 to 9 PM at the J.W. Embser Sons Funeral Home of Wellsville, 34 West State Street. Her funeral service will be held on Saturday, January 7, 2023, at 11 AM at Trinity Lutheran Church, 470 N. Main St, Wellsville, NY 14895.
Please consider memorial donations to: The Hart Comfort House,141 East State Street, Wellsville, NY 14895; Trinity Lutheran Church, 470 North Main Street, Wellsville, NY 14895; or the David A Howe Library, 155 North Main Street, Wellsville, NY 14895.
To leave online condolences please visit www.embserfuneralhome.com