Rita Boyle

Obituary of Rita Martha Boyle

August 5, 1939 – Scott, Saskatchewan

May 26, 2022 – Calgary, Alberta


Rita Martha Boyle (nee Risling), of Calgary, AB, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Thursday, May 26, 2022, at the age of 82 years. The family would like to extend their sincere appreciation to the doctors, nurses, and palliative care team who provided Rita with such exceptional, compassionate care on Unit 36 at the Foothills Medical Centre.


Rita was born on August 5, 1939, in Scott, SK, to Martin and Eva Risling. Raised on the family farm in Revenue, SK, with her six older siblings and her three younger siblings, she was instilled with a strong German work ethic and practical, down-to-earth, problem-solving skills, in addition to a love of nature, wildlife, gardening, baking desserts, and sewing. After graduating from Unity High School in 1957, Rita moved to Edmonton, AB, to live with her sister, Helen. With a natural talent for figuring out math in her head, Rita was immediately hired by The Toronto-Dominion Bank, where she trained as a cash teller for a day under this very handsome fellow, John Michael "Mickey" Boyle. It was love at first sight for both, and they married on September 24, 1958. Three bundles of joy joined them in 1961 (Lee), 1963 (Suzanne), and 1964 (Robert). Together, they spent many happy weekends and holidays camping and exploring nature's beauty, as well as many happy hours playing board and card games, reading, and building jigsaw puzzles.


Family was everything to Rita, and it was her caring nature and innate ability to connect with, show respect for, and laugh with others that fostered a closeness that continues to this day amongst her children and her extended family. She funded the post-secondary education of her children and raised them to appreciate the value of a dollar and the merits of saving for the future, so that they could be financially independent and have the resources to pursue their dreams. Rita was one of the first female Bank Managers in Canada, and she was the only one to open a new Branch in Calgary consisting solely of women, leading her hard-working team by example to turn a profit in record time, before retiring in 1986. Every time the Bank transferred her family (from Edmonton to Mayerthorpe, Cardston, Lethbridge, and finally in 1973, to Calgary), Rita rolled up her sleeves to transform the house into a comfortable home and the yard into a huge garden paradise. Her gardens were always filled with nourishing vegetables, started from seed, scrumptious heirloom tomatoes passed down from her father, and a colourful array of perennial and annual flowers to delight passerby's.


Rita was a woman ahead of the times. She composted, collected rainwater in barrels, practiced companion planting, and filled her yard with adorable animals, birds, angels, and child statues to add an enchanting magic. She designed her flower beds and installed birdfeeders, birdhouses, birdbaths, a water fountain, and hanging pots of fuchsia to attract birds, including her favourite, hummingbirds, as well as butterflies, native bees, dragonflies, and playful baby bunnies. This soon led to her love of photography, and Rita was so proud that her photographs were used by the Calgary Zoo in its ZooCare packages, Donor PowerPoint presentations, and tarped construction fencing. Reduce, re-use, and recycle were a way of life in her family. Long before reusable bags became popular, she took scraps of drapery material, made a pattern from a plastic grocery bag, and created cloth grocery bags that were even strong enough to hold watermelons. That was important, since she loved making various kinds of homemade German noodles, especially those traditionally eaten with watermelon. Rita will be sadly missed by her family.


Rita is survived by her daughters, Lee, and Suzanne, and her son, Robert (Kristie). She is also survived by her sisters, Mary Reiter, Helen Elford, and Evelyn Kuntz; brothers, Edward (Helen), and Ralph (Dorothy); her late husband's sister, Mary Louise (Bill) Leverington, and numerous nieces and nephews and their families. She was predeceased by her husband, Mickey; parents, Eva and Martin Risling; sisters and brothers-in-law, Madeline and Floyd Baier, and Elizabeth and Philip Lang; brothers-in-law, Gabe Reiter, Finley Elford, Lyle Kuntz, and Peter Lindeman; sister, Emilie Risling, brother, Donald Risling, and nephew/godson, Darren Kuntz.


Relatives and friends are invited to Prayers and Tributes at Canadian Martyrs Roman Catholic Parish (835 Northmount Drive Northwest, Calgary, AB) on Monday, May 30, 2022, at 7:00 p.m.


Funeral Mass will be held at Canadian Martyrs Roman Catholic Parish (835 Northmount Drive Northwest, Calgary, AB) on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. Reception to follow.


Family and friends who are unable to attend the Prayers and Tributes or the Funeral Mass in person are invited to join Mrs. Boyle’s respective service streamed live (see below) on the day of the respective service. For those who are unable to view live, a recording of each service will be posted. The family kindly requests that everyone wear a mask during the Prayers and Tributes, as well as during the Funeral Mass. Condolences, memories, and photos can also be shared and viewed here.


Rita was all about being comfortable, and the family encourages everyone to dress casually, especially in clothes featuring flowers or wildlife.


If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Calgary Zoo, 1300 Zoo Road NE, Calgary, AB T2E 7V6, Email: donation@calgaryzoo.ca, Telephone: (403) 232-7774, https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/m/604.


In living memory of Rita Boyle, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 Centre Street North, Calgary, AB T2E 2V6, Telephone: 403-243-8200.


Click Here to View Rita Boyle's Memorial Card


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