Meadville Tribune

May 19, 2013

Rita J. Potcher

Meadville Tribune

LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. — Rita J. Potcher, 90, died on Monday, May 13, 2013, in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. She was born Aug. 1, 1922, in Algoma, Wis., to Joseph and Margaret Schmidt.

She graduated from Holy Family Hospital Nursing Program in Manitowoc, Wis. Rita served our country as a nurse during World War II, attaining the rank of lieutenant and was awarded both the American Theater Ribbon and Victory Medal awards. During her years of service she met, nursed and later married Daniel H. Potcher Jr., an amputee veteran, in Battle Creek, Mich. They later moved to Meadville, raising their four awesome daughters, while Rita continued to work as a nurse. Rita, Dan and Diane, the youngest daughter, traveled west, settling in Carlsbad, N.M. There, Rita worked as a public health nurse until retiring in 1988. She relocated to Tucson, Ariz., where she spent her time building a new home, antiquing and restoring furniture and spending time with her grandson, Julius.

Among family and friends, Rita was best known for her fierce independence, energy and lack of intimidation at any project, a trait she instilled in her daughters.

Rita is survived by daughters, Janet Beatty of Saegertown, Judy Thomas of Ventnor, N.J., Mary Jamison of Sisquoc, Calif., and Diane Carlson of Lake Havasu City; five grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and brothers, David, Tom and Frank Schmidt, all of Wisconsin.

She was predeceased by her beloved husband, Dan; sister, Bede (Beatrice) Vania; and grandson, Jeremy Ingram.

Services will be held at Arlington National Cemetery.

A special thanks to Hospice of Havasu for their support and guidance to the family and gentle care of our Mom. Memorial contributions are welcome at Hospice of Havasu — for their help and support.

Thoughts and condolences may be submitted to the family at

Arrangements were placed under the care of Lietz-Fraze Funeral Home and Crematory, Lake Havasu City.