Skip to content




Rita Mae (Gillis) Angell passed away peacefully on August 19, 2020, at Glenhaven, Inc. in Glenwood City, WI. She resided there since December 11, 2017.

Rita was born November 8, 1925, to Frank & Caroline (Draxler) Gillis. Upon high school graduation, Teacher’s College and Business School, Rita had pursued two career paths: rural school teacher for 2 years and administrative secretary at Cargill in Minneapolis, MN. Her marriage to Gerald “Jerry” brought her to Rice Lake where he and his father had already taken ownership of the Quality Dairy/The Milk Pail.

Rita’s business skills gave her a permanent job as their bookkeeper and manager of the front end of the dairy plant. Rita loved her family and friends dearly. She was a great conversationalist who truly had a gift of gab. Her life history and storytelling attracted many people to her listening area. At the age of 94, Rita still remained “young at heart.”

Survivors include her three children, Kathlynn (Angell) & Dr. Paul McGough of Rochester, MN; Mary Angell & Dr. Dennis Robbins of Phoenix, AZ; Mark & Anna Angell of Rice Lake, WI; her foster daughter, Mary (Johns on) Balaban of Long Island, NY; 8 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and many relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, Gerald Angell, and a sister, Loretta Casselius.

A Celebration of Life will be held summer of 2021, and will be posted at a later date. Appleyard’s Home for Funerals in Rice Lake, WI, is in charge of the arrangements.

Special thanks to the wonderful staff at Grand Oaks in Glenhaven. These “angels” worked tirelessly showering Rita with devoted love and attention.

Leave a Comment