Rita M. (Kaiser) Ziehlsdorff

Rita Marie (Kaiser) Ziehlsdorff, age 61 of Jordan, passed away with her daughters by her side on April 19, 2019.  A gathering will be held on Thursday, April 25, 2019 from 4-6PM with a Celebration of Life Service to follow at 6PM, all at Ballard Sunder Funeral Home, 4565 Pleasant Street SE, Prior Lake. Pastor Mike Golay will preside. Urn bearers will be her grandchildren. There will be continued fellowship at the Prior Lake VFW following the service.

On August 22, 1957, Clarence and Audrey (Luce) Kaiser celebrated the birth of their first child, Rita Marie Kaiser. She was the oldest of eight children and loved taking care of and protecting all her younger siblings. Growing up on Fish Lake, she enjoyed swimming and playing Barbies by the lake. Rita also had mink-tending duties along with the rest of the family.

Growing up, she was proud of getting good grades, and she graduated early from Jordan High School in 1975. She was determined to move out and see the world. She enrolled at the Minnesota School of Business and studied court reporting. From there she had a variety of jobs, spanning a wide area of interests, including clerical and administrative assistant, apartment building manager, hostess and bartender, and most recently, tax preparer.

In 1977, she married John Flood, and from that union came the birth of her two beautiful girls, Holly and Heather.  She and John parted ways but remained good friends. She married John Ziehlsdorff in 1985. As a family, they loved to travel and go on camping trips. During Holly’s and Heather’s high school days, their house became the hang out place for all their friends, and because she was a cool mom, friends started calling her “Mama Rita.” She and John enjoyed motorcycling, and always looked forward to their trips together to Brainerd International Raceway for the big race weekend. After 14 years they parted ways but remained good friends.  In 2003, she reconnected with an old friend, Brian Johnson. They loved their time together, and he was a good soulmate, especially as he tended to Rita’s daily needs.

In 1989, Rita was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and the doctors told her she would be wheelchair bound within a few years. True to form, she stubbornly balked at that, and continued walking, though with assistance the last few years, until the day she went into the hospital. Her PCAs also made her life easier.  As the years progressed with the MS, so did other health issues, which eventually led to her passing. Through it all she remained strong with the help of family, friends, and her many online friends. In addition, she was very proud to have celebrated 9 years of sobriety this March.

She enjoyed crocheting and cross stitching, and loved to gift her completed works to family and friends to enjoy. And they did! She was a wonderful listener, and was looked to as one to give advice when needed. More recently, she loved connecting with people through Facebook and online games. Her life became full as she welcomed her 10 grandchildren into her life.

Her feisty attitude, contagious laugh, and beautiful smile will be missed by her daughters, Holly (Dan Ziebarth) Flood, Heather (Nate Marr) Flood; significant other, Brian Johnson and his daughter Christina Johnson; grandbabies, Alexis, Autumn, C.J., Will, Brylee, Cuyler, Cadence, Aubrey, Mercaideze, Irelyn; parents, Clancy and Audrey Kaiser; siblings, Renee (Larry Muelken) Kaiser-Muelken, Randy (Faith) Kaiser, Linda (John) Traxler, Lisa (Mike) Fix, Rory (Jane) Kaiser, Rhonda (Val) Zweber, Robin (Phil) Nawrocki; other loving relatives and friends.

Ballard-Sunder Funeral and Cremation proudly serves Rita’s family.

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Condolence Messages

  1. My deepest sympathy to Rita’s family. Thoughts and prayers.

    Jan Orth Jones

  2. Patricia Fuller-Howard

    Shairing the same bus ride, Rita watched as I grew up
    Later years she’d taken interest in my healthy lifestyle journey being inspired to create her own. She had her own…why? In her words, she wanted to be able to go to grandkids events and get her own mail.
    Rest assured she had the well wishes for her family and desire to enjoy life with you.

  3. Barbara Crigler

    We send our condolences to the girls and the family. So sorry for your loss.
    Barbara and family

  4. Brenda Boatwright

    Sending prayers and condolences. Rita was a wonderful person and friend.

  5. Sending condolences and prayers to the Kaiser family. Rita was a wonderful lady and a dear friend.

  6. Prayers for all

  7. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this difficult time!

  8. My condolences to the family. You are in my thoughts.

  9. I’m so sorry for your loss. Rita was an amazing woman

  10. My heart goes out to Rita family. She was a wonderful person. Always had your back. I will never forgot my great times with her. She will always be in my heart. Love you forever Rita. Muah xox Correen

  11. Randy & Rory, Sorry to hear about your sister. Thoughts and prayers are with you.

  12. Bonnie Santistevan

    Mama Ritz you will be missed Love you mama from New Mexico

  13. Robin and Mark Beckman

    To Rita’s Family,

    Rita was always such a loving and humble person. We send our prayers at this difficult time and have faith she is at peace in God’s loving arms.

  14. My condolences to the family, I have known Rita for bout 13-14 yrs. She has been a good friend. I am deeply saddened she is gone and will be missed.

  15. My Deepest Condolences to the Family. I Pray God’s Healing Strength on each and every one of you.

  16. So sorry to hear about Rita. She was a favorite student of mine and a wonderful person.

  17. Donita & Bob Dahm

    Thoughts and prayers to the Kaiser Family.

  18. Valorie Humbert

    Sending prayers & support for the Kaiser-Muelken, Ziehlsdorff families. So sorry for your loss. Tom & Val Humbert

  19. So sorry for your loss. Our hearts go out to you all during this difficult time. Sending you prayers, thoughts, hugs and love. God bless, Tim and Bev Ostertag

  20. Sending condolences to the family. I am very sorry for your loss and I pray for your peace and understanding.

  21. John and Debbie Girtman

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you, sorry about your loss.

  22. Paul & Char Burck

    So sad. Our sincere condolences to the Kaiser, Muelken and Ziehldorff families.

  23. Tom and Char Voigt

    To the Kaiser Family,
    We are sending our condolences for your loss….May God give you His Peace at this difficult time.

  24. Heather Robinson

    I was so sorry to hear Rita had passed. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  25. Lifting you up in prayer that you will find peace. My deepest sympathy in the loss of your mother, daughter, sister and friend. Pat Starks

  26. Christine Luce Lagerquist

    Audrey and Clancy and family
    My sympathies to you and all of Rita’s family.

  27. Jim and Shelly Lucas

    Our thoughts and prayers to the Kaiser Family

  28. Kristin Lindstam

    I’m so saddened to hear of Rita’s passing. What a beautiful tribute written about her. Holly and Heather and family – you are all in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs!

  29. Gloria & Dave Pautz

    Hard to know what to say…..Our hearts & prayers go out to Holly & Heather & Rita’s beloved beautiful grandchildren,. Her heart broken parents, Audrey and Clancy, all her siblings & family, who she loved deeply & will miss her. We LOVE you guys! Oh the memories with our fun neighbors on Fish Lake! God Bless each of you.

  30. Sorry for your loss, Kaiser family. Rita will be missed.
    ~The Swansons
    Green Oaks Trail

  31. Thoughts and prayers to Renee and the rest of the Kaiser family from the staff at Prior Lake High School

  32. We send our condolences to her girls and family with the knowledge that over time your best memories of her will bring a smile to you and comfort you.

  33. Bill and Agnes Chard

    Audrey, Clancy and family, Bill and I were sorry to hear about Rita. You have our prayers and sympathy.

  34. Sue and Mike Kotchevar

    So sorry to hear about your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  35. Diane and Bill Henry

    After reading about Rita, we wish we had known her. She will be deeply missed by those who did. We are sorry for your loss, Clancy, Audrey, and Renee, and the rest of your wonderful family.

  36. Jennifer (McKinley) Hejkal

    Rita always held a special place in my dads heart. From the time I was a little girl to this past St. Patrick’s Day, she was part of his world. I wish her girls, family and friends nothing but peace in the days ahead. Rita, I wish you all that is good in the afterlife. God bless,

  37. My heartfelt sympathies go out to the family and friends. May you find some comfort in the promise found in Revelation 21: 3-4 and 1 Thessalonians 4:14. Knowing that there is an opportunity to be reunited with loved ones.

  38. Clarence, Audrey and family,

    Thinking of you and your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Rita’s family, and siblings and families.

    Ethel and Orville

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