Mrs. Anita Jean (Frucci) Rodgers, 85, of Elkhart and formerly of Niles, Michigan and LaPorte, Indiana, passed away in her home on Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 11:25 am. She was born in Niles, Michigan on July 17, 1935 to the late Anthony and Nellie (Eckler) Frucci. Anita married Peter A. Rodgers in Niles on August 6, 1955. He survives at home after 65 wonderful years together.
Also surviving are her children Peter M. (Beth Whitted) Rodgers of Bexley, Ohio, Mark A. (Patricia) Rodgers of LaPorte, John A. (Ji Yeon) Rodgers in Yuma, Arizona and Julia (Guy) Van Arsdale of Waterville, Maine; sisters Mary Lou McCormick of Winston-Salem, NC, Phyllis (Roger) Koenigshof of Alpharetta, GA and Karen (Douglas) Wise of Niles, MI.; grandchildren Zach (Randi), Jeff (Angela), Sierra (Chris), Peter, Christopher (Megan) and Jennifer, and great-grandchildren Luna and Barton; as well as a loving host of new additions to the family including Max (Vanessa) and Mya (Michael), extended relatives and good friends.
Family and friends may call at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, 1108 S. Main Street, Elkhart on Friday, May 7, 2021 starting at 10AM for visitation in St. Vincent Hall. Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11:00 with Fr. Craig Borchard officiating. Parking is behind the church. Cremation will follow mass, and a private family burial will then be held at Mission Hills Cemetery in Niles. Billings Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Elkhart have been assisting the family.
Anita was a 1953 graduate of Niles High School. In her earlier years, she was active in 4-H and was honored as Dairy and Apple Queens. Anita was gifted at cake decorating, sewing, wreath-making, interior designing and flower arranging. She went on to earn her real estate broker's license and worked for 35 years as a Realtor including time at Liston Brown Realty in LaPorte.
Over the years and in various Michiana locations, Anita was involved in Garden Club, Service League, Community Concerts, the women’s philanthropic organization Psi Iota Xi, the Elkhart County DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution), the Elkhart County Daughters of the War of 1812 and was former president of the Elkhart County Genealogical Society. She was also a H.U.G.S volunteer where she would help craft personal items for soldiers overseas. Additionally, she loved to keep up her beautiful flower garden and cook (she loved WNIT’s Dinner and a Book and trying new recipes or making family favorites.) On nature hikes, Anita would know the names of all of the trees, plants and birds. It brought her great joy to go to the Wellfield Botanic Gardens. She enjoyed participating in Silver Sneakers and could outwalk us all in the mall or on a trail. Anita also became a technology enthusiast and kept up with all the latest gadgets and computer programs. Her attention to detail in documentation and her perseverance in genealogy research was awe-inspiring. Anita would help and share with others exploring their family history and would invite them over to meet in person, Enthusiastic to learn, Anita had the energy to take any project to the next level. One of the many things that will be missed are her exuberant comments on social media doting on family or letting us know to go out and look at a gorgeous full moon with her nearly monthly post: “MOON ALERT!”
Loving wife, mom, sister, grandma, great-grandma and good friend, Anita’s existence stood for living life to the absolute fullest! She loved family and making connections with people. Heartfelt appreciation goes to her angel of a hospice nurse, Maralee Hertel.
In lieu of flowers, guests may opt to send memorial donations in Anita’s name to Wellfield Botanic Gardens (Elkhart), Center for Hospice Care (Mishawaka) or St Vincent de Paul Catholic Church (Elkhart.)
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