Rita Barbara Haase 

Rita Barbara Haase, 95, passed away peacefully on February 11, 2023, at 3:24 P.M. in Poughkeepsie, NY, surrounded by her loving family.

Born in New York City at Misericordia Hospital as Dorothea Rita Wittenbecker to the late Frederick William, Sr., Battalion Fire Chief with NYFD, and Mary Teresa (Reus), a homemaker, Rita grew up in Queens with her brother, Frederick Jr. Active in the church, Rita’s confirmation name replaced her given name. She graduated from Bishop McDonnell Memorial High School in 1945 before marrying Robert John Haase, Sr., at St. Margaret’s Church in Middle Village, NY, on August 31, 1947. The couple lived their entire lives in New York state: starting in Queens before moving to Hicksville and Plainview on Long Island and then to Poughkeepsie, where their fun included sailing a Pearson 26’ on the Hudson River from West Point to Kingston, playing tennis (which she loved immensely), and bicycling.

A homemaker who centered her life around family, Rita pursued a passion for math and earned a BA degree in mathematics from Marist College in 1974 and completed graduate-level math coursework at Marist. She later taught asa substitute teacher at various high schools in the Poughkeepsie area.Always seeking to hone her strategic and logical skills as well as quenching her thirst for competition, duplicate bridge was her favorite diversion in her later years wherein she rose to the ranks of Bronze Life Master.

Rita is survived by daughter Janet and her husband, Kenneth Lazinski, of Gardiner, NY (son Christopher); daughter Carol and her husband, Nicholas Trentacost, of Plymouth, MA; daughter Jean and her husband, Mark Munson, Sr., of Centreville, VA (daughter Kathryn and sons Mark, James, and Matthew); her daughter-in-law, Patricia Bell Haase of Raleigh, NC (daughter Caitlyn and her husband, Matthew Matuska, and their sons, Michael and Benjamin); her 3 nieces (Laura [and Gary] DiGregario, Karen [and Bob] Regan, and Nancy [and Richard] Joselyn), their mother, Terry McDonald, and their families; as well as a host of devoted friends.

She was preceded in death by her brother, Freddie; her husband, Robert Sr.; her first daughter, Ellen; her son, Robert Jr.; and her two grandsons, Brian, and Michael Haase (sons to Bob and Patricia).

A funeral mass will be held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in New Paltz on February 25, 2023, at 11:00 A.M. followed by burial at St. Charles Cemetery in Gardiner, NY, alongside her husband and daughter.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the American Heart Association or the American Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Copeland-Hammerl Funeral Home is honored to assist the family of Rita with the arrangements.

Condolences may be sent via Copeland-Hammerl Funeral Home (https://www.copelandhammerl.com/obituaries/Rita–Haase?obId=27258925#/obituaryInfo <https://www.copelandhammerl.com/obituaries/Rita–Haase?obId=27258925#/obituaryInfo&gt;).

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