Rita Elizabeth Grohman

Jul 11, 1925 – Jan 18, 2018

Rita Elizabeth Grohman obituary image 1



Rita Grohman passed away peacefully on January 18, 2018 at Providence Mt. St. Vincent in Seattle, WA at the age of 92.

Rita was born on July 11, 1925 in Elma, Washington to Thomas and Katherine Murphy. She attended the local grade school and graduated from Clover Park High School in Lakewood, WA in 1942.

In 1946, Rita graduated from Central Washington State College (now University) fulfilling a lifelong dream to become a teacher. Her love of sports led her to begin her career in the Shoreline School District teaching physical education to students at Richmond Beach Jr. High School and Jane Addams Jr. High School. In 1951, she married her sweetheart, Robert (Bob) Grohman and "retired" from teaching in 1952. They moved to Burien, WA in 1956 to accommodate their growing family. In 1964 with two little children at home and four in school, Rita returned to teaching at the request of the principal of St. Francis of Assisi School where she became the much beloved second grade teacher for the next twenty-five years.

In 1982, Rita was honored with the Sister Miriam Joseph Farrell Distinguished Teacher Award and a few years later was selected as a KSTW TV "Class Act Teacher". After retiring, Rita continued to substitute teach at St. Francis well into her 80's. Her legacy there continues as each year the Rita Grohman Award is bestowed on two graduating eighth graders whose christian behavior best reflects the values taught and lived by Rita.

Rita is preceded in death by her parents, Thomas and Katherine Murphy, her brother, George Murphy, and her son-in-law, Richard Leary II. She is survived by her loving husband of 66 years, Robert, her children Tom (Tina) Grohman, Mary (Mosbah) Kushad, Barbara (Gary) Hartling, Patricia Leary, Teresa (Mike) Huiras, Margaret (Allan) Tegelberg, her grandchildren Michael Grohman and Kathleen Burton, Omar Kushad and Sabria Kablan, Steven and Brian Hartling and Jessica Antoniades, Melissa and Richard Leary III, William and Paul Huiras, Devin and Anna Tegelberg, and 7 great-grandchildren.

Rita's greatest gift was to see the best in others and to put her faith into action. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and teacher whose smile, sense of humor, and positive outlook made all who knew her feel loved and special.

Rosary, February 2, 7:00PM, viewing 6:30

Bonney Watson Funeral Home, Seatac, WA

Funeral Services, St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Burien, Saturday, February 3, 2018 at 10:30AM, luncheon to follow

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to St. Francis of Assisi School, Burien WA


Elizabeth Chayer
Seatac, WA
Feb 2, 2018

When my son Dennis was in Mrs. Higgins kindergarten class, Rita was a regular substitute teacher. On one occasion, when there was a different substitute. I asked Dennis after school if the substitute was as nice as Mrs Higgins. He replied "yes". "Was she as nice as Mrs Grohman?" I asked. His reply - " No one is as nice as Mrs Grohman!" Rita was a gem and I am blessed to have known her. My deepest condolences to all of the Grohman family.

Margaret Clinton
Seattle, WA
Feb 1, 2018

I was lucky to start my teaching career with Rita. I often ended up in her classroom at the end of the day. She always had time to listen and share advice. Rita was so positive. Even now I often ask myself what would Rita do? To all of her family, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Kathleen Amata (Holland) Harmon
Albany, OR
Jan 27, 2018

She was a very sweet and much loved 2nd Grade Teacher.

Jackie Plourd Beddo
Poulsbo, WA
Jan 25, 2018


Thinking of you and your family during this great loss. What a wonderful woman your mother was!

Janet Torzala
Chandler, AZ
Jan 25, 2018

Pat and Family,

So very sorry for your loss. Our prayers are with you and your family.


Janet and John Torzala and Family

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