Denbow, Rita Cecile

DENBOW:  It is with loving thoughts and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, Rita Cecile Denbow, on June 17, 2015, at the age of 83.


On September 21, 1931, Rita Cecile Bertholet was born in Grande Clairiere to Laura (Marcq) and Joseph Bertholet, who had immigrated from Belgium. She was the second youngest child of twelve. As a child, Rita attended the Convent and, in later years, would reminisce fondly of her time spent there. Through her whole life, her faith continued to guide her.


On August 2, 1947, Rita married Wilfred Earl Scott Denbow in Grande Clairiere. Rita, coming from a family of twelve, had no fear of marrying into the Denbow Clan of twelve, who welcomed her with open arms. Together, Mom and Dad worked on the family farm and raised their eight children. They were a team, spending countless hours milking cows and doing other chores. Rita always had a clean house, a huge garden and a pantry full of canned goods.


Family was always important to Rita.  Each year, on Christmas Eve, fifty or more people would gather at her home and share in amazing feasts served on real china with wine glasses and silverware. We enjoyed cut-throat gift exchanges, games and laughter, road hockey, and even arm wrestling competitions.  Each year, Rita would buy every one of her kids, grandkids and great grandkids a Christmas gift and never expected anything in return. Rita always had an endless supply of baking, cookies and lemon loaves in particular, just in case company would happen to stop by. One of the most cherished gifts her grandkids have is the afghan she knitted for each one and gave to them on their high school graduation day.


Being the athlete and avid sports fan that she was, Rita raised numerous successful athletes of her own and took great pride in her kids’ and grandkids’ accomplishments. In 1983, Rita and Scotty moved into Souris where Rita became quite active in the community.  She was involved in a number of groups (Legion Ladies, CWA, Whitfield and Breezelawn Ladies, The Fellowship Club, and the Across the Creek Gang). Rita was employed as a nurse’s aid at Victoria Park Lodge and loved her house in town and all of her wonderful neighbors.


Rita was a caring person, who was beautiful inside and out. She was admired for her cheerfulness, her devotion to her family, her strength of character, her hardworking ethics, and her sense of fun. She had a beautiful smile, with sparkly eyes, and was always delighted to see you. She will be forever in our hearts and on our minds.


Rita passed away peacefully at the Souris Health Centre, surrounded by family.  She is predeceased by 10 siblings (Vital, Frank, Marc, Bert, Larry, Jules, Maurice, Louise, Ernestine and Marie), her infant son, Wayne, husband, Scott, daughter-in-law, Sheryl, and many members from the Denbow and Bertholet families.  She is survived by her sister, Ann Marie Bauche, her sisters-in-law, Marie and Celina Bertholet, brother-in-law, Ross Denbow,  and her eight children: David Denbow, Kenneth Denbow, Karen McDowell (Gary), Cameron Denbow (Wendy), Wilma Morrison (Greg), Nina Cowan (Bill), Tracy Phillips (Wes), and Rhonda Denbow (Jen Holoien). She will also be sorely missed by her eighteen grandchildren and twenty-five great-grandchildren.


Prayers were held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Friday, June 19th, 2015. On Saturday, June 20th, 2015, Funeral mass was held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church and Interment at Souris & Glenwood Cemetery.  Our family would like to express our sincerest thanks to Dr. Cram and the entire staff at the Souris Health Centre for your compassionate care.  Thanks also to Kowalchuk’s Funeral Home, Father Michael, the choir, St. Mary’s CWL and Legion Ladies Aux.  Thank you to all family and friends for your overwhelming support through donations, meals and baking, cards and flowers, calls, visits and other acts of kindness.

In memory of Rita, donations may be made to the Heart & Stroke Foundation.

22 thoughts on “Denbow, Rita Cecile”

  1. So shocked and saddened to hear about the sudden passing of Rita, she was such a beautiful person inside and out. My sincere sympathy. Cathy Suski

  2. So sorry to hear of Rita’s passing. She was such a great lady, mother and grandmother . We are thinking of you and sending our love, prayers and sympathies, Sincerely, Lovell & Faye

  3. So very sorry to read of your mother’s passing. Thoughts and prayers are with you all. Had a nice visit with her last summer when I was home.

  4. My sympathies to the family Rita was a wonderful lady and will be missed.

  5. When someone you love dies, you never quite get over it. You just slowly get through each day, but you always keep them tucked safely in your heart. Thinking of you all. Lois and Claire, Sean and family, Jody and family.

  6. When all is sadness, think and remember all the happy yesterdays with your mother and know that your friends are thinking of you! Sympathy to all your family! Vern and Ruby Leslie

  7. I am sorry to hear of Rita’s passing. When I heard, I thought of Rita’s smile and her pride in her children. I remember taking a back road home from Hartney and stopping at Scotty and Rita’s. She immediately brought out some food. She was the ultimate hostess. I am sure that she will make heaven a welcoming place also.

  8. I was very sad when I heard that Rita was in hospital and then Rita’s passing. I will miss seeing and talking with her at functions in Souris. My condolences to her family and many friends.

  9. Our heartfelt sympathies to each and every one of Rita’s children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. May your collective memories help to ease your pain.
    Penny & Bob Schoonbaert

  10. What a special lady! My love, support and prayers are with you at this time of sadness. I may not be able to support you in person but you are all in my thoughts and prayers. I am so thankful that I saw her when I was home in April. My deepest condolences to all of you.

    Colleen Mummery

  11. It is with sadness that we express our sympathy to your family in the loss of your mother, mother in law, grand/great grandmother. Rita was loved and respected by so many more than just her family. She was an inspiring role model and instrumental in raising her children to be the the great parents, friends and community members they turned out to be. We feel grateful to have known her. We, like so many admired her cheerfulness, her devotion to family, her strength of character, hard working ethics and her sense of fun. Who didn’t want to be a little more like Rita Denbow! She will be fondly remembered and sadly missed.

  12. To the Denbow Family: I just heard of your sad loss and wanted to say I’m sorry. Our warmest thoughts of sympathy are with you and we hope that time will ease your sorrow.

    In sympathy,
    Margaret and Reg Jerome

  13. Sorry to hear of your loss of a great lady, mother, grandmother and friend.

    My thoughts are with you all. She will be missed.
    Take Care
    Glen (AB) and Gail Williamson

  14. Our sincerest sympathy to David, Karen, Ken, Cam, Wilma, Nina, Tracy, and Rhonda and families on the passing of your Mom “Rita”. She was a special person. She always had a smile for everyone. May each of your memories lighten the loss of your loved one.

  15. Our family is very sorry to hear of the passing of Rita, your Mother/Grandmother and Great Grandmother. We have known her for many years, through the church and other activities. She was a beautiful lady inside and out, and had a wonderful smile. We are thinking of Rita’s family at this sad time. Sincerely, Margie Janz, Dave, Marilyn and Families

  16. Our sincere sympathy to the family. Rita was a very gracious lady. She had the neatest laugh. xoxo

  17. Our sincere sympathy to all of Rita’s children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, family members and friends. Her contagious smile and her genuine interest in the lives and activities of others will always be a fond memory. We are privileged to say that Rita and Scotty were very special people who touched our lives and the lives of our children.

  18. You daughters have your mothers beautiful smile!!!!!my sincere condolences to the family…..

  19. I loved your Mom; as a child and in later years as an adult returning to Souris. Happiness seemed to surround her. She always had time to chat and share stories of her family. She was proud of all of you. I am so glad to have these memories of her. I know that your memories will sustain you in the weeks and months ahead. You are in my prayers. With sincere sympathy. Ginny and family

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