Eva Isabel Rettig, age 93, passed away on December 16, 2020, at Risen Son Christian Village, Council Bluffs, Iowa. Eva’s Mass of Christian Burial will be at 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Richardton, with Fr. Thomas Wordekemper, OSB as the celebrant. Interment will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery. Visitation will be on Monday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., at Ladbury Funeral Service, Dickinson. There will be a rosary and vigil at 6 p.m., Monday at Ladbury Funeral Service.
Eva was born to Martin P. and Matilda (Berger) Miller, one of eleven children, in the Hirschville area. Eva was baptized, made her First Communion and was confirmed at St. Phillips Church in Hirschville. She attended country school through the eighth grade. Along with other siblings, Eva left home to financially assist her mother and younger brothers on the family farm. At age 15 she worked as a housekeeper for Ward and Peg Johnson in Dickinson. Coming straight off the farm, Eva had never seen wall to wall carpet, grand staircases and lavish furniture. In 1946, she worked along side her sister, Frances, who opened and operated Tyler Cabins Store and Coffee Shop in Bismarck. She worked as a Nurse’s aide at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Dickinson.
Eva married Thomas Rettig on June 20, 1950. Eva and Thomas farmed her mother’s farm in the Hirschville area for 19 years. When all eight of her children were in school, Eva obtained her GED and began taking classes in nursing at Dickinson State College. She received her LPN degree in 1974. She worked at Richardton Memorial Hospital and the Glen Ullin Nursing Home. In 1987 Eva and Tom purchased the small cafe in Taylor. Looking to expand, they also purchased the grocery store next door and converted it to a restaurant. Using their first initials, they called their new establishment ET’s Cafe. It was noted by the Bismarck Tribune as “one of the 10 best places to eat in North Dakota”. During her nursing career, Eva took several leaves of absence to care for her mother, Matilda, her husband, Tom and her sisters, Ann and Tillie.
Eva was a member of Christian Mothers for over 60 years. In the 1980s, she served as president of the local American Cancer Society. Eva dreamed of seeing the world but had few opportunities to do so until her later years. She went to Germany, France, Austria and Bosnia. She and Tom took several bus trips throughout the United States. Eva loved music. She learned to play piano at a young age. She made sure all eight of her children learned to play as well. Eva was the organist at St. Phillip’s church in Hirschville for many years. She also loved to sing. She shared her talents late into life by entertaining residents of long term care facilities where she worked or lived.
Eva was a wonderful cook and frequently made German dishes such as strudel, cheese buttons, kraut knoephla, and borscht. It was a family treat for her sisters and brothers to come to Taylor for a meal. Eva loved to play cards, whist and pinochle. She had several card parties for friends and family. Eva left Taylor in 2010 for Omaha, NE to be closer to three of her daughters.
Eva is survived by her eight children, Patricia Zimmerman, Thompson, Loretta Rettig, Council Bluffs, Iowa, Mary Marinucci, Walker, Minn., Kathleen Rettig, Omaha, Neb., Diane (Paul) Wieland, Denver, Colo., Evelyn (Kermit) Thompson, Devils Lake, Thomas Rettig, Big Lake, Minn. and Irene (Jon) Harper, Council Bluffs; ten grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren; one brother, Paul; one sister-in-law, Caroline Rettig; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Eva was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Thomas, siblings: brothers, Joseph, Julius, Martin, Christian, and Anton, and sisters Ann Heck, Rose Feller, Tillie Kilzer and Frances Jaeger; grandson, Joshua Zimmerman; and granddaughter, Jennifer (Rettig) Karboviak.
In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to the American Cancer Society.