Serving West Michigan Since 1899

Rita Amell

January 31, 2016
Holland, MI



Friday, February 5, 2016
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EST
Dykstra Funeral Homes
Northwood Chapel
295 Douglas Avenue
Holland, MI 49424
(616) 392-2348
Driving Directions


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation)
4595 Broadmoor Ave. A.E. Suite 230
Kentwood, MI 49512

Life Story / Obituary


“I want to make a beautiful quilt aswirl with color, rich with pattern and love. I want to make a quilt lade with hundreds of fine stitches and history. I want to make a quilt that warms cold toes and chilled hearts.” – “First Quilt” by Rita Amell, printed in QUILT Magazine, 1986

Rita Amell, age 71, passed away in the home where she cherished her life full of memories of family and friends. Rita grew up in Royal Oak, MI, where she married and started a family. In 1979 Rita moved to Holland MI, where she saw her children grow and returned to school, graduating with a 4.0 GPA in Behavioral Science from Grand Valley State University. From there, she proudly worked for Right Management in Grand Rapids, helping those who’s life was in transition, eventually retiring as a Vice President.

Rita led a life of celebrations and quiet moments. She loved her beautiful gardens, bonsai plants, and home full of antiques, each with a story. She was a strong woman filled with surprises and always an opinion. She was creative, making quilts and writing stories and poetry. Rita was involved with the survivors of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, the ship upon which her father served and died in WWII. For every gathering, she was sure to come with a home-baked treat or amazing Christmas cookies. She loved playing along with Jeopardy, singing along to Willie Nelson and danced like no one was watching to Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock-n-Roll” whenever the opportunity arose.

Rita is survived by her son John Amell, wife Lindsay, grandchildren Chance, Turner, Willam, and Karson; her daughter Sara Hepner, husband Brian, grandchildren Remy and Sean, and son David; by her sister Margaret Swearingen and husband Rick; and by her very close friends, children and grandchildren whom she loved as her own.

An open house will be held 6-8 pm, Friday (February 5) at the Dykstra Funeral Home-Northwood Chapel, 295 Douglas Avenue in Holland, MI.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the JDRF (www. are welcome.

“Finished. It is beautiful. The pattern swirls, a new design with every blink. The colors glow and move into the eye and heart. No the missed stich does not show nor will any know that one square is topsy-turvy. But, if some bright eye, on close inspection, should note those flaws, then they will know a woman made this quilt – no goddess but a mortal woman.”