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Dr. Rita Marie (Schultz) Gordon

I was so sorry to hear of Rita's passing. She and Uncle John had a beautiful family. I wish all of you peace during this difficult time.

Monica Irmler

My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Kralik family. Aunt Rita was an amazing role model for me, and I will always cherish her kindness, compassion and leadership.

The Conroy Family

Our condolences on the loss of such a strong, intelligent and kind matriarch. Our thoughts are with you and we hope all your good memories will carry you through your sadness. Sincerely, Cathy, Penny and Colman Conroy

Jon Bridge

We will be thinking of you all on Saturday. Rita spoke of her superstar children, and it is only through knowing some of them that I have a glimpse of her life. What a remarkable woman! It is inspiring to see all she took on and accomplished during her rich life.

John Walsh

Please accept my condolences on Aunt Rita’s passing. I recall the many instances of her kindness over the years. May the thoughts and prayers of others be with you.

Jim and Kathy OConnor

We are sorry for your loss. May Aunt Rita rest in peace. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Lindsey Walsh-Resnick

May her memory be forever a blessing. Love and hugs to the entire Kralik family.

Ashish Jhingan

My deepest condolences to the Kralik family for their loss. May God rest her soul in peace. We will keep her in our thoughts and prayers.

Fr Thomas Montanaro, LC

A mass for the eternal repose of Rita´s soul will be offered. May we meet one day in that last pew Rita, as we pray for all!

Greg Machacek

My sympathy for the entire family, but Heaven has a new Angel and as Rita wished, she will be watching over her loved ones. I feel very fortunate and blessed that Rita is my Mother In-law and will always admire her intellect, witty ness and love for our lord.

Rita Marie Kralik


Rita Marie Hennessey Kralik passed away on 15th February 2022 on Amelia Island, Florida at the age of 95. Rita was born into a large Irish Catholic family on 31st January 1927 in Niagara Falls, New York. She was the daughter of John Hennessey and Nora (née Lysaght) Hennessey. Her father had emigrated to the United States from Cardiff, Wales on 3rd August 1911 and worked as the foreman on the Lehigh Valley Railroad, while her mother emigrated from County Claire, Ireland and was employed by The Shredded Wheat Company. Rita had dual citizenship with the United States and Ireland. Her five siblings: Fr. Jack Hennessey, Robert Hennessey, Anne Hennessey Walsh, Catherine Hennessey O’Connor, and Marylou Hennessey, all predeceased her.
Rita graduated from Niagara University with a B.S.N. magna cum laude in 1950. While still in nursing school at Niagara, she wrote an article about treating tuberculosis patients that was accepted for publication by the American Journal of Nursing. In late 1951, while working in pediatrics and obstetrics at University Hospitals’ McDonald House in Cleveland, Ohio, she met John J. Kralik, MD, a chief resident specializing in cardiac surgery. Rita and John were married on 27th December 1952. John served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was called back as a first lieutenant surgeon during the Korean War, serving at Brooke Army Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. Rita loved the life of an Army wife, and their first child, Rita Marie, was born in San Antonio during their service there.
After the war, Rita and John returned to Cleveland where together they established a Cardiac Surgery department at Marymount Hospital – introducing pioneering heart-lung machines and other surgical innovations to aid in treating many cardiac congenital anomalies. She and John went on to have nine children: Rita Marie, John, Elizabeth, Kristin, Raphael, Michael, Gabriel, Joseph, and James. She always valued her faith in God, education, intellectual curiosity, the value of working diligently, and the importance of both understanding and contributing to the world.
Rita was a lifelong learner, regularly taking classes while raising her children at Case Western Reserve University, John Carroll University, and Ursuline College in a wide range of fields, especially the biological sciences and history. She actively managed her husband John’s private medical practice as well as her family’s financial affairs and became an Enrolled Agent with the IRS while working with H&R Block as a tax consultant. Ultimately Rita formed her own Tax Consultancy and Preparation Business.
Since 1968, Rita and John lived in Gates Mills, Ohio where they built a home for their large and active family. Rita especially loved living in Gates Mills. She attended daily Mass at St. Francis of Assisi church and was a regular at the Gates Mills Library and Historical Society. Rita and John also loved the beach, and warmth, of Amelia Island, Florida. Beginning in 2005, Amelia Island became their primary home, and the parish at St. Michael’s church the center of their community.
Rita summed up her life this way:
“I have as the poets say, ‘had it all,’ an intelligent and loving husband, wonderful parents, great teachers at Sacred Heart, St. Mary’s, and Niagara, superstar children and good brothers and sisters. God willing, I will someday make the last pew in Heaven where I will pray and care for all of you.”
Rita was preceded in death and deeply felt the loss her husband Dr. John, who died on 28th February 2018, at age 94. In addition to her nine children, Rita is survived by 25 grand and great-grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Saturday, 26th February 2022 beginning at 12:00 PM. The family will receive friends at Oxley-Heard Funeral Directors, Friday, 25th February 2022 from 4:00 until 6:00 PM with a Rosary Service at 5:00 PM.
Mrs. Kralik will be laid to rest beside her husband at Bosque Bello Cemetery immediately following the Mass.
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