Rita Girouard Mertig
Mar. 17, 1944 – Oct. 20, 2019
Rita Girouard Mertig, 75, of Henrico, VA, passed away on October 20, 2019.
Rita was born in Worcester, Massachusetts to Jeannette and Joseph Girouard on March 17, 1944. She attended St. Joseph Elementary School, Maria Assumpta Academy High School, and studied Nursing at Georgetown University. She further achieved a Masters of Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center. Rita married Robert Mertig in December 1969. She worked as a Nurse and later as a Professor of Nursing at J. Sargent Reynolds and John Tyler Community Colleges for 40 years. In addition to her professional career, Rita was the author of several books, Teaching Nursing in an Associate Degree Program, 2003; Nurses’ Guide to Teaching Diabetes Self-Management, 1st edition, 2007 and 2nd edition, 2012; and What Nurses Know…Diabetes, 2011. She has contributed chapters in several textbooks and other professional works. She enjoyed knitting, sewing, and teaching diabetes and weight management classes at CrossOver Ministries Clinic, Henrico County, VA. She especially enjoyed being Grandma to her grandchildren and organizing her high school and college mini-reunions.
Rita is preceded in death by her parents, Jeannette and Joseph Girouard; her brother-in-law, Charles Mertig; and in-laws, Edward and Helen Mertig. Rita was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother and will be greatly missed. Despite her impressive professional accomplishments, family always came first. Rita is survived by her husband, Robert Lee Mertig; children Karen Lee Mertig (John Finarelli) and Kelley Anne Mertig (Mario Wierling); grandchildren John Trajan Briggs Finarelli, Artem Forssell Wierling, Briggs Tiberius Wierling, and Caecilia Elisabeth Wierling; brother Paul Joseph Girouard (Marianne Curran); nephew Paul Keith Girouard (Colleen Girouard); sister-in-law Pat Mertig; nephews Michael Mertig and Karl Mertig (Stephanie Mertig) and their children, Carter and Delaney.
The Mertig Family wishes to extend our sincere thanks to all of the wonderful caregivers who helped our mother and family.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at noon on Friday, October 25 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Gayton Road. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church with a reception to follow. Burial will be private.
Memorials may be given to the Diabetes Association and Cancer Society.
May you cherish all the memories made with your wife, Rita and mother.
Thoughts and prayers are with the entire Mertig family during this difficult time.
Dear Bob, Karen, Kelley and family,
Rita’s passing has brought sadness and emptiness into the lives of so many who love her. But the emptiness is filled with joyful, and special, memories that will live on in each one’s hearts and actions. Rita was a very special person and was able to touch so many hearts through her thoughtful, giving and loving self. She was a gentle warrior, inspired by Christ! She will be missed – but never forgotten – and will continue her loving work as someone’s angel!
A very grateful cousin and friend,
Anne Girouard Hancock ❤️🙏
Dear Bob & family,
I am so sorry to hear the news & very sorry about your loss. She was a very accomplished lady. I pray God will help you in this time of healing. Cherish all the memories of this wonderful lady!
I an saddened to hear the news of Mrs. Mertig’s passing. She was one of my favorite nursing instructors at John Tyler Community College. She could be tough at times but I learned so much from her. She helped mold my nursing career. I am so sorry for your loss.
Kristi Lambert MSN, ACM-RN
I was searching for Rita’s book online when I came across her obituary. I am sorry for your loss. I am a graduate of UCSF, her alma mater too! Her book is so useful for my first year at a Community College that I decided I need to have a copy for myself.
My sincerest hope for your strength and courage during this time. Knowing your family member left a large piece of herself and wisdom behind should be satisfying that she lived a good life.
Rita’s mentorship and leadership touched many lives. Her empathy with students and patient’s shaped my career and view of nursing practice. She added great value through the many lives she touched and in those she inspired. She will be greatly missed.