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Rita Margaret (Flesher) Draxler

March 15, 1937 ~ July 25, 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old
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Rita Margaret (Flesher) Draxler, longtime resident of Elk River, passed away on July 25, 2023. She was born on March 15, 1937 in Brownsville, PA and was the youngest of three daughters of parents John and Margaret (Burns) Flesher. After graduating from St. Francis School of Nursing in Pittsburgh, PA, she worked as an RN in Madison, WI where she met Vern. While in Madison, she served in the U.S. Army Reserves as a 1st Lieutenant in a field hospital unit. Vern and Rita married in 1963 and moved to Philadelphia, PA where she continued her nursing career until her daughters were born. In 1967 they moved to Anoka, MN and then to Elk River, MN in 1968. Rita was active in her church ministry and was a member of the church choirs in Elk River and Big Lake. She also volunteered as a librarian and school nurse at Saint Andrew Catholic School in Elk River. She later worked for the VA hospital doing home dialysis for several patients in the Elk River area. Rita was the “wardrobe manager” for the Elk River German Band for more than 30 years. She loved dancing, sewing, traveling, and ice cream - not necessarily in that order. Rita is survived by her husband of 60 years, Vern Draxler; sister Norma Flesher; daughters: Gretchen (Michael) Roe, Julie (John) Peterson, and Diane (Mark) Pederson; grandchildren: Stephanie (Sam) Cosgrove, Megan (David) Camerino, Kristina Roe, Abby Peterson, Adam Peterson, Aiden Pederson, Karl Pederson, Caleb Pederson and Aaron Pederson; great-grandchildren: Howard and Twyla Camerino and Margaret Cosgrove; and many nieces and nephews. Rita was preceded in death by her parents; and oldest sister Jacqueline Ebinger. Our deepest appreciation goes to the staff at Cherrywood Advanced Living for the exceptional care they gave to Rita and our family over the past 2.5 years. Mass of Christian Burial will be at Saint Andrew Catholic Church, 566 4th St. NW, Elk River, MN on Saturday, July 29, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. with visitation one hour before the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Saint Andrew Catholic School (428 Irving Ave, Elk River, MN 55330). Please click on the link below. It will take you to the main St. Andrew's page. There will be a direct link there that says: ONLINE GIVING. Please make your donation here in memory of Rita Draxler, or mail directly to the church at the above address and clearly mark "in memory of Rita Draxler" on the envelope."  Arrangements by Dare's Funeral Home, Elk River. 763-441-1212. (

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July 29, 2023

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Church of Saint Andrew
566 - 4th Street Northwest
Elk River, MN 55330

Mass of Christian Burial
July 29, 2023

11:00 AM
Church of Saint Andrew
566 - 4th Street Northwest
Elk River, MN 55330


St. Andrew Catholic School
428 Irving Avenue, Elk River MN 55330
Tel: 1-763-441-2216


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