Rita Simon Sheely               Inducted 2020 - Class of 1978

“Rita’s compassionate and caring spirit began early in life, continued throughout her time at Woodward, and never left her,” said her sister, Barbara Simon Berebitsky.

A hard-working student, Rita was in the Top Ten of her Class, played Volleyball all four years, and was selected as Saga Editor by her advisor and mentor, Mr. Duvendack. She was involved in many activities, including the business education clubs. The faculty chose her to receive Woodward’s highest honor, the Tattler Achievement Cup!

Right after graduation, Rita began her 34-year career at Columbia Gas, where she worked her way up to Engineering Technology management at the time of her retirement, due to her illness. While working, she also attended The University of Toledo.

Volleyball continued to play an important role throughout her life, having played and volunteer

coached in many leagues. Rita was Toledo’s Volleyball Commissioner and received the CYO Adult Leader Contributor Award for her many accomplishments.After her passing in 2012, her family has, due to Rita’s legacy of compassion and giving, created the Rita T. Sheely Ovarian Cancer Research Center at The University of Toledo’s Medical Center. To date, the family has raised over $2 million. They also created the Rita T. Simon Sheely Scholarship, which is awarded annually to a worthy W.H.S. senior girl. Mary Ellen Shuff Simon, Rita’s mother, and all of Rita’s eight siblings are Woodward grads! Rita is survived by her husband, Jim, daughter Kristen, son Jameson, her loving family, and dear friends.

©2020 Woodward Alumni Hall of Fame

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