PHOENIX: (602) 906-9600 | PEORIA: (623) 486-1955

Date of Birth: May 30, 1930

Date of Death: July 13, 2023

Rita Frances Bernadzikowski passed away peacefully on July 13, 2023. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Rita was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. Rita and her beloved husband, Norbert, moved from Maryland to Sun City West, Arizona in 1996. She had always wanted to live in the west, where she and Norbert spent many years, until his passing in 2016. They enjoyed taking trips exploring Arizona, California, and Nevada. She loved visiting ghost towns, gold mines and casinos where they could be found. She enjoyed watching old western movies most nights on tv. She found a certain romance about the old west. Rita enjoyed following the Arizona sports teams, including the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals, and Phoenix Suns. She loved her family visiting every year, often staying for a week, for over 20 years. We all especially loved her egg salad, which she always had a batch made waiting for us. Rita grew up in downtown Baltimore, living just a short distance from Norbert, her future husband. With her girlfriends and sometimes brother Joe, she would walk to Broadway, where shopping and going to the movies were the plan. She graduated from Catholic High, all girl’s school, in 1948. Rita and Norbert were married on December 1, 1951. In her 50’s she was able to take up the game of golf, sharing Norbert’s passion for the game. They would take overnight trips to play different courses and explore the surrounding area. She worked for the Social Security Administration as an Administrative Assistant in Woodlawn, MD, receiving many promotions. She battled rheumatoid arthritis for most of her life, but still managed to handle everyday activities, even living by herself. After her love Norbert passed, she lived in Arizona by herself, operating the household for more than 7 years, although 2,000 miles away from family. She was predeceased by her parents, Michael and Mary Mierkiewicz, brothers Francis Mierkiewicz, Joseph Mierkiewicz and sister Elizabeth Shimkaveg. She is survived by son, Richard Bernadzikowski and daughter-in-law Laurie Bernadzikowski of Ellicott City, MD; son Thomas Bernadzikowski and daughter-in-law Ann Grunert of Chesapeake City, MD; and grandchildren Jennifer Garrett, Lisa Gambardella, Nicole Otterbein, Maria Bernadzikowski, and Anthony Bernadzikowski; and great grandchildren Zachary Garrett, Austin Garrett, Aiden Gambardella, Bryan Gambardella, and Madison Otterbein.

Service Information

Interment will be with her husband Norbert Bernadzikowski ( March 12,2016 ) at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona on September 29th, 2023 at 10:00 am. The service will be presided over by Deacon Roy Drapeau of SS. Simon and Jude Cathedral.


In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105