August 18, 1929 ~ December 21, 2022

Born in: Lincoln, Nebraska
Resided in: Fargo, North Dakota

Rita Carolyn Roach Traynor, 93, of Fargo, North Dakota joined her husband Mack V. Traynor Jr. and many other relatives and friends in heaven on December 21,2022.

Rita was born on August 18, 1929, in Lincoln, Nebraska to Richard and Lillian Roach. At age 3, the Roach family moved to Fargo, North Dakota. Rita attended St. Anthony’s, Aggassiz and Fargo Central then went on to UND (BA) and Purdue University (MA). UND was special to her forever, meeting her husband Mack and receiving the Sioux Award, just a couple highlights. She and Mack moved to Fargo, their happily ever after spot in 1957.

Rita always made anyone who crossed her path feel special and loved. She coached us all to reach for the stars. Rita told her own 5 kids and scores of other kids who thought of her as their other mom, to go, be and do your best always. “Your potential is unlimited.” She used the phrase Live, Laugh and Love before it was cool and had a current events knowledge base the internet should emulate. She was selfless, generous, genuinely kind and curious. She was the speediest mom carpool driver in Fargo, and volunteered for too many organizations to list.

She was always the upbeat optimist. Even in the final stages of long-term dementia, she would smile, laugh and occasionally break out in songs like “We are the Gopher Girls” or “Happy Birthday.”

Her happy places beyond Fargo, were Pelican Lake and Sanibel Island – places where family and friends gathered to laugh, eat and make precious memories. Her 9th street home was always open to all neighborhood kids. When you left the house, you got a hug and a smile. She was a great conversationalist, loved books and would correct our speech – lie and lay. You lie down. You lay something down.

When we all left for college, she would call every Sunday and converse in her happy, curious manner and was the glue for her Traynor family.

Rita’s co-pilot for 48 years, until going to heaven on his terms in 2005 was Dr. Mack. We could all hear him for the past few months saying “Hurry up Reets, I’ve been waiting for you to get up here.” They were both the definition of love your neighbor. We miss you, yet know heaven is a better place having you back together shining your positive light back down on all of us to be and do our best, always.

Rita is cheering on her beloved survivors: Her sister Jibby Maas. Children; Mack V. Traynor III (Carol), Cathy Bales (Jeff) Jim Traynor (Katie), Peg Mickelson (Todd), Pat Traynor (Jamie). Grandchildren: Mack V. Traynor IV, Ellen Horan (Brad), Anne Traynor, Charlie Bales, Tom Bales (Sammy), Bob Traynor (Micki Heller), Chris Traynor (Bre), Nick Traynor Quamme (Mark), Tom Mickelson, Carly Mickelson, Joe Mickelson, Pat Traynor, Ben Traynor, and Jack Traynor Great grandchildren: Nell and James Horan, Cooper and CeCe Traynor, Willie Mack and Parker Traynor.

There will be a private ceremony during this holiday season. In lieu of a prayer service,
stories are welcome on the Boulger website.
Consider other memorials to: UND Foundation, DMF – Matto Foundation, Church of the Nativity, JP II Schools and Friends of Chimbote.


Private Family and Friend service will be held.:

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  1. Dear Traynor’s,
    May Rita have eternal peace and joy with our loving God and her legacy of love and faith lives on in all of you. Rita lived life and loved life and all of you very dearly. She lived her faith and values and passed them all on to you through Catholic education and example. I was at Nativity when she was on the Pastoral Council and very involved in the Justice Committee and the dinners to serve the poor and vulnerable. Your home was always a place of welcome and gracious hospitality to visitors, and I enjoyed my visits there very much. Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon her.
    Fr. Tim Bushy

  2. To the Traynor Family:
    I didn’t know Rita, only had the opportunity to bear witness to the love of her family in her last 24hours of life. I am a Hospice volunteer offering pet therapy with my dog Misha and Rita’s children asked for a visit to bring comfort to her and themselves. I simply wanted to say that I feel blessed to have been a part of Rita’s final day. Amongst all of the grief and heartache, it is possible for one on the outside to see the great love and respect a family has for the one passing, and to feel the sense of peace and God’s grace for all involved. I was able to tell a lot about Rita just from my interactions with some of her family and I wasn’t at all surprised to read about the wonderful life this woman led. May you all take comfort in knowing that she lived fully and well and her legacy lives on through you. I have no doubt that she will be greatly missed until you all meet her again. My deepest condolences.

  3. Dear Traynor family,
    I am so very sorry to hear of Rita’s passing. Wishing all of you comfort and peace in the days ahead. My deepest sympathies to all of the Traynor family.

  4. Loved reading the tribute to Grandma Rita, it encompassed her and more. I can remember many a summers celebrating 4th of July at her cabin and what a sweet lady. She was so proud of me when I was going to UND. I still have the thesaurus she wrote in and gave me for my graduation present. She was a very special lady and will be missed. Much love to all the Traynor’s and family.

  5. Traynor Family,
    Rita was always smiling whenever I visited Touchmark. I could count on her to brighten the room or put perspective on a bad day. She was a good friend to many women at Touchmark who also lost their soulmates early. May heaven’s bright and comforting light that shines on Rita also shine within your family until you all meet again.

  6. Dear Traynor Family,
    I’m sorry to hear about the passing of sweet Rita. She was such a wonderful person. So kind. Always positive with a smile and hug. I have many fond memories of being in her company growing up. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

    Kathy Nelson

  7. Pat, sincere sympathy to you and to all of Rita’s loved ones. Her obituary was a wonderful tribute.
    Donna & Roger Hentges

  8. Dear Traynor family,
    What wonderful words you put on paper for your mom. Tim and I laughed and cried as we read her story aloud. Rita was a bright light in this world and I’m sure is continuing to shine brightly in heaven. How graced and honored are those whom she has touched. I know her spirit will live on. May the entire Traynor family find Christ’s peace and joy this Christmas season.

  9. Cathy and Peggy,
    Dear Rita, what a gal! During my first year as a rookie coach and Physical Educator, your mom was a God send to me. She was so welcoming and understanding of a young professional in unchartered territories. What a magnificently written tribute. Like all of the other messages, that smile will remain with me —- she radiated! God bless you and all the Traynor gang — may you feel the warmth of God’s love surround you!
    With love and a Tidder hug, Nancy Tidd

  10. Dear Traynors,
    Pat and I send our deepest condolences but also very fond and grateful memories for the life and example of your Mom, Mrs. Traynor. She was a gracious, warm, dignified and accomplished lady, whose love for her husband and family was so apparent. We know you will cherish her and continue that loving, faithful legacy in your family’s lives.
    Sincerely and with loving memory,
    Pat & Jane (Vogel) Indergaard

  11. Dear Traynors!
    Matt & I send our deepest sympathies to all of you during this very difficult Time.I smile/laugh when I think of my Sweet Little Rita & taking her to many fun places she loved in the 5yrs I spent with her.

  12. Dear Traynor Family,

    Louise and I send our deepest condolences. What an amazing life and example to the rest of us on how to live in service to our Creator! We are glad Rita is now at rest with our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ. Blessings to your family.

    With Christian Love,

    Mike & Louise Little

  13. Dear Pat and Family,

    I am sorry to hear of Rita’s passing, what a woman she was. My Dad had so much fun telling me stories of he and Rita and I was always happy to say “Hello” when I saw her. Stay strong and remember all the wonderful moments you all shared.

    Melissa Dixon

  14. Dear Traynor Family –

    Hey Neighbors! Rita was – and always will be – the heart and soul of South Ninth Street. Rita was a constant presence in the life of our family and the many other neighborhood kids. We enjoyed numerous gatherings with the Traynor’s for birthdays, holidays, graduations, weddings, and most frequently for no-reason-at-all. Every conversation with Rita was an enthusiastic one and she always spoke with great pride about her family. She will be greatly missed by us here but I know that Doc Mack is pleased to again be hearing: “Wake-y, wake-y, it’s time for eggs and bac-y”

  15. I had the pleasure of knowing Rita through my mother in law and being next door neighbors at Pelican. Rita always had that delightful smile and warmth. My condolences to the Traynor family.

  16. Rita welcomed us warmly when we moved to Fargo in 1969. She also provided me with a role model for motherhood.
    One day I was at her house and one of her children ran around clutching a bird foot clawing and unclawing it. I thought this is what it’s like to live in the house of a hunter. Another time she gave a dinner party and a child sat under the table the whole time. She let children be children and never mind the messy kitchen.
    Rita’s life influenced many people. I suspect she is quietly doing her work in Eternal Life.

  17. Rita,
    She was such a gift! Funny, warm, and caring. And how she loved life. Let’s not forget her wonderful laugh. My condolences to the Traynor family.
    Meg Foss

  18. Dear Traynor Family,

    We were very sorry to hear of Rita’s passing. We arrived in Fargo in 1981, moving in across the street from Mack and Rita. Peggy and Pat were still at home. What wonderful, welcoming neighbors you all were. Our thoughts are with you.

  19. Rita (Mrs Traynor to all of us neighbor kids) was indeed like a second mom to all of us. The Traynor house was the neighborhood HQ for countless kickball games, kick the can games and the like. Rita somehow kept all of us in line while treating all like we were family – very fun memories from that important time in our lives. A very special person that touched the lives of all that knew her.

  20. Condolences to the Traynor family on behalf of the Junior League of Fargo-Moorhead. Rita was a long time member and may have been one of the founding members. We loved when she would come to a meeting and tell us all about the early years of Junior League. She was delightful and a treasure for us. Angie Fiechtner Knapp, Past President JLFM and Past AJLI Board member.

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