Rita Mae (Jennings) DeBeck


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Bucksport and Brewer - Rita Mae (Jennings) DeBeck, of Bucksport, Maine, passed away peacefully on March 13, 2019 in the comfort of her home, surrounded by her loving family.
Born on October 14, 1930 to Louis Jennings Sr. and Mary (Honey) Jennings of Holden, and while still in high school, Rita met Robert DeBeck, the love of her life. Married on July 29, 1951, Rita and Bob embarked on a 68 year journey together, never wavering in their devotion to one another. Rita and Bob were blessed with six children, each of them different but all united in their love for their parents. Rita's love for all of them - and her shining eyes, her quick smile and her quiet, yet sometimes mischievous wit - are just a few of the many gifts from her that her family will cherish forever.
Following her wedding, Rita immersed herself into making Bob and their growing family a happy, welcoming home in Brewer, where they lived for nearly 35 years, before the couple moved to Bucksport. Rita valued family and tradition. It was evident then from Mom's use of the recipes passed on to her by her own mother to the hanging of the Christmas ornaments crafted by each of her children in kindergarten. It was evident towards the end when last year we again browsed through her mother's recipe box and carefully hung those decades' old ornaments on the Christmas tree. Rita smiled while holding those ornaments in her hand - just as she surely smiled when her children first gave them to her. Rita loved her family, and she loved that her traditions were being passed on to her children. That, Mom, is a gift never to be forgotten by any of us.
Rita was predeceased by her parents, Louis and Mary Jennings and her brother Louis Jennings, Jr., and a number of aunts, uncles and cousins all dear to her. Rita was also predeceased by Bob's parents, Stanley and Viola DeBeck, whom she loved and spoke of often, as well as her brother-in-law Carl DeBeck and his wife Charlotte. Rita has now been welcomed by each of them and, from above, is again smiling that beautiful smile at all of us.
Rita is survived by her loving husband, Robert DeBeck, son, Robert DeBeck, Jr. and wife, Jane, daughter, Pam Lord and husband, David, Sr., daughter, Cindy Kneeland and husband, Dave, son Jim, daughter Sharon, and daughter Susan; grandsons David Lord, Jr., Gregory Lord and wife, Heather, and Darren Cook and wife, Katie; and granddaughter, Kristy (DeBeck) Martin; great-grandchildren, Carson, Rogan, and Elyce; and great-great grandsons, Noah and Sebastian. Rita is also survived by her beloved brother, Donald Jennings and wife, Bertie, and their children, Brent Jennings and Angela Sinnott, and their families.
Relatives and friends are welcome to call 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday, March 17, 2019 at the Brewer Chapel of Brookings-Smith, 55 South Main Street, Brewer, where a funeral service will be held 2 p.m., Monday, March 18, 2019. All are welcome to share conversation and refreshments in the Family Reception Rooms of Brookings-Smith, immediately following the service, Monday. Private interment will be in Harts Corner Cemetery, Holden, in the spring. Rita's family has suggested that in lieu of flowers, and in keeping with Rita's love and appreciation of books and reading, contributions may be made to the library at the Earl C. McGraw School, 20 Main Road North, Hampden, ME 04444. Condolences to the family may be expressed at BrookingsSmith.com
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Published on March 14, 2019
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