1933 Rita 2023

Rita Severson

January 7, 1933 — October 22, 2023

Rita C. Severson's debut into this crazy mixed up world was on a cold day in 1933. Over 90 years of what would seem to be an intense movie script. After numerous dress rehearsals throughout her 90 years, Rita peacefully entered into her final scene, with Jesus, on October 22, 2023.

She always said she was going to write a book about her life. While contemplating the sadness that she never completed it, a realization occurred that her life story was actually written! It is written in the hearts and on the minds of family and friends to whom she often relayed it. So here is Rita's life in book summary form.

Rita's description and character

Stunning looks (often mistaken for Elizabeth Taylor), striking short black hair (eventually sparkling white), flirting, darkest of brown dancing eyes, olive, smooth luscious skin that looked decades younger than her age, petite, shapely attention drawing body, dressed and accessorized to perfection with colorful dangling earrings and many closets full of stylish clothes, tougher than a box of nails, debate anyone anywhere with penetrating eyes that demand your attention, founding member of "I want to have fun club", loved being center of attention (and usually was), contagious laugh, buzzing rooms would turn quiet and heads would turn when she walked in. Feisty, when mad everyone better take a wide berth! You always knew where she was coming from! Amazing cook, whip up meals with no recipes. Best mouth watering spaghetti and ribs ever!!!! The model of a hard worker, resilient, brave, tenacious, animal advocate and believer in Christ.

Life synopsis

The year was 1933 she was born in Massachusetts with eight sisters and one brother. At age 13 the heartbreaking passing of only brother Dido, and soon after her Momma. Meeting and grand romance with William "Billy", at age 17 married. Five years later the birth of daughter Jacqueline. Rags to riches then riches to rags. Oil business affording a glamorous lifestyle in Havana Cuba, living in a penthouse. Rita captivated onlookers while on the dance floor (dancing,a lifelong passion) at the historic Tropicana Night Club. Swimming, oh swimming, a swan like dive and glide effortlessly through the cool waters. Change of regime, Castro, traumas, deaths, detainments, miscarriage caused from strain of outbursts of violence of rebels, ringside seats to a fight for their lives. Escaping from Cuba. A return to US with nothing, starting over a renewed joy with birth of daughter Julia Lee only to be crushed a few months later with her death. Then shortly after another catastrophe, the nefarious plane crash and death of her husband Billy, their brother-in-law and his best friend. Later, married to Bruce Severson, a Navy veteran and pilot. Moving to many locations, always returning to Great Falls, MT. Rita was a proud and attentive LPN at Deaconess Hospital in Great Falls and other facilities, for many years. In Rita's later years she was elated when she showered her grandchildren with stories, songs and shopping, rescued many animals, some heroic saves. Dancing, dancing, dancing! A lifetime member VFW (Post 1087) Women's auxiliary, for years a member of the Fraternal order of Eagles #14. Generous gifts of crochet dolls and afghans. Sneaking Hershey's chocolate from her barrel jar, loved to shop and be stopped by up to three people to tell her she was beautiful, even in her 90th year! Talked about Jesus often.

Left to continue to write the story of her legacy are: Daughter Jacqueline Evanson Balyeat, her husband John and their family who include: 2 Grandchildren, Cheyenne and Collin Evanson, 4 Great Grandchildren Trent (Kailee), Bracquell, Jessica, Natalie, 5 Great Great Grandchildren Gabe, DJ, Oakley, William and Mikah. A God daughter, Theresa and many nieces, nephews and friends.

She joins those whose story ended before hers: Daughter Julia Lee , Husbands William "Billy" and Bruce. Father Tertuliano (Tulio) and Mother Carmila. Sisters and brother Josephine "Josie", Genevieve "Bunny", Angelina "Angie", Edith "Edie", Gertrude "Gert" , Eleanor "Ellie", Sylvio "Dido", Viola "Dora", and Irene "Honey".

Rita always talked about meeting Jesus and her family hopes that the meeting was just as glorious as she always imagined. It will be hard to fill the quiet moments of solitude, once filled by a much loved dynamo named Rita!

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rita Severson, please visit our flower store.


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