Rita Aurore Johnson

KENNEBUNK – Rita Aurore Johnson, 92, of Kennebunk, passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at Southern Maine Medical Center in Biddeford.

She was born in Sanford on Jan. 28, 1928. Oldest of a large family, she helped her parents raise her many brothers and sisters and helped out on the Saco family farm which included her pet duck. She met her loving husband of 52 years, Calvin, while working in a shoe factory. They married in November 1968. In her later years she and her husband lived in Old Orchard Beach and more recently Kennebunk.

Life was hard sometimes but it had many memorable moments as well. Her family was her pride and joy. She raised her children well and she was always a willing babysitter for friends and family alike.

She loved her flowers always checking the back deck to make sure her babies were watered and getting the right amount of sunlight. If you wanted to make points all you had to do was bring her a maple cream from Reilly’s bakery which she enjoyed for 60-plus years. Number two on her list was of course ice cream—cup of vanilla with pineapple topping. A few of her many hobbies were puzzle books and bird watching, in particular her beloved chickadees. Big family holiday gatherings were cherished with of course Christmas being her absolute favorite. Because of her family duties she never got past the 8th grade but that didn’t stop her from teaching her children about right from wrong, hard work, and helping others. Everyone was Rita’s friend. Even strangers were friends she hadn’t met yet. She left an everlasting impression on those she met even at the end with her doctors and nurses.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Ernest and Bertha Milliard; her sisters, Rachel, Teresa and Simone, brothers, Roland, Leo, and Richard; and her great-granddaughters, Ella and Grace Compagna.

She is survived by her adoring and devoted husband, Calvin; her three loving children and their spouses, Simone and Dave Bell, Bob and Joan Compagna, and Richard and Rachel Compagna; her brother and sister-in-law Arthur and Vivian Milliard, her sister and brother-in-law Lorraine and Raymond (deceased) Binette; her cherished grandchildren and spouses, Brandon and Jennifer Compagna, Sue and Frank Williams, Paul and Sarah Compagna, and Jeff and Lauren Compagna; her great-grandchildren, Brianna and Patrick Compagna, Taylor Williams, and Caleb Compagna; and her many nieces and nephews.

The family would like to send a special thanks to the doctors and nurses who became the surrogate family for her during her final days. Thank you all for being a part of her life.

Services will be held at a later date at Cote Funeral Home.

To view Rita’s memorial page or to leave an online condolence for the family, please visit http://www.cotefuneralhome.com.

If you would like to make a donation in her honor please consider donating to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital https://www.stjude.org/donate/donate-to-st-jude.html or a charity of your choice.

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