Rita Jeanne (Prevost) Ross

PORTLAND – Rita Jeanne (Prevost) Ross, 93, passed away peacefully on Dec. 2, 2021, with her son and daughter in law by her side.

Born in Barre, Vermont on Nov. 4, 1928, to Louis Joseph Prevost and Yvonne Marie (Longchamp) Prevost, Rita was raised in Barre and as a teenager moved to Portsmouth, N.H., where her father worked at the naval shipyard during World War II.

She spoke fondly of her childhood and told many stories of living in Vermont and New Hampshire. After high school Rita went to work in the insurance field first in Boston, and later in Portland.

In her early days in Portland, Rita met and married her first husband John Francis Foley. They had one son, Mark.

During this time Rita formed a long friendship with her neighbor Evelyn Geason who was a well-known piano player in Portland. Evelyn was a strong influence in Rita’s love of jazz. “If it didn’t include Benny Goodman, it wasn’t jazz!”

After the end of her first marriage, Rita went on to meet and marry Vernon Calvin Ross. They settled in Cape Elizabeth. Rita enjoyed being at home and making new friends in the neighborhood. Rita and Vernon welcomed a daughter, Veronica.

One of Rita’s greatest joys was welcoming her grandchildren and watching them grow, and later her great grandchildren as well.

Rita remained in her Cape Elizabeth home for more than 50 years, much of that time as a widow. Most recently she has resided at St. Joseph’s Rehabilitation and Residence in Portland. Her family would like to thank the staff for their care, kindness, compassion, and love of Rita for the last few years. Her family is very grateful.

Rita was predeceased by her parents, her husband Vernon, her brother, Richard Louis Prevost, her half-sister Lucille Irene Longchamps and her grandson, Nicholas Vernon Chaya.

She is survived by her son Mark Stephen Ross and wife Elizabeth (Betsy) Ross of South Portland, her daughter Veronica Elizabeth Cackler of Grand Junction, CO; grandchildren Erin Lee Ross, husband Ryan Bayha of Washington, DC; Emily Louise Ross of South Portland; Elayna Beth Jones, husband James Jones of Grand Junction; Alexandria Hope White, husband Christopher White of Grand Junction; Alicia Rose Brothwell, husband Kiyoshi Larry Brothwell of Tucson, AZ; and Olivia Jeane Chaya of Grand Junction; great-grandchildren Charlotte Ross Bayha, Evelyn Ross Bayha; Doug Ciriaco Whitmore, Anjou Elizabeth Whitmore; Nicholas James Jones, Chloe Marie Jones; Sophia Anne White, and Madison Hope White. She also leaves nephews Steven and Joseph, and niece Colette.

Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery in South Portland with a graveside service at 2 p.m. on December 7, 2021.

Arrangements entrusted to Hobbs Funeral Home, South Portland.

A donation to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital would be the perfect way to remember Rita, as she supported this charity for many years.

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