AUGUSTA — Rita M. Smith Elwell passed away Oct. 14, 2021, at the age of 97. She will be remembered for her love of music, graceful presence, thoughtfulness and intelligence as well as having been a loving mother, sister, grandmother, aunt and so much more.

Rita was born May 21, 1924, in Livermore Falls, the daughter of Edgar L. Smith and Alena Gladys (Decrow). She also had a dear sister, Helen. Rita graduated from Morse Memorial High School in 1941. She married Eben L. Elwell Feb. 14, 1942.

Rita worked as acting postmaster in the Brooks post office from 1949 to 1951. She discovered the wonders of genealogy around that time and never stopped pursuing that research. She later became a member of Maine Genealogical Society, where she made friends far and wide. Rita was also instrumental in acquiring stained glass windows for the Congregational Church in Brooks.

When Rita and her family moved to Augusta, they joined the Green Street Methodist Church, where they were involved for years. In 1972, Rita graduated from the Augusta School of Business. She worked as a teacher’s aide at Hodgkins Junior High School, and for 11 more years as school librarian. Her gardens were a great pleasure for many years. Her lilies, roses and irises were her special pride.

Rita had an interest in politics, working at the polls both in Brooks and Augusta. Early in her adult life she attended a national convention in Chicago as an alternate. She was always a supporter of Ed Muskie and was proud to be present when he was introduced, along with Sen. John F. Kennedy, to the New England delegation.

Rita was predeceased by her parents, former husband Eben Elwell, beloved daughter Ruth Alena Elwell, sister Helen Reynolds, and grandson Mark Elwell. She is survived by her beloved son, Gary Elwell; nieces Paula Miron, Margaret Mains and Mindy Reynold; grandson Joshua Twombly; and granddaughters Lisa Twombly, Angela Snyder, Cassie Bouton and Halley Elwell; and many great-grandchildren.

Donations in Rita’s memory can be made to the Viles Arboretum, 153 Hospital St., Augusta, ME 04330.

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