PEABODY - Lorita “Rita” Aarons passed away peacefully at Brooksby Village in Peabody, MA on May 5, 2023.
Rita was born in Boston in 1930, the daughter of Gordon Dewart and Emma Dickerman Dewart.
Raised in Boston, Andover, Manchester-by-the-Sea, and Lanesville/Gloucester, MA, Rita attended The Mary C. Wheeler School in Providence, RI and Briarcliff Junior College in Briarcliff Manor, NY. Upon graduation, she achieved her life-long dream of moving to New York City to work for LIFE Magazine in their photo department. There she met and married photojournalist Slim Aarons.
As one of Slim’s major muses, Rita traveled the world, assisting her husband and acting as a model when need arose. In 1954, while working in Hollywood, Rita was featured in her husband’s now iconic photograph floating in a chilly pool alongside a fully-decorated Christmas tree. The shot has become an Instagram favorite which never ceased to amaze her. That same year Rita modeled bathing suits in Sports Illustrated Magazine. While they were covering the filming of Mister Roberts in Hawaii in 1955, Rita’s job was to rub Solarcaine on sunburnt Henry Fonda’s back. While in Hollywood, Slim and Rita became friends with Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, Katharine Hepburn and lots of other actors, but she was too humble and dignified to talk about these parties and events. The couple settled in Katonah, NY, along with their daughter Mary. Rita worked as a travel agent for many years in Katonah and in San Francisco.
Rita was keen on current events. She was an accomplished tennis player, an avid bridge player, and a world traveler. She was a member of the Chilton Club in Boston. Her family and friends meant the world to her.
Rita was pre-deceased by her husband Slim, her parents, her beloved step-father Emery Trott, and her brothers Gordon Dewart and Johnstone D. Trott. She is survived by Mary Aarons and Robert Kent of Gloucester MA, her sister Susan Trott of Sausalito CA, a huge extended family, God-children and friends all over the world.
ARRANGEMENTS: There will be a celebration of Rita’s life later this year. Assisting the family with arrangements is O’Donnell Cremations – Funerals – Celebrations, 167 Maple St., (rte 62) DANVERS. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a gift in her honor are encouraged to do so to: Express Yourself, 100 Cummings Center, #165E, Beverly, MA 01915. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit www.odonnellfuneralservice.com.
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