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Josephson, Rita Doris Seavey

Rita Doris Seavey Josephson passed quietly Thursday evening, Jan. 11, 2018, in her home at The Atriums in Overland Park, Kansas, at age 89. Known for her colorful personality and loving attachment to family and friends, she was born in 1928 and lived a long and eventful life.

The daughter of Bertha and Louis Seavey, she was born and grew up in Portland, Maine, with a younger brother and among a large close-knit family of aunts, uncles, and cousins. Like many in her generation, her early experience of the Great Depression and World War II made an indelible impression of enterprise and frugality. Her parents ran Seavey’s, Maine’s only kosher delicatessen, where Rita worked every day after school, although not always happily. An excellent student, Rita won the Brown Medal upon graduation from Portland High School, although she was unable to attend college, a fact she regretted. 

She married Carl Mack in 1950 and had one son, David, in 1952. After her divorce she moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where she met her second husband, Marvin Friedman, and married him in 1958. Marvin adopted David, and they had a son, Alan, in 1959. After the boys grew, Rita took advantage of her life-long love of antiques and jewelry to start and successfully run Maine-ly Things, which came to specialize in antique jewelry, many purchased during family trips to Maine in the summer, and sold in antique shows throughout the Midwest. She developed many loyal customers who became friends and awaited her next show in their area.

She divorced Marvin in 1982 and married Frank Josephson, the man who was to be the love of her life, in 1983. Frank and Rita both retired shortly after marrying and kept up a very busy schedule of social life, community work and travel around the world. They enjoyed Frank’s daughter, Nan, and her family, and frequently babysat her son, Bryan. They developed a network of friends through their travels, including a large group in Rum, Austria, where they frequently spent summers. In their later years, they became proud grandparents of Sebastian, the son of Alan and his wife Gosia. Rita and Frank lived in the same house in Kansas City until they got sick in 2012 and moved to assisted living. Frank miraculously survived an aortic aneurysm, but died of complications in 2014. 

Rita is survived by her sons, David and Alan Friedman of Fleming Island, Florida, and West Lafayette, Indiana; her step-daughter, Nan Josephson and husband Rick Bailey and son Bryan Bailey of Prairie Village, Kansas; by David’s wife, daughter, and grand-daughter, Rose Ann Friedman of Fleming Island, Ashley Callahan and Olivia Friedman of Austin, Texas; by Alan’s wife and son, Gosia Friedman and Sebastian Friedman of West Lafayette. Her brother, Allan Seavey, of Aventura, Florida, predeceased her.

Funeral services were held Monday, Jan. 15, 2018, at The Louis Memorial Chapel; interment followed at Sheffield Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Congregation Ohev Sholom, 5311 W. 75th St., Prairie Village, KS 66208 or Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh, 400 Deering Ave., Portland, ME 04103.

Online condolences may be left for the family at www.louismemorialchapel.com.

Arrangements by The Louis Memorial Chapel, 816-361-5211.