Rita Elaine (née Quinn) Getlin
September 16th, 1930 - May 4th, 2020
Rita Getlin was at home and surrounded by her entire family as the angels came and escorted her home to the arms of her loving maker. A resident of Ramsey for over 58 years, she made her transition with the same grace and gentle courage that guided her life, and we are deeply grateful for every minute we got to walk this earth by her side.
Rita's story is not complicated. She lived in a way that made people feel worthy and loved. A proud native of Maine, she was an only child who grew up in Skowhegan under the same roof as multiple generations of her family. The bonds forged in that house instilled in Rita a deep devotion to family, making her a sensation not only among her children and grandchildren, but in the eyes of every friend and acquaintance we ever had. It wouldn't be possible to count the number of strays who found themselves wrapped in the warm embrace of our matriarch, who approached store clerks and bank tellers as earnestly as she did family members and friends. She offered a loyalty so fierce and unwavering that seeing strangers become treasured confidantes was commonplace.
Rita's electric personality was the only force that could rival her physical beauty. She was crowned Miss Maine in 1947, forbidden by her mother to advance to the Miss America Pageant, and never missed a weekly hair appointment since. Throughout many sophisticated pursuits, she was proud of her down-home roots, and gave them a haven along with the sharp eye she honed for fashion and home decor. With her thick Maine accent and perfectly coiffed white hair, Rita was armed with an endless repertoire of jokes, quips and sage words of wisdom which she inherited from her elders, making her the life of every party without ever taking a drink. She was endearing and incisive, quick-witted and hilarious, yet her dynamism made it such that she could tell a person to go to hell in a way that made them anticipate the trip. Even at her feistiest, she was all about love.
Rita was preceded in death by her mother, Cora V. Quinn, whom she adored. Her father, Senator Clyde H. Smith of Maine, died when she was 8 years old. Rita's grandparents, James and Lillian Quinn, played an indelible role in her life, as did various aunts, uncles and cousins. Chief among the heavenly reunions taking place now, though, is the one between Rita and David Getlin; her WWII fighter pilot soulmate with whom she shared 67 years of marriage and a birthday. Theirs was a legendary love story through which they modeled deeply held values, hard work and unadulterated true love. She is survived by her children, Lisa (Terry) Glattman of Ramsey and Scott Getlin of Nashville, and 6 unbelievably lucky grandchildren, for whom she lived and breathed: Brett (Carrie) Glattman of Towaco, Zachary (Chelsea) Glattman of Ramsey, Kory Glattman of Los Angeles, and Garrett, Grace and Caroline Getlin Snider of Philadelphia. She is also survived by Cole David Glattman; her great-grandson. Relatives and friends are invited to join us in celebration of a radiant life, by holding steadfast to the newfound time being spent with our families amid the Coronavirus pandemic, as Rita firmly believed that charity starts at home. She was a woman for all seasons; especally generous, an angel among us long before she died. She was the finest human being we've ever known, the greatest friend we've ever had, and we will honor her life forever.
All services were privately held by the Aloia Funeral Home, 180 Harrison Avenue, Garfield, NJ (973-340-7077). Condolences visit aloiafuneral.com