C'est la fin. Dressed in fresh, striped pajamas, as her feet were being rubbed by one of her girlfriends, Rita Sherman left us as she wished, at home surrounded by friends on March 29, after her strong-willed spirit battled cancer for nineteen months.
Born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey to her French mother, Simone Wormser Greenberg, and her father Irving Greenberg, Rita grew up bilingual and greatly enjoyed her travels overseas with her mother on the Queen Mary to visit relatives in the south of France, especially her Aunt Jacqueline.
Rita attended the University of Florida and graduated in 1971, then became a flight attendant for Pan Am where she was fascinated traveling to many exotic cities throughout the world. Changing careers, she began a court reporting business in New York City, then moved to Aspen in 1980 to ski, and did she ski!
In Aspen, she co-owned and co-operated Rocky Mountain Reporters, a court reporting business for nearly 20 years, then transitioned into real estate later in life. For several years, Rita was a real estate broker with Carol Dopkin Real Estate where she was loved and valued for her friendship, input, outgoing personality, and superb skills. Until recently, Rita remained active in real estate, acting as the HOA Designated Broker for the Brush Creek Landowners Association Inc.
In Aspen, Rita lived a life that was well-lived. She loved the surrounding mountains and a day on the ski slopes, and Rita happily skied into her 70s. She was the consummate hostess and her house Camp Rita was the common gathering place for her large family of Roaring Fork Valley friends. In the summer, she loved camping, hiking, mountain biking, playing golf, and volunteering for local events and organizations such as the Aspen Ideas Festival, Challenge Aspen, the Buddy Program, the Aspen Animal Shelter, Meals on Wheels, and the Aspen nonprofit Conflict Resolution.
Rita was a woman who did not suffer fools gladly. Her humor, fun-filled spirit, and love of food attracted friends from coast to coast. They and her family already miss her madly. Rita’s devotion to others inspired those around her to help with her caregiving when she suddenly became ill and needed help. Her long-time friend, Steve, and many other close friends, especially her girlfriends, circled around her like a tribe until the end of her journey.
She is survived by those friends, her close family of cousins and other relatives in Florida, her ex-husband Tom, and her Cowboy Corgi dog Sammy. Rita’s wish was for her ashes to be spread in a favorite camp spot in the Utah desert, and in the garden of her home in Aspen, next to her best friend Jan’s ashes, where they can be together for eternity. A memorial service is being planned for late June.