Mary Anita DeWitt, fondly called Anita, passed away at home on May 26, 2021 with the aroma of lavender, soft music and her loving family surrounding her on her ultimate journey.
A lifelong resident of Newport, RI; Anita was born on March 26, 1936 to Mary (Antone-Weston) Brookins and Ernest B. Weston; both deceased. Brothers Kenneth Black and Edward Weston survive Anita. Preceded her in death is her sister Charlotte Weston Smith and her brother Michael Black. She is also survived by her dear sister Valerie Lee with whom she had an extraordinary close relationship.
Anita is survived by her five children Gail DeWitt, Fred DeWitt, Terri (DeWitt) Lawrence, Ernest DeWitt and Ronald DeWitt, daughters-in-law Wanda DeWitt and PJ DeWitt, and her bonus daughter Laurie Allan. A delightfully proud and fun grandmother to her seven grandchildren who fondly called her Grandma or Two Shoes; they all will continue to love her dearly. She will be missed by her 13 great grandchildren and a host of nieces and nephews.
Anita loved Newport and working in the community and she enjoyed her many traveling adventures around the world, particularly those adventures with the Daisy Divas. She loved traveling to Texas; visiting the skyscrapers and shopping the malls. She was a lifelong member of Community Baptist Church (CBC) where she served the youth and was a member of CBC Sisterhood Ministry and for years, she faithfully sent cards to the sick and shut-in.
Anita graduated from Rogers High School in 1953. Anita obtained her Associate Degree from Roger Williams Community College and a Bachelor of Science, and Masters in Art, Human Development and Holistic Counseling both from Salve Regina University.
She worked several years at Newport Telephone Company, Project Head Start, and Newport Martin Luther King Center where she oversaw Adolescent Residential Center (ARC). Last employment was with the r Newport School Department where she served as Community Advisory Specialist and retired after 21 years of service.
Anita’s hallmark was her commitment to education, inclusion and fairness for minorities and the underserved in Newport. She served on the Aquidneck Island Minority Student Scholarship and Mora Brown Hammonds Scholarship, Dr. Martin Luther King Center Board of Directors, Early Childhood Development Advisory Committee, Minority Affairs Community – NEARI – Honorary Member, NAACP, New Visions of Newport Communication Career Program -Newport Child and Family Services, Newport Community Task Force on Substance Abuse, Newport County Council of Community Service, Newport County Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect, Newport REC Reunion , Newport School Department’s Child Abuse Reporting Committee, Project First Step, Rev. Robert Williams Scholarship Fund, Robert L. Williams Black History, Roger Williams University, Bridge to Success, Rogers High School – Afro Experience Club Advisor and Black History Steering Committee, Rogers High School Counseling Curriculum Council, Salve Regina University Advisory Committee for Social Work Program, Secondary Child Find Community, Strategic Planning Community, Minority Recruitment United Way of Southeastern New England, Women’s Support Group, WPRI-TV Advisory Committee, Young Parents Program of Rhode Island, and Alpha Kappa Alpha. Often recognized by Community Baptist Church for her contribution to the children, the homeless and angel tree gift giving. Anita received special recognition for community service from Cape Verdean American Association, Rhode Island Senate Resolution 84-S-99; Jefferson Award; and National Alliance of Businessmen Award.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, June 3, 2021 at Memorial Funeral Home on 375 Broadway between the hours 4pm-7pm.
Celebration Service will be held at Community Baptist Church, 50 Dr. Marcus Wheatland Blvd, Friday, June 4, at 11:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, cards and gifts please consider a donation to:
Community Baptist Church, Children Ministry, 50 Dr. Marcus Wheatland Blvd., Newport, RI 02840
Mora Brown Hammonds Scholarship Fund, PO Box 4614, Middletown, RI 02842
Two benches will be placed at Miantonomi Memorial Park in memory Mary A. DeWitt – go sit once in a while and think about Anita and how she loved the Newport Community.
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