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Celebrating the life of

Rita H. DeLorme

March 07, 1933 - April 29, 2023

Rita H. DeLorme



Rita H. DeLorme 90, of Savannah, Georgia, passed away Saturday, April 29, 2023. An outstanding writer, teacher, historian and beloved mother, Rita was born March 7, 1933, in Savannah, Georgia, the second oldest of ten children of Robert John Harper and Hazel Laves Harper. The great-granddaughter of Irish and German immigrants, she grew up in her grandmother’s boarding house on Habersham Street in the city’s “Old Fort” with her parents and siblings. She attended Cathedral School and St. Vincent’s Academy, where her talent for writing blossomed and won her an award to travel to New York City and Puerto Rico. The same talent resulted in a competitive scholarship to attend the Writers Institute at St. Louis University, an experience which inspired a lifelong practice of writing. She transferred to Georgia Teachers College (now Georgia Southern University) where she received her Bachelor of Science in Education degree in 1955. She taught at Chatham Junior High before marrying Harry H. DeLorme, of Savannah in 1959. Together they enjoyed square dancing, genealogy and antiquing, and raised seven children in Savannah’s Parkside neighborhood, where she lived for nearly 60 years. A devout Catholic, she attended Blessed Sacrament parish for more than five decades, volunteering at the church and affiliated organizations. For many years, she volunteered in the Archives of the Catholic Diocese of Savannah, where she conducted research and published history articles for some 15 years in the Southern Cross newspaper, some of which were compiled in the book Memories and Milestones: Stories from the Archives (2001). She received the Bishop Gartland award for service to the Diocese. Her history and genealogy articles appeared in magazines and publications including Ancestry, Heritage Quest, Georgia Journal and Savannah Magazine. She also published articles on antiques and collectibles in Antique Trader, AntiqueWeek and elsewhere, and wrote thirteen books, fiction and non-fiction, based on family, ancestors, and personal reminiscences, including the self-published My Childhood Career: Growing Up in Savannah’s Old Fort.

Rita was predeceased by her parents, Robert John Harper and Hazel Laves Harper, beloved husband Harry H. DeLorme, Sr., sons Charles and John DeLorme, brothers Robert, Joseph, Mike and Patrick Harper, and sisters Joan Richards, Ann Carter, and Sister Mary Harper, RSM. She is survived by sisters Madge Harper and Frances Wheeler, cousin Louis Waldhour, daughters Leonie Atherton (Bill) and Marie Degenhardt (Charles), sons Harry DeLorme, Jr. (Rachel Green), Paul Delorme (Lisa) and Joseph DeLorme (Beth), grandchildren Caleb DeLorme, Matthew DeLorme, Emma DeLorme, Robert DeLorme, Luke DeLorme, Emily Degenhardt, Anna Atherton, Julia Degenhardt, and Elena Degenhardt, numerous nieces and nephews, and other relatives.

Visitation will be held on Friday, May 5, at Fox and Weeks Hodgson Chapel from 5-7pm. Rosary at 6pm

Funeral Services at 1:00pm Saturday, May 6 at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church with burial to follow at Catholic Ceremony, 

In lieu of flowers, donations in remembrance may be sent to the St. Vincent dePaul Society of Georgia or to Our Lady of Confidence Carmelite Monastery in Savannah  




Your Mother and Grandmother will live on in your hearts and in your memories! My Heart and My Prayers are with each of you during this difficult time! Much Love!

- Greg Waldhour , Savannah , Georgia

May she rest in peace.

- Jane Patricia Harte , Savannah, GA

A candle has been lit!

- Vincent Powers , Savannah, Georgia

We are so sorry to hear about Aunt Rita. She was always so kind and loving. Apart from being accomplished, she built her legacy in her amazing family. And since a mother's work is never done, she will be watching over you from heaven. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Love John and Lynn

- Lynn logan, Summerville, Sc

A lovely tribute to your wonderful mother. All of her children are an outstanding testimony to her love and kindness.

- Debra Van Cott, Savannah, GA

Harry and family, I am sad for your loss.


I only had the pleasure of living across the street from her for the last few years but she was the absolute sweetest. Parkside will miss her dearly. Sending love and prayers to her family and friends.

- Ashley Johnson, Savannah, Ga

Sorry for your loss yet pleased for her gain forever in rest and peace.

- Kenneth and Theresa Martin, Savannah, Ga

Services under the direction of:

Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel