MaryAnn Rosen, age 84, of Rome, died May 9, 2011 at Oneida Hospital, surrounded by her loving family. She was born in 1927, in Luzerne, PA, the daughter of Anna Cicero and Samuel Savoca. On June 11, 1955, she married Robert Rosen, enjoying a blessed union of over fifty years.
MaryAnn is survived by her beloved husband, Robert Rosen, cherished daughter, Lynn and her partner, John H. Dominic Jr. She is also survived by her sisters, Connie Morrash, of Wilkes Barre, PA, and Josephine (Josie) Johnston, of Jacksonville, FL; her aunts, Sally Marchese, of Boynton Beach, Florida, Fran Disano, of Luzerne, PA; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. As part of her extended family, Marie Fiaschetti was her devoted caregiver for many years. She was predeceased by two brothers, Vincent James Savoca and Nickolas Savoca. She was also predeceased by her wonderful and well-known canine companion, Winston, whose pet column appears every week in the Sunday Sentinel.
MaryAnn lived her life with flamboyance, style, passion and courage. Having lost her mother while still a young girl, she helped to raise her siblings the best she could. Music became her savior and she enjoyed great success as a young chanteuse. While only a teenager, she signed a long term recording contract with New York City based Seger Records and released a solo album under the stage name of MaryAnn Kelly. She had a tremendously popular hit record, "If I Ever Fall In Love" backed with "Willful Lies," co-written with well-known songwriter, Cy Coleman. Her voice could be heard on many radio and television programs, including the popular Arthur Godfrey show. She guest-starred on many of these programs, including "The Eva Gabor Show." MaryAnn also took part in a radio show on behalf of the US Army & US Air Force Recruiting Service, along with popular recording stars of the time: The Ames Brothers, Eddie Fisher and Johnny Ray.
Over the years, she performed live on numerous occasions, both as a solo performer and as part of an ensemble. In 1955, she created a group called "The Velvetones," which were an all-female barbershop quartet. She also performed with the "Sweet Adelines" quartet and was President of the Women’s Barbershop Chorus. MaryAnn also performed for the residents of nursing homes that her company, Resident Shoppers Service, visited. Imagine the delight in their eyes and hearts while singing along with MaryAnn to old familiar songs. She brought her passion for the elderly to each home she visited, working tirelessly to make sure their presence was recognized and their voices heard. Her band, "Sass with Class," alongside piano player, Lou Palmer, helped to make these visits even more memorable. One of her backup band members was Jack Palmer, who was well known in his own right having played with the Harry James Band (with Frank Sinatra as vocalist).
MaryAnn was an integral part of her husband Robert’s business, Rosen’s Menswear. It was a well known clothing establishment in downtown Rome for many years. During this time, MaryAnn began volunteering at local nursing homes. Noticing the residents’ limited means to shop and purchase clothing, she came up with the idea of bringing a store directly to them. Thus, "The Department Store on Wheels" was born.
As a passionate entrepreneur, MaryAnn began Resident Shoppers Service in February 1974, becoming proudly certified with the State of New York as a Woman Owned Business. The company continues to this date, providing not only clothing and shoes, but a social event for those in nursing homes.
MaryAnn enjoyed many hobbies, including golf and bowling. She excelled on the golf course and bowling alley and won many tournaments through the years while a member of the Women’s City Amateur Golf for the Greater Rome Area, the Women’s New York State Bowling Association, League Champions Women’s International.
She was a devoted member of many organizations throughout the years, including: NYSHFA (New York State Health Facilities Association), AALTP (Activities Association for Leisure Time Personnel of NYS), Teugega Country Club, Humane Society of Rome, Inc., corporate member of the Bureau of Family Services, president of the Women’s Guild of Oneida County Hospital, and a member of the Board of Directors and secretary in the Campaign Cabinet of the United Way.
MaryAnn has received numerous community and other awards for her commitment to excellence through her outstanding and highly valued volunteer work: Volunteer for the American Red Cross supporting various drives and fund raisers to help those in need; Volunteer for United Way "Citation for Community Service," awarded to MaryAnn Rosen "in recognition of outstanding achievement in serving the human needs of our community" (Rome United Way Campaign), also she volunteered to send "Christmas Cheer Ditty Bags" to soldiers during the Vietnam Conflict; Recipient of the "Community Better Life Award" of the American Nursing Home Association, "in recognition of unselfish and dedicated efforts on behalf of better health care of the aged, chronically ill and convalescent"; Award presented to MaryAnn Rosen from County Executive for "being cognizant of the needs and aspirations of our senior people" and "for fostering their improved quality of life" and "heartfelt thanks of the Dept. of the Office for the Aging of Oneida Co."; YWCA of Greater Utica, MaryAnn Rosen, one of twelve women honored for their "outstanding contributions in their fields" — "Entrepreneur."
The family would like to extend sincere thanks to the 4th floor staff and the ICU Unit at Oneida Healthcare Center for their continued care and compassion during MaryAnn’s illness. Very special and heartfelt thanks go to Dr. I. Renza Samad and Dr. M.A. Rathika Martyn.
MaryAnn lived her life to its fullest and had no regrets. She loved to sing, travel, help others, enjoy golf, bowling, cooking, boating in beautiful Alexandria Bay and so much more.
Activist, volunteer, entertainer, businesswoman, wife and mother, MaryAnn will be remembered by us all.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at St. Paul’s Church. Burial will be in Rome Cemetery. There are no calling hours. Arrangements are by the Barry Funeral Home, 807 W. Chestnut St.
Please offer online tributes or light a candle at: www.BarryFuneralHome.com
One of MaryAnn’s many dreams in life was to see a new Humane Society shelter being built at long last. Per her wishes and in lieu of flowers, please kindly consider making a contribution to the Humane Society of Rome Building Fund.
"Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass... It’s about learning to dance in the rain."