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Dorothy J. “Dottie” Rose

Dorothy J. “Dottie” Rose, 88, of Topsfield died Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at the Masconomet Healthcare Center after a stay of just over a month.

Born in Sherman Mills, ME, on the eve of the Great Depression, she was one of five children of the Fred D. and Ethel A. (Rush) Lewis and later raised six children of her own. After graduating from Sherman High School and Regis College, Dottie married Ralph M. Rose of Garfield, NJ, after meeting him on a blind date in Massachusetts. They moved to Saddle Brook, NJ, and she took a job as a high school English teacher in Garfield. She wasn’t all that fond of their first acquisition, a monkey named JoJo, who liked to bite women. As their family grew, they moved to Wyckoff, NJ —minus the monkey.

As a longtime member of St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church in Wyckoff, she was a member of the Parish Council and a founding member of the church’s prayer group. In recent years, she was a member of the St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Topsfield. Wherever she lived, she attended Mass every day she was able. When she couldn’t make it, her “dear friends” stepped in, bringing communion to her.

Dottie was a hard worker, starting at a young age picking potatoes with her sister Ella, recalling those times with laughter and joy, if not the wages – 35 cents a barrel. At various times, she took jobs such as teaching French at St. Elizabeth’s and keeping books at the local Wyckoff News, even as she raised her children. She also worked at Sharp Electronics in New Jersey for ten years before retiring at age seventy and moving to Massachusetts.  Each time she took a job, she made new friends.
Family and prayer were always at the center of Dottie’s life.

When times were tough, Dottie kept going. Rarely spending money on herself, she sometimes negotiated with doctors and others when it was hard to pay the bills as she raised her family. After the tragic deaths of two of her sons, she kept going, encouraging family and friends to pray for them, and for the living. “Thy will be done,” she often said.

She was full of life, playing basketball in high school, St. Regis College and later was an avid fan of Georgetown University’s basketball team -- and any team her grandchildren played on. She once took the challenge of racing her oldest son Ed, in the back yard in Wyckoff, and laughed when he beat her by a whisker. Later, she enjoyed taking family and friends on yearly vacations with her timeshare, and when she could no longer do that, she cherished their visits to her Topsfield apartment.

Members of Dottie’s family remember her as a loving sister, mother, mother-in-law, aunt, grandmother, and great-grandmother, putting others before herself. She was the one they turned to for strength and inspiration, always encouraging them to pray over life’s challenges.

She is survived by three sons, Edward B. Rose and his partner Chris Snow of RI, Robert L. Rose and his wife Kimberly of PA, and Joseph A. Rose and his wife Ellen of Ipswich; a daughter, Marie McArdle and her husband Jamie of Topsfield; fourteen grandchildren, Rebecca, Emily, Richard, William and Sandra Rose, Erica, Sarah and Laura McArdle, Jessica, Andrew, Michael, Allyson, Susan and Kate Rose; five great grandchildren, a sister, Ella Bates of Delaware, and many loving nieces and nephews. She was the mother of the late Richard B. Rose formerly of NJ and John L. Rose formerly of ME; grandmother of the late Stephanie Rose formerly of Ipswich and sister of the late William Lewis, Margaret Davis and Althea Sullivan.

Her funeral will be held 9 am Friday, February 3 from the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home, 6 High Street, Ipswich followed by the celebration of a  Funeral Mass of Christian Burial at 10 am St. Rose of Lima Church, 12 Park St., Topsfield. Family and friends are respectfully welcomed. Visiting hours are Thursday 5 to 8 pm. Her Interment service will be held 11 am Saturday in the Cedar Lawn Cemetery, Paterson, NJ. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations in her name may be made to Cure SMA, 925 Busse Rd., Elk Grove, IL, 60007.

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