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Memorial Gathering

Riewerts Memorial Home
Friday September 30th, 2022
1:00pm - 3:00pm

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Memorial Mass

Church of the Ascension
Saturday October 1st, 2022

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Rose Mae O'Connor

Rose Mae O’Connor (née L’Italien), aged 93, passed away peacefully on September 25, 2022.  Rose was born in Hartford, CT, the daughter of French-Canadian immigrants, and grew up in the Bronx, NY.  She met Bob O’Connor when they were teenagers and the two were married in 1949 – she was 20, and he, a ‘cradle-robbed’ 19.  Early in their marriage she worked at a luncheonette, and at a toy factory, saving with her husband to buy their dream home in the suburbs.  The young couple moved to Bergenfield, NJ in 1962 to raise a family (William, Bobby and Cindy) as well as care for Rose’s younger brother Eddie.  She was a gentle and nurturing mother, who ran the house almost single handedly while Bob worked night shifts and overtime to support the young family.  She truly had the patience of a Saint.  Her children were the center of her universe, and there was nothing better than everyone being cuddled up together under a hand-crocheted blanket to watch I Love Lucy, old Abbott and Costello movies, and the annual showing of The Wizard of Oz.  She was an adventurous cook, an aspiring painter, could sew clothing from scratch, and was a talented gardener whose annual tomato crop was a celebrated highlight of Summer – along with her famous coleslaw, a staple at every neighbor’s barbecue.  Rose cherished the ‘coffee klatches’ with neighborhood girlfriends, and her kitchen always had a piece of cake or pie ready to be offered.  She had a wonderful smile and could be counted on to laugh at Bob’s endless jokes – again, the patience of a Saint.  She traveled widely with Bob, first with their young family on camping trips up and down the East Coast, and then internationally when the kids were older.  Rose and Bob saw the world including Europe, China, the Middle East and Australia.  While she loved their adventures, it was the magic of home that brought her the most joy. Christmas was always a highlight of the year for Rose – she filled every inch of the house with decorations, sent out piles of Christmas cards and made a feast on Christmas Day, doing most of the cooking herself.  She always bought an extra present or three in case a relative or friend showed up unexpectedly, and sent cakes and cookies throughout the neighborhood.  She is survived by her children William (Melinda Murat-Blevins), Robert (Richard Lerner), and Cindy; grand-daughter, Eden Rose Katchen; brother, Edward L’Italien (Elizabeth); nephew, Daniel O’Connor (Karin); and grand-nephews, Andrew and Christopher.  A memorial service to celebrate Rose Mae’s life will be held from 1pm-3pm on Friday, September 30, 2022, at Riewerts Memorial Home, 187 S Washington Ave., Bergenfield, NJ, with a Memorial Mass  to take place at 10am on Saturday, October 1, 2022, at Church of the Ascension in New Milford, NJ. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

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Make a donation to Cure Alzheimer's Fund in honor of Rose Mae O'Connor


. . . wanted to share the attached picture which was taken in our Athens\' hotel lobby. Great fellow travelers and incredible sights! Steve and Allene

Steve & Allene Nov 11 2022 6:01 PM

Dear O’Connor Family,

As we were preparing our Holiday mailings, we were saddened to read the news of Bob and Rose’s passings. They were very special people! We met them in 1997 during our two weeks of travel in Italy and Greece. We’ve valued that trip not only for the wonderful sights that we were able to take-in but the opportunity to meet Bob and Rose. We’ve very special memories of them. We will miss their annual updates.

May your memories of the years past provide you with many smiles and great stories during this Holiday Season.

Steve and Allene Dodge

Steve & Allene Dodge Nov 11 2022 5:46 PM

Aunt Rosemae
We love you dearly ! Dad looked forward to talking to his beautiful sister every week . My mother simply adored you not only as a Sister_in_law but a best friend . All of us in Maine are deeply sadened by you and Uncle Robbies passing! Ok love and miss you always and forever! Your niece Carolyn , my son Jayden , your brother Roy L'Italien and your Sister in law / best friend Pauline L'Italien !! You'll be forced in our hearts and I will treasure our memories.... We love you

Carolyn L'Italien Sep 30 2022 2:05 PM

Her infectious smile will be surely missed

John MacNeil Sep 27 2022 1:47 PM