Rosera S. DiPiero, 70, passed away on Saturday, October 29 at New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York City.
Faith, family and tradition were some of the hallmarks of Rose’s life. She was known for her warmth, generosity and maternal love – for her family and beyond.
She was born in Camden to the late Salvatore and Rose née Serio Petarra and lived in Middletown for the past 36 years.
Rose is survived by her loving husband of 51 years, Domenic M. DiPiero; two sons Domenic M. DiPiero III and his wife Hilary and David M. DiPiero; a daughter Donna R. Gibson and her husband Christopher; five grandchildren: Domenic IV, Isabella, Grace, Ava and Christopher; and a sister Joan Bell.
“Rose DiPiero was truly a great example of faith,” said Msgr. Philip A. Lowery, pastor of St. James Church, Red Bank. “A wonderful lady who truly lived out the Gospel message each day of her life.”
A Eucharistic Minister at St. James, Rose attended Mass every day, brought Holy Communion to the hospitals, hosted Rosary Society meetings at her home, visited pilgrimages and Catholic holy sites around the world, and prayed every day for a long list of people that stretched back decades. She prayed at football games, not necessarily for the team her family was rooting for – or playing with. She prayed that no one would be hurt.
Karen Fitzgerald, director of the Red Bank chapter of Birthright, a crisis pregnancy center, was a fellow Eucharistic Minister at St. James. “Rose was an extremely generous, kind person, and a loyal supporter of Birthright,” she said, noting Rose’s frequent donations to Birthright needs such as clothing, diapers, formula and more. A familiar and reassuring face at 8 a.m. daily Mass, she brought comfort to many, according to Fitzgerald.
Rose often hosted a traditional Roman Catholic ritual known as the May Crowning, honoring the Virgin Mary, at her home in May. Her friends and many St. James parishioners looked forward to attending the annual event.
Rose’s faith and commitment was notable, according to Lowery. “I could never say enough outstanding things about her and how she interacted with people. She would give to everyone. Rose was Rose.”
He tells of the day Rose was missing from morning Mass and the others asked him: “Should we start the Mass without Rose?”
“She was that dedicated,” he said.
When she returned, he said, she confessed she had been babysitting her grandchildren.
Rose loved to cook and bake for everyone and held large holiday dinners and special family celebrations around her dinner table. Her door was always open to all.
As important as her faith was, her family was paramount. Rose was not just Ro-Ro to her cherished grandchildren, but to their friends as well. Friends, neighbors, teachers, and acquaintances knew and loved Ro-Ro.
Her children and grandchildren knew that bringing home friends any time – day or night – was not a problem. She would embrace and happily feed them – classmates, football teams, visiting friends and all.
“Mrs. DiPiero was a lot of different things to different people,” said Bruno Stanziale of Rumson who grew up with Rose’s children and is still a close friend of the family.
“She was a consistently calming presence for me,” he said. “She was everything that was right in a family and in a relationship … She raised so many people outside of her immediate family.”
Around Rose, Stanziale said, he and others felt peaceful, and a “natural sense of belonging … She always made you feel like you belong. And she was understanding of people’s needs and challenges.”
Quiet and behind-the-scenes, Rose opened her house, her kitchen and her heart to everyone. Her meatballs, many say, were legendary.
“She was the architect of all the good times,” Stanziale said. “She brought everyone to her home and to her table. She was the maestro of bringing everyone together.”
Visitation was held at the John E. Day Funeral Home, Red Bank. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. James R.C. Church, Red Bank at 10 a.m. on Thursday, November 3. Burial will follow at the Mount Olivet Cemetery, Middletown.
Please visit the memorial website at johnedayfuneralhome.com.
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