Rose lived a long and beautiful life. Born August 24, 1927 in Manhattan, Rose was the youngest of 9 children, with 8 older brothers. Her father was so thrilled with the gift of having a daughter. He even gave the doctor 10 dollars after Rosie’s birth to show his excitement and appreciation. Rose loved her parents and her brothers.She was a big help at home, often translating from English to Italian to keep her parents informed. She even helped her mother with her citizenship test. When Rose was in high school, she was offered an opportunity to become a teacher out West. She really wanted to teach, but ultimately did not go. She felt as though her family needed her and couldn’t dare leave them. This speaks to her commitment to family.
If you look through old photos, you can see that Rose was very social and had a beautiful, contagious smile. She met her husband Victor in 1945 and they married in 1947. They moved to Queens to start their family and eventually to Brooklyn with their five children: Joseph, Margaret, Grace, Carl and Michael. As they outgrew Brooklyn, they moved their family to Long Island where they stayed for 35 years. Their Long Island home became a place of comfort and belonging. When you entered the Bivona home, you would instantly smell garlic cooking in olive oil and feel the warmth of Rosie’s love. Rose opened her door to anyone who needed a place to stay or a homemade Italian meal. Rose’s mother came to live with the family; at one point, this made their houseland number 8. Her husband worked the night shift, so Rose was often alone during the day with the children. The perfect mix of feisty and sweet, little Rose managed to run a household relatively smoothly (with the help of a wooden spoon).
Rose worked at Estee Lauder for about 15 years, learning first hand the importance of rouge and lipstick. She was loved not only by her own children, but all their spouses as well. She welcomed each son and daughter-in law into the family with her nurturing spirit. At 45 Rose became a grandmother. She watched her family grow with so much joy in her heart. Rose had 14 grandchildren and had the ability to make each of them feel so special. She took them to the city, to the Poconos, to Adventure Land, and to the beach, providing them with memories to cherish the rest of their lives. Every day spent with Grandma Rosie and Grandpa Vic felt extraordinary.
Rose was a fantastic listener, giving her children and grandchildren advice filled with her wit and wisdom. She was incredible at jumping rope, she was an epic Scrabble player, a master of jacks and gin rummy, and she loved dancing, wine and chocolate. Her house was rarely without cake, coffee or italian bread.
Rose and Vic became great-grandparents in 2004. The love they had for their family only seemed to grow with each passing year. Vic passed in 2011. They had been married 63 years. Even after Vic was gone, Rose still lived a full life. Through her journey with dementia, Rosie still continued to be the life of every party. She made everyone laugh and even with her broken arm, she still managed to give the most loving hugs. Despite the loss of her memory, Rosie forever had a special spark, providing everyone she knew with a sense of comfort in knowing that a part of her was still there. Rose entered heaven’s gate with family by her side and in her heart. She left behind 5 children, 10 including their spouses, 14 grandchildren and their spouses, and 15 great grandchildren. She certainly gave Vic the best gift by joining him on his birthday, ten years after his death. There’s no doubt that he had been waiting for her and probably running out of patience.
Rose touched all our lives in such a special, important way. She has inspired us all to be kind and taught us all what it means to be resilient, what it means to love life, what it means to open your heart, and what it means to cherish your family.
In Lieu of flowers the family has requested donations be made to either The Alzheimer's Association of Northeastern NY or The Dementia Society of America. Thank you."