Rosemary E. Thumudo

  • Born: September 15, 1934
  • Died: January 25, 2022
  • Location: East Norriton, Pennsylvania

John F. Givnish Funeral Home

10975 Academy Road
Philadelphia, PA 19154

Tel. (215) 281-0100

Tribute & Message From The Family

Rosemary Thumudo (nee Massaro) was born in Utica, NY on September 15th 1934 and died unexpectedly on January 25th, 2022. Her parents were Frank Massaro & Theresa Cardinale. A few years after she was born, her Mother died. Rose and her two Sisters (Josephine & Carol) later moved to Philadelphia with their father. She spent most of her youth in Philly and after graduating from South Philly High, Rose moved back to Utica where she got a job working for Utica Mutual Insurance Company. Rose was barely into her 20's, when her Cousin Diana invited her to double date with she and her new male friend. On that date, Rose sat in the backseat of a car with her Cousin while the two men sat in the front. My Mom leaned over to Diana and said 'which one is my date?' Diana replied 'the one with the cowboy hat'. These blind dates led to loving marriages for both for couples - Diana to Bob and Rose to Louis A Thumudo Jr.

Rose and Lou soon became a couple and moved to NYC. Lou who was enlisted in the Navy moved to their first assignment as newlyweds to Panama where their daughter Laura was born. Then they were off to New Jersey where their son Patrick (me) was born. When I was just a few years old, we moved back to Panama for a second brief time. Next stop was Woodbridge, Virginia for a few years and then back to Philadelphia where their love affair spanned another 25 or so years until Louie's sudden death in early 1995.

During the next 25 or so years after his death, my Mom lived independently until we realized together that she needed some assistance and more social stimulation. That's when we chose a senior caregiving company called Home Instead. Over a time period that coincided with the first year of Covid, with their care, she not only thrived in her home but she developed lasting friendships with a number of these caregivers. Folks like Debbie, Patty, Jaime, Bea, Jennifer, Joan, Tim as well as other homecare providers like Joe, Jim and Nicole, were vital to helping her maintaining a good life in her home.

It wasn't long after that that it became time to have a serious discuss about moving from the home she'd lived in for about fifty years. It was time to downsize. RoRo needed a smaller living space where she could get around more independently, but she we knew that she also needed just a tad more care. After much poking, prodding, persuasion and encouragement, my Mom reluctantly caved and it was time to begin the process. We started by sifting through and packing up decades of memories and choosing which of her favorite pieces of furniture and niknaks she'd like to take to a new home. Next started the search for a new place. After taking a ride out to East Norriton, we discovered what would become the next leg of her journey…..the Brightview Senior Living Community.

At the young age of 86ish, Rose settled into Brightview in the Summer of 2021. After slowing getting her feet wet and unsure of what lay ahead, she seemed to just jump right in and soon found herself smiling and laughing and before you knew it, she was living a new and better chapter in her life.

My Mom got a kick out of the 'old' people there and she'd spend hours sharing the day's events with me when I'd call or visit. She was so fortunate to have met such a caring group of people there as well. In just a short time, folks like Devon, Rita, Elena, Sarah, Kim, Micah, Brooke, Laurie, Karen, Alzira, Apryl, OKera and Natasha and countless others made this transition so seamless. We can't say enough good things about the place or the people.

My loss, my grief and my sadness are not novel but when I think about the overwhelming outpouring of support and love that I have been surrounded by since her death, it's made me realize that I am not alone in my grief. It's been both heartwarming and heartbreaking to discover just how many people's lives my Mother had touched. I'd like to think that people did not pass through my Mom's life but rather, that she passed through theirs.

I am incredibly lucky to have had a Mom that was not only doting, kind & deeply caring, selfless, empathetic, practical, inquisitive, organized, curious and thoughtful and a great listener but one that always wanted to make sure I was safe and happy. Even in the last few years making sure I wore my booties when it snowed, making sure that if I was going out to 'eat' at 9:00 that I didn't drink too much, ending many of our conversations by telling me to 'be good', and even most recently, after getting my booster, periodically asking how my arm was. I actually have quite a few saved voice mails that I can look back on to make me smile when I need a nice jolt of RoRo.

She also didn't know the phrase 'silence is golden'. If my Mom had a thought in here head, it had to be said. I remember when I was a kid and we were in the car at a gas station and she said 'it smells like gas' or on another occasion when we were on the BQE in NYC and there was a lot of traffic and she said 'where is everyone going?' Sometimes I would call for a timeout to see how long she could keep from speaking and she always failed and miserably so!

My Mom may not have been the loudest voice in the room but you knew she was there. She was on the sidelines, with her smile and her facial expressions. She was a hoot. She had a voracious appetite for reading, was quite the news buff, enjoyed watching TV and doing crossword puzzles. She often cut out things for me to read or jotted down things she wanted to tell or ask me about (both habits I have inherited). She was sharp and could tell me a story about my childhood one minute and then later rehash with me the episode of the Masked Singer she'd gotten me hooked on.

She also loved watching cooking shows, games shows like America Says, Match Game 1995 and Chain Reaction and a few years back, we used to compare notes after each episode of the Amazing Race and Survivor.

Rose had been a widow for over 26 years and her strength and perseverence over these last few decades was something to truly admire. We had a rocky relationship after my Dad died and it took a lot of years for me to develop the profound affection I came to have for her. I was very fortunate that we had all those years to get to that place. As she needed me more and more these past couple of years, looking back, at no time can I even think of a time where I ever felt burdened or obligated to do or be there for her. It just was.

She was a force and I thought she was invincible. Aside from her Mother's early death, there is a lot of longevity on her side of the family. Many living into their late nineties.

Her life had been tricky but she'd managed to navigate through some very difficult and challenging times. She grew up in a household where her stepmother despised her. In 1995, she lost her life Partner (my Dad was the one who handled most everything when he was alive and my Mom hadn't worked or even driven since before I was born yet somehow after his death, she was able to manage maintaining a household all by herself for over 25 years)..

She suffered the loss of three of her male grandchildren (Joe, Kenny and Nick) and the impact of her nephew Joe's death in the 1990's was especially painful because he was her bestie for so many years. I know she never quite got over that loss. She also cared for her Sister Jo in her home for a number of years before she died of cancer in 2010.

Rosie had smoked for over 50 years and developed COPD but she wouldn't let that get in her way. Before she moved to Brightview, we'd go grocery shopping together almost every week and would have lunch or dinner at some of her favorite eateries. She'd had a few falls and bouts with pneumonia the last few years but she never broke anything and each time she came home from rehab, she seemed better than ever. I thought she was one of the lucky ones and would live on and on especially because she seemed to have eluded the Big C thus far, but her liver and her heart had other plans so her sudden death has been especially shocking and painful.

Besides her two children and her Sister Carol, she is also survived by many cousins, her nieces Rita, Trish and Kathy, her Nephew Kevin, great nieces & nephews as well as her Sister-in-law Louise.

Rose loved roses. She would probably love to be surrounded by roses at her viewing but recognizing that this is Valentine's Day season, it'd probably cost and arm and a leg to buy ANY flowers now. RoRo also loved cats so donating in her name to the Morris Animal Refuge in Philadelphia would be fitting. This is where I adopted two of my four cats (her grandbabies) from.

This tribute Mom, I wrote it for you because you deserve it and I wanted everyone to know it.

PS - I stopped by to see Dad the other day and I told him you were on your way so he is expecting you. You and Dad are finally back together and that makes me happy.

On Saturday the 5th, I've asked that the procession drive by your/our old house on the way to your final resting place so for one last time, you can see the place that brought you so many years of happiness.

I may be alone now but I know there won't be a day that passes that I won't talk about, be reminded of or think about you. I will miss you all the days of the rest of my life.

Rest in peace my beautiful Mother.

Relatives and friends are invited to greet Rose's family on Saturday, February 5, 2022 from 10:00 AM until her Funeral Service at 11:00 AM at the John F. Givnish Funeral Home, 10975 Academy Road, Philadelphia, PA 19154. The family is requesting masks be worn at all times inside the Funeral Home. Her interment will follow at Rosedale Cemetery, Bensalem.