Rose Pastena was born April 14, 1929 in the providence of Avellino, Italy, near Naples. Her parents Silvio and Grace Pastena had four older children, Fiore, Silvio, Antoinette, and Lucille. Rose recalled helping her beloved mother at home as a girl, cooking and doing laundry. In December 1949 she made the long journey by ship to America and by the time she arrived in New York harbor she was exhausted by sea sickness during the winter storms. She never saw her mother again.
Rose lived with her oldest brother Fiore and his wife Anna and their children, Josephine and Bobby. She worked in a glasses factory until she met and married Joseph Ruglio on October 3, 1954. Rose and Joe spent their first three years in Vailsburg in his parents’ family home. During their first year together, they welcomed their first born, Alphonse. They bought their own home in Irvington and had three more sons, Joseph Jr., Louis and Silvio. Rose was delighted by her four boys and she loved being a mom.
In 1985 the family bought a cottage at the Jersey shore. She spent several summers at the beach with her son Al, wife Barbara and granddaughters Christina and Deborah. Grandma R was thrilled to be with her granddaughters during the summer months. She enjoyed playing with them, doing crafts, walking on the beach and collecting pretty sea shells and glistening stones. Her son Lou and wife Ana had two more grandchildren, Deanna and Steven. Grandma R would stay with them at their home and help care for the children. Her greatest joy was her grandchildren.
January 22, 2000, Rose’s husband Joe passed away and she moved to the family home in Kenilworth with her son Joe. In 2006, a great grandson, Giovanni was born. About this time, the family noticed changes in her, which proved to be the beginnings of dementia. Her son Joe continued to care for her at home. She passed away at home on Monday, December 4, 2017. The family is extremely thankful to Joe for his dedication and selfless care of her.
Rose was beautiful inside and out and a mother in the truest sense of the word. She consistently loved her family with a selfless joy. We are forever grateful for her love.