Rosemary Rita Zito Molinaro died at Long Island home in Kings Point on Aug. 25 after 100 years of gracing this Earth with her loving heart, beauty, winning smile and smart, inquisitive mind. Her strong-willed optimism of “I can, I will, I must” was matched by her unconditional love of her family.
She reveled in motherhood and loved children. Rosemary gave selflessly as a devoted wife to Albert, mother to Lorraine M. Molinaro and Valerie A. Molinaro (also of Kings Point) and grandmother to Michelle Birnbach Katz—while also welcoming her son-in-law Howard and grandson-in-law Danny into the family.
Children naturally gravitated to her, and she found gratification as a volunteer at the Head Start program in Peekskill's school system as well as a substitute teacher at Church of the Assumption and a volunteer at the Field Library—both also in Peekskill.
Born on May 5, 1921 in the Bronx, Rosemary graduated with honors from Evander Childs High School in 1939 and went on to business school to learn Gregg Shorthand stenography. She started out as a bookkeeper at the Fireside Inn in Manhattan—preceding each work day by Mass—and then was in customer service and various other roles at Macy’s while she waited patiently for her husband to return from Army service overseas during World War II.
She was a gifted writer of poetry and prose and loved books, libraries, birds and trees. She would arise at dawn to search in philosophy, religion and medical books for answers to the question “why?”
Rosemary was very civic-minded and lamented that civics was no longer taught in schools. She was active in local community matters— including as a volunteer for the American Cancer Society 1960s door-to-door study—and found time to take college courses at Fordham University.
She was a proud government employee in the late State Senator Frank Padavan’s office, the Queens District Attorney’s Office and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, from which she retired. Rosemary always had an American flag displayed in her home, whether in the Bronx, Peekskill, Albany, Oakland Gardens or Kings Point.
Her unconditional love and tireless care were served with a cup of tea which “made everything better,” healing many wounds.
She was interred in a private service with the assistance of Fairchild Sons, Inc. Funeral Chapel at Nassau Knolls Cemetery in Port Washington under a cherry tree with chimes playing from the bell tower.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances made with the donation of a favorite book in her name at a local library would bring a smile from heaven.
Obituary provided by the Molinaro Family.
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