~~“Mariiiiiiiaaaaa” was the familiar evening call to dinner that would ring out over Prince’s Farm almost every summer night when Rose Frieri (nee Zara) would call her children, specifically her beloved youngest at the time, Maria, to dinner. That was Rosie (her husband Frank’s pet name for her) because it was always family first. Sunday pasta dinners at her first and only marital home in Springfield were a family staple. The wide ranging topics of conversation at the dinner table were always grounded in Grandma’s meatballs. Rose was famous for slipping in the occasional corn flake when she ran out of bread crumbs and it was not beyond her to get us all to eat healthier with the occasional turkey or chicken meatball as well. Today that would be a half hour show on The Food Network but in Rosie’s day it was just ingenuity and getting the job done as was common for the Greatest Generation. No matter how the meatballs were enjoyed by her guests all that mattered was if her grandsons Spenser and Daniel liked them and needless to say they always loved them.
The diminutive Rose bested her husband and sons as a younger mother when she out high jumped them during their backyard competition to everyone’s amazement. Rose was also famous in the neighborhood for cutting the front lawn in her short pants and showing off her famous dancer’s legs. Her beloved husband of 54 years, Frank, coined the phrase ‘if you got it, flaunt it.’ Rose never met a slot machine she didn’t love. She certainly loved her monthly trips to the casino and she never turned down a scratch off lottery ticket. Rose also spent a very rewarding five years as a volunteer at Summit Overlook Hospital. The stories are legendary and could go on forever, but the thing she was most proud of was her 54 year marriage to her lifelong love Frank, her six children, her 10 grandchildren and 8 great grand children.
Rose was born April 5, 1927 and died on June 21, 2016. Rose spent her youth growing up on Oregon Street in Union and met her husband Frank when they were children. Rose and Frank were married upon his return home from World War II. While they lived for a short time in Union, Rose and Frank built their first and only home in Springfield in 1947 and started a family soon thereafter. Rose was blessed with six children, Joyce Picone (William), Joseph, Frank (Sharon), John (Donna), Maria White (Dr. Robert) and David. Rose was very grateful to have seen so many grandchildren grow up into fine young adults. She was blessed with Jared Potito (Jennifer), Aaron Potito (Valerie), Morgan Peters (Jonathan), Nathan Frieri, Jacob Frieri, Bethany Frieri, Molly Frieri (Ed), Daniel Frieri, Julia Cassisi (Alex) and Spenser Frieri. Not only are her grandchildren wonderful people they blessed Rose with eight Great Grandchildren. Samantha Potito, Zachary Potito, Eoin Potito, Conor Potito,Liam Potito, Aviva Peters, Tyler Marker and Dahlia Neff. Rose was predeceased by her beloved husband Frank and her spectacular youngest son David.
Rose leaves behind a legacy of perfection, love, humor and family. In addition to flowers, your tax deductible donations would be gratefully appreciated to: David’s Way, Inc., 307 Timberline Road, Mountainside, New Jersey 07092
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. James the Apostle Church, 45 S. Springfield Ave in Springfield on Saturday, June 25th at 10:00am. Interment will follow at Fairview Cemetery. Friends are invited to visit at Bradley, Smith & Smith Funeral Home, 415 Morris Ave in Springfield on Friday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9pm. For further information or to send a condolence, please visit www.bradleyfuneralhomes.com.