By Stephanie Jones
Rosalie McCanner Engel was an active PSGCNJ member who sadly passed away on May 9, 2013 at Somerset Medical Center. Rosalie was on the Membership Committee and always had a wonderful warm smile when she greeted members as they arrived for the Monday General Meetings. I found her to be reserved, soft spoken and a lovely woman. I wish I had the opportunity to get know her better. I remember when I arrived to set up for the Christmas Party, Rosalie was already there, the first person to arrive to help. She jumped right in and asked me what she could do so we started moving around tables, throwing tablecloths atop tables and decorating for the event.
Since Rosalie was a part of the Membership Committee, a group of us attended her funeral service. I was very impressed by Rosalie’s many accomplishments. She was born and raised in Washington, DC, then lived in Flushing, NY before moving to Somerset in 1984. She graduated from George Washington University with a BS in Science in 1965. Working as a chemist for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Rosalie searched for toxins in food. A stay-at-home mom for a number of years, she later worked at Kmart. Rosalie was a homemaker and dedicated mother who enjoyed sewing, knitting and doing puzzles. In her spare time she read science books, gardened and was an accomplished pianist.
Rosalie was a single mom of two sons, one of whom died prematurely and she is survived by her 20 year old son, Eric. During the eulogy, her son Eric spoke movingly about Rosalie. He said she spoke German but he never learned it from her and regretted not doing so. He said she loved to cook and even though she wasn’t feeling well, she would make him delicious dinners. Just recently she had prepared beef and broccoli for him while he fixed his car outside. He described Rosalie as a dedicated Mother. He would hear the washing machine swishing laundry, and pots and pans banging around in the kitchen, early in the morning before he woke up. Towards the end of her illness, when she was having a bad day, she would play Beethoven and Bach to lift her spirits. Since she loved to knit, I wondered if she made that quintessential Christmas sweater she was wearing at the Christmas party!
Rosalie will be sorely missed at PSGCNJ. She has a permanent place in our hearts as we remember her through our found memories. You can send condolences to the family via www.brucecvanarsdalefuneralhome.com.
By Stephanie Jones