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From Roller Skates to Hand Bells
Marissa Salvesen

By: Marissa Salvesen on August 18th, 2015

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From Roller Skates to Hand Bells

Stories and Spotlights

From_Roller_Skates_to_Hand_BellsMeet Rose Abruzzo, a friendly and welcoming resident of one of our award-winning UMH communities, Middlewoods of Farmington!

Speaking with Rose is like taking a historical tour of Hartford from the late 1930's through the 1940's.

Rose was born into an Italian immigrant family on February 9, 1934 in Hartford, Connecticut's North End.

Her father was born in Italy and came to America through Ellis Island when he was seven years old. He was initially employed by Fuller Brush (in the factory). Remember the famous door to door Fuller Brush salesman?

After a stint with Fuller Brush, Rose's father owned and operated his own printing company, Star Printing Company. Rose's mother was a stay at home mom, guiding Rose and her six siblings; her sisters, Adeline, Mary and Angie, and her brothers, Joe, Lenny and Tony.

Rose attended Weaver High School but her formal education ended at sixteen years old. This was the case for so many children of immigrant families who had to leave school to go to work to help support their families.

As a young teen in Hartford, Rose could be found roller skating at Hartford's Skating Palace. Not just skating left or skating right per the dictates of the program announcer, Rose could be found twirling around to intricate and fancy dance steps wearing her own handmade skating skirts.

Rose worked at the famous Hartford landmark store, J. J. Newbury, on Main Street and later, Aetna Insurance Company. In 1956, Rose and her husband Tony were married at St. Michael's Church in Hartford. Rose was 22 years old at the time of her marriage and after living in Hartford for a few years, she and her husband moved to Farmington, CT where they resided for over fifty years.

Tony was a successful Tool and Die Maker and wished that Rose be a stay at home mom to raise their two adopted sons, Ryan and Craig. While at home, Rose was an enthusiastic volunteer in the Farmington community and spent time knitting and pearling.

Today Rose is one of many happy residents of Middlewoods of Farmington. She is an active crossword puzzler and a bell ringer for the Middlewoods Bell Choir. Italian food tops her food preference list and purple is her color of choice. Her favorite advice is, “Don't get old!” (A bit ironic, since Rose is so young at heart!)

Rose was interviewed by Bob Deasy, a member of our Middlewoods of Farmington team. Bob provides transportation services to our residents for medical appointments, shopping trips, outings, and more! Many thanks to Bob and Rose for their time.


About Marissa Salvesen

My journey into the world of senior living began when I started working for United Methodist Homes in 2010. Starting as an Activities Director at one of our-winning assisted and independent living communities and then transitioning to Marketing and Promotions Manager for UMH, I now work as the Manager of Mission Development, fostering the Mission and Values of our organization. I love sharing stories about the many ways we build meaningful relationships and enrich the lives of those we serve, and am proud to be part of building UMH’s 140-year legacy of caring. Wondering what makes our communities such special places to live and work? Connect with me and find out!

Our Blog is a 2016 Platinum Generations Award Winner! The Generations Award is an annual international competition for excellence in senior marketing recognizing professionals who have communicated to the 50+ Mature Markets.