Holmdel Funeral Home Funeral Home
26 South Holmdel Road, Holmdel, New Jersey
Rosemarie Reddington, 83, of Long Branch, died peacefully at home on Wednesday, May 4th surrounded by her children and beloved niece.
Born in Cloonmoore, County Mayo, Ireland, she was one of eight children raised on a farm held by the family for generations. She often spoke of breakfast being cooked in the bog before school and the jokes she would play when she was young. Once, having no money to go to a local dance, she dressed as a nun and went door to door in the village asking for donations. When she raised what she needed, she dressed again, this time as a man and rode her bicycle past her father as he worked in the field. Hello, Michael, she said with a wave in the deepest voice she could muster.
In 1956, at the tender age of 17, she set out for America. When asked if she was afraid to leave home, she said, no, telling us it was the biggest adventure of her life. She had no idea it would be the last time she saw her father. In 1959, she met the love of her life, Robert (Bob). An expert at playing hard to get, Rose made Bob work to get a first date. It was well worth the effort as they had 61 happy years together. They began their life together and started their family in Jersey City before moving to Hazlet, and then Holmdel. As she raised her children, Rose also found ways to satiate her curiosity and love of nature and laughter. Among other things, she was a gifted gardener, writer, and photographer. She was also an entrepreneur who started her own business, Roísin’s Irish Imports, which she ran successfully and with much joy for over ten years.
Rose was always up for a good time and a belly laugh. Her sense of humor never faded, even when she began to struggle with the ravages of Alzheimer’s. She was stunning, with golden hair and mischievous, sapphire blue eyes. Indeed, we often joked, she never met a mirror she didn’t like. Rose had the uncanny ability to make everyone she met feel important and seen. So many people hold Rose in a special corner of their hearts because of the depth of her care. When asked how she knew so much about what people were feeling, Rose answered simply, while other people were talking, I was listening.
Rose and Bob were amazing dancers who never failed to cut the rug when music was playing. Watching them move arm in arm across a dance floor was a sight to behold. Together they traveled the world and their children are in possession of hundreds of videotapes that begin with the line – Where are you now, Rose? They took over 100 cruises, many to the Caribbean. Holland was one of Rose’s favorite countries; where she procured the most unusual tulip bulbs she could find. When their children were all nearly grown, they bought a house in Ireland next to the family farm where Rose grew up, so she could go back to visit without feeling like a guest. And visit she did, often and with great joy.
A lifelong Catholic and a woman of deep faith, Rose was grandmother to 11 and great-grandmother to 3. She adored her grandchildren and spent as much time as she could with them up until the very end.
Music played an important role in Rose’s life. Among her favorites were Black Velvet Band, Take Me Home to Mayo and Cat’s in the Cradle. A song that brought great solace and joy to her in the last months was, I AM WOMAN, by Helen Reddy. She would sing and smile and when the time came, she would manage somehow to raise her arms over her head and shout out, I AM INVINCIBLE, and for a brief moment we thought she was.
We will miss her every minute of every day. We love you, mom, and until we are together again – May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine soft upon your face, may the rains fall soft upon your fields, and, until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.
She is predeceased by her husband of 61 years, Robert Reddington, her daughter, Robin Reddington, and her siblings Margaret Collins and Thomas J. Flatley.
Surviving are her children, Michael Reddington (Anne)of Milton, MA, Mary Reddington (Anne Marie)of Bridgewater, Robert Reddington, (Christine) of Deerfield, Deirdri Reddington (Maya) of Jamaica Plain, MA, and Patrick Reddington(Dawn)of Long Branch, her siblings, Nancy Maguire, Mary Fitzpatrick, Bernadette Roda, James Flatley, and Michael Flatley, eleven beloved grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren.
Visitation Friday, May 13, 4:00 p.m -7:30 p.m. at Holmdel Funeral Home, 26 S Holmdel Road, Holmdel. A mass of Christian burial will be offered on Saturday, May 14, at 10:30 am at the Church of St. Catherine, 108 Middletown Road, Holmdel.
In lieu of traditional remembrances, Rosemarie’s family asks with gratitude that donations in her name be made to VNA Hospice of Holmdel (VNAHG.org/giving).
For messages of condolence, or to share a favorite memory of Rosemarie, please visit her page of tribute at www.holmdelfuneralhome.com.