Rosalee Stevens passed away on March 9, at the age of 86, with her family by her side. She was born in Pittsburgh to Helen and Clarence (Mac) McGeorge. In the 1950’s they moved to Phoenix and Rosalee completed her degree in Bacteriology at the University of Arizona. While working in Central Phoenix as a medical assistant, she met and married her husband Bob. Soon their three sons, John (Patty), Jeff (Helen) and Robert became the focus of their lives. Rosalee was active in several groups at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, and formed life-long friendships with other parents and many teachers. Rosalee and Bob loved entertaining and Saturday night parties with their bridge group were focused largely on food and fun, rather than the final bridge score. More recently, Rosalee was fortunate to make additional friendships at the Veterans Hospital, and in her North-Central neighborhood. She also enjoyed reading, cooking and time with family in Pinetop. She was preceded in death by her husband Bob and her younger brother John. The family appreciates the care she received from Hospice of the Valley and Scottsdale Diamond Assisted Living. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Brophy Chapel, 4701 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix on Saturday, March 18th, 2017 at 1:00 pm, with a reception to follow. Arrangements are being handled by Whitney and Murphy Funeral Home.
For John and Jeff and Robert: a few words about your mom and my first cousin, Rosalee. As you know, Rosalee’s mother Helen (Daly) McGeorge and my father Norman Daly were sister and brother. It was very much a “big sister” and “little brother” relationship (Helen was six years older), and because of this, Norman was close to Rosalee from the time of her birth. That closeness lasted until Norman’s death in 2008, and I came to realize in his later years that he was as much a “big brother” as an uncle to her. In any event, they had a mutual fondness and respect that was admirable and unshakeable., and my appreciation of this was a basis of my own fondness and respect for Rosalee as it developed over the past thirty years. Another basis was my memories of Rosalee going back to when I was six and lived for a year with her family while my parents were abroad. The household was Helen, Mac, John (already in high school at the time) and I, because Rosalee was in college and already living in an apartment. But she came “home” a lot, and I got to know her best. Not only did she spend time with me at home, but she took me with her to the movies and to visit her friends. In fact, my sense is that we went all around Phoenix (not so hard to do when it had 100,000 people!). It’s not hard to summarize: she was good to me.
As an adult, I didn’t really begin to get to know her until the late 80s, when she began coming East for visits. How she loved Ithaca’s gray skies! And how fortunate it was to be able to share other places with her, too: Pittsburgh, Vermont, even Rome. Especially Rome, I should say, given the centrality of her religion in her life. And when I was finally able to visit Phoenix in the late 90s and early 00s, her hospitality made those visits high points in all of my travels. Her last trip to Ithaca, in June 2008 for my father’s memorial event, was followed promptly for me by a lengthy period of serious health problems. I will never forget her steadfast concern for me during 2009 and 2010. While I did not believe that I could safely travel again to Phoenix, our friendship was sustained, in fact strengthened, by our regular telephone conversations almost to the time of her own illness at the end of 2015. Thereafter, when direct communication became so limited, it was a great consolation to know that she had all three of you looking after her. I hope that you join me in rejoicing that she had such a long and devoted life, made rich by her intelligence, her awareness and her ability to take life seriously.
It was my honor and pleasure to know and care for Rosalee such a precious and graceful person so sorry for your loss.
John, Jeff, Robert;
So nice to visit today, the service was OUTSTANDING. It was 28 years ago we all last visited under the same circumstances and at the same location.
You all look just excellent, Robert you are such a gentleman, the best part of today was seeing you standing up straight and tall. Your parents are so proud of you as are we all.
Please let’s keep in tough, would like to have a meal and walk any time. Retired now and Tata and I are available at your convenience.
Again GREAT to see all you boys (MEN)……………
Take care and God Bless,
Tom and Tata
Tom, Thanks for the message about our mother. We would like to get together also but we don’t know how to reach you. Here is my cell 602-499-6718.