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Rosemarie Antoinette Rich Gregory passed away on Oct. 12, at Kaaterskill Care Nursing Home in Catskill, N.Y. Her son, Colin K. Gregory, is a longtime advertising account executive for Community Media, which publishes The Villager and East Villager.
Rosemarie was born on April 17, 1933, to Anthony Rich and Mariella Porto Rich in Athens, N.Y. Her siblings were John Rich Sr. and Clara Rich Burger. She attended St. Patrick’s High School in Catskill, where she was a cheerleader.
She met her future husband of 55 years, Albert E. Gregory, through her brother-in-law William Burger, who was married to sister Clara.
Albert was an IBM employee for 30 years and a part-time bartender for the family-run business, Rip Van Winkle Restaurant and Motel, which was owned by her parents. Rosemarie, a lifelong Catskillian, was a waitress there for 30 years.
Colin was her only child.
“While my Dad was away in the service, she worked for the local pharmacy on Main St. and briefly dated the pharmacist,” her son recalled. “My Dad, from long distance, wooed her back and lived up to his promise quote in the Catskill High School Yearbook, where he said he wanted to marry Rose and live with her for 99 years.”
“Coach Rose” was an avid Yankee fan to the end, always trying to convert her sister, a Met fan. Later in life, they both came to common ground in regard to their teams.
Rosemarie was a faithful churchgoer and supporter of St. Patrick’s Church for most of her life.
Fondest and funny memories of Rosemarie were shared by family and friends during her memorial, hosted by her son and grandson, Kyrie, on Nov. 5 at Travers McCurry Funeral Home in Jefferson Heights, N.Y. A beautiful photo poster was made by her granddaughter, Amadaline, and Colin’s girlfriend, Barbara Isaacs, in memory of her.
Michael McCurry, owner of the funeral home, described Rose in one word by saying she was “feisty.”
Friends Eleanor and Ken Buno remembered her as loyal, witty and having a kind heart. She is survived by her son, Colin; grandchildren, Kyrie and Amadaline; two great-grandchildren, Seyjin and Kaztyel; and plenty of nieces and nephews.
Said Colin, “As promised by my Dad, we hope and pray that they are living the next 44 years in the other universe.”