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Karen Burgess Rose
RHODE ISLAND - Loving wife, mother & Grammy, Karen Rose died after fighting peritoneal cancer for more than two years. She entered her reward in heaven from her home surrounded by family. Karen was born on October 26, 1947 in Attleboro, Massachusetts to the late Henry Konrad and Virginia Bora Burgess.
She spent her early years traveling with her father as a Coast Guard family. As the first born child with four younger boys in the family, Karen began her life-long hallmark of caring for others by helping to raise her brothers.
In 1965, she graduated from James Campbell High School in Ewa, Hawaii and returned to Massachusetts with her grandparents to pursue her nursing degree. In 1968, she graduated from Sturdy Memorial Hospital and began her career as a registered nurse.
Karen married the love of her life, Alfred Rose Jr., of Pawtucket, RI, on November 9, 1968.
Al joined the Army in 1972 and they began 28 years of active service to the USA. Karen was always involved with the Army family support groups wherever they were stationed. Before leaving Attleboro in 1973, Karen gave birth to their only son, SSG Scott C. Rose who was killed in Iraq in 2003. Their second child, Heather, was born in Stuttgart, Germany in 1978.
Karen maintained her nursing skills by volunteering while raising her children and supporting the family during her husband's frequent deployments. Later, she returned to work full time as an RN specializing in pediatrics and worked for Cumberland County schools as a Special Needs Nurse. Karen returned to school later in life to earn her Bachelor of Science degree from Deaconess College.
Karen spent over 40 years of her life volunteering and giving back to various communities around the world. This included many years of helping out at the Cumberland County Care Clinic and Better Health of Cumberland County. She formed many long and lasting friendships during all of this work.
In 1984, the Rose family built a home in Fayetteville and returned to that home after each overseas family redeployment. They continued to reside in Fayetteville after her husband LTC Rose retired from the Army in November 2000. They also enjoyed a cottage on Anawan Avenue, in Bristol.
After their son was killed in Iraq, Karen and her husband began a commitment to help wounded soldiers and veterans through various volunteer efforts. Karen, along with five other local grieving mothers, founded the Dogwood Chapter of the American Gold Star Mothers.
She decided to redirect her life to helping care for three of her granddaughters. Karen and her husband traveled often to visit their fourth granddaughter in Maine.
Diagnosed with cancer in October 2010, Karen continued with all of her volunteer work and loved doting on her granddaughters.
Karen is preceded in death by son Scott; and two brothers, Henry Burgess (USAF retired) and Patrick Burgess.
She is survived by her husband Alfred of 44 years; two brothers, Michael and Neil, both of Massachusetts; her daughter, Heather (Rose) and her husband Wesley Edge of Fayetteville; her daughter-in-heart, Michele (Basso) Rose of Readfield, Maine; four beautiful granddaughters, Sarah, Meghan, Amelia, and Catherine; as well as several nieces and nephews.
Karen will be greatly missed by all of her friends and family.
The family will receive friends on the evening of Friday, October 26 at Wilbur-Romano Funeral Home in Warren, R.I. from 4:00pm until 8:00pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, October 27, at 10:00 am at St. Mary's Church on Wood St. in Bristol R.I. followed by interment at St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to St. Jude's Children Hospital.
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