Floral 11

Rose Fraga Freitas-Rosa

February 14, 1934 ~ September 6, 2023 (age 89) 89 Years Old
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Our beloved mother passed away peacefully of natural causes on Sept 6, 2023, surrounded by her family.

Rosa Ines de Fraga was born on February 14, 1934, in the small village of Ponta on the beautiful island of Flores, Azores, Portugal, to Maria do Carmo Mateus and Jose Caetano de Fraga. She was the youngest of 12 children, who, following the death of their father when Rose was an infant, were raised in poverty. Though they were often without enough food -- and Rose was 9 when she got her first pair of shoes -- their mother always shared what little they had with those who had even less than they did, values that Rose embodied throughout the rest of her life.

Even though she was an excellent student, her dream for further education was unfortunately out of reach due to the family’s meager resources. Her mother, Maria, died when she was 13 years old, leaving the family in the care of Rose’s beloved sister, Ana.

In the early 1880s, her father traveled to California and Nevada, working as a rancher, and eventually becoming a naturalized citizen in 1892. This paved the way for his children’s immigration to America, beginning with her brother, Mateus.

In 1950, at the age of 16, Rose married Joe Carvalho Freitas. The next year, followed by her husband 18 months later, she arrived in Arcata, California, where she joyfully reunited with many of her siblings. With Rose’s help, the rest soon followed. Rose worked as a dishwasher at the Big 4 Inn restaurant, where she learned English by listening to the radio and bringing words she was unsure of to her coworkers. With the help of the principal of Arcata High School, she was able to pass as a younger student and fulfill her strong desire to learn the language, continue her education, and assimilate into her new home. 

In 1955, when Rose and Joe learned they would be parents, she suspended her studies, but received her diploma fifteen years later at age 36.  They proudly purchased their first home in time for David's birth in 1956, and then welcomed their daughter Dorlinda in 1960.

Tragedy struck in 1965 when Joe was killed in a work accident, leaving Rose widowed with two young children at age 31. Her strength, resilience, and love of her family served her especially well during this time.

In 1968, Rose took her children on a 4-month adventure to her beautiful village in Flores and their father’s village in São Miguel, along with tours of mainland Portugal, England, and New York City. This trip was a fun way to share her birthplace and culture with her children.

In the summer of 1970, she made the significant decision to leave Arcata and move to a warmer climate in Santa Clara, California, where several of her siblings lived. She provided a wonderful life for her children, working hard to ensure college educations were guaranteed for David and Dorlinda.

In 1981, she married Joe Rosa, which, yes, made her Rose Rosa! They moved to the Monterey Peninsula where she was a beloved teller at Bank of America while Joe resumed his work at the Defense Language Institute. They maintained their connection to the Portuguese community through their membership in the Monterey F.D.E.S. organization where they enjoyed many friendships, old and new.

Upon her retirement from Bank of America in 2003, Rose and Joe made their way up to Eugene, Oregon where her daughter and grandchildren lived. They created a lovely life and home in Eugene which included the St. Jude Parish community, which so warmly welcomed them.

Along with being the best Vovó (grandmother) ever, Rose was the definition of a "people person" who, due to her warmth and genuine interest in others, attracted and kept friends throughout her lifetime. She had the gift of lifting people up and supporting them through good times and bad.

When Joe passed away in 2017, Rose moved to the Eugene Hotel Retirement Community where she enjoyed new friends and a lovely environment.

The loss and poverty that defined her early life fostered her compassionate and generous nature while fueling her work ethic and sense of adventure. She will be remembered for her love of life, family, and her generous spirit.

Rose is predeceased by both of her husbands, all of her siblings: Jose, Antonio, Esmeria, Maria, Augusto, Ana, Mateus, Felizberto, Teodoro, Lino, and Luis, and many beloved nieces and nephews.

Rose is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, David and Vina Freitas, daughter Dorlinda Curl, grandchildren Olivia and Nicholas Curl, former son-in-law Jeff Curl, stepdaughter Laurie Walsh, and partner Carl Marburg. She also leaves behind treasured nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, grand-nephews, and friends.

Her funeral will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Arcata, CA, on September 18, 2023, at 11 a.m. Reception in the parish hall will follow the burial.

A celebration of life Mass will be held in Eugene, Oregon, at St. Jude Catholic Church on November 18, 2023.  Reception in the parish hall will follow.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rose Fraga Freitas-Rosa, please visit our floral store.

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Funeral Service
September 18, 2023

11:00 AM
St. Mary s Catholic Church (Arcata)
1690 Janes Road
Arcata, CA 95521


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