Rose Bloom, 87, of Kenosha, passed away on Saturday, February 18, 2012, at her residence surrounded by her loving family.
She was born on February 21, 1924, to the late Antonio and Emmanuela (Perri) DiCello.
She graduated from Mary D. Bradford High School, and furthered her education specializing in business.
Her civic responsibilities began in her teens when she signed up people for gas rationing and secured pledges for war bonds.
On September 7, 1946, she married Ralph J. Bloom. He died on March 13, 1966.
As a young mother, Rose was active in the P.T.A. She was Secretary of the P.T.A. Council and helped organize P.T.A. units at Harvey and Jane Vernon Schools. She was involved with the scouting programs for many years, organizing both Girl Scout and Cub Scout Troops and was a Girl Scout Leader at Sunnyside (now Grewenow) School.
She focused her energy in humanitarian efforts to raise money for heart, cancer, muscular dystrophy, and leukemia. She was the first woman selected to head the Mother’s March of Dimes Drive in Kenosha and was instrumental in helping to distribute the polio vaccine here.
She was Home Secretary for Congressman, Gerald T. Flynn. Chairman of the Democratic Ladies Auxiliary, membership chairman of the Democratic Party and chaired many of their dinner and picnic functions for over twenty years. She was honored to be seated at the head table with John F. and Jackie Kennedy.
Rose was an active member of the Quota Club. She was finance chairman of the Civic Parade Committee. In 1996 she was selected as a parade honoree for her long and outstanding commitment to community service.
Rose was on the executive board of the United Way from 1979-1984 and served as board secretary.
In 1975, Rose was elected as Register of Deeds, being the first Italian woman elected to county office in Kenosha. In 1976, she took office serving four consecutive terms with honor and distinction. While serving as Register of Deeds, she was elected President of the Association’s second district.
Rose has been a member of the Italian American Ladies Auxiliary since her youth. She served two terms as their president, as a board member and as vice president. For well over a decade she was their financial secretary. In 2007 they honored her as “Mother of the Year”.
She retired from G. Leblanc Corporation in 1989. However, she continued to assist her daughter at Silk and Satin. She was an invaluable help for thirty years.
A lifelong member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church, she has been actively involved in their festival for many years.
Rose served for many years on the board of the Senior Action Council and she was honored at their Annual Dinner.
A testimonial dinner was held to honor Rose for her outstanding contributions to our community. At that time, April 21, 1985 was proclaimed Rose Bloom Day in both the City of Kenosha and the County. The late State Senator, Joe Andrea presented her with the citation from the Wisconsin State Legislature.
Throughout her extraordinary life she has always supported her ideals, her friends, and her family with loyalty and conviction. She did for others year, after year. Her success is not only measured by her devoted years of public service, but by her determination, perseverance, tireless energy and zest for life. A plaque presented by the Italian American Men’s Society summed up Rose. It simply read “Rose Bloom, A life dedicated to total Commitment”. She truly was a fantastic and outstanding mother and extremely caring and loving grandmother.
She is survived by her daughter, Barbara (Norman) Gentry; her grandchildren, Juliette (Jeremy) Kelsey, James Gentry and Justin Bloom; and her great-granddaughter, Morgan Ann Kelsey, who was such a joy to her life. Further survived by, “Special Family Member”, John Bilotti; and her Godson, Bobby Mollenhauer; along with many family and close friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her son, Gregory Ralph Bloom on May 8, 2004; her brothers, John R., Peter, Louis, Gabriel “Bill” and Michael DiCello; sisters, Nicoletta “Callie” DiCello, Angeline DiCello, and Mary Richie; four brothers in infancy and her special companion, Leonard Stankiewicz.
Rose wants to give her deepest gratitude to her grandson, James “Jim” Gentry who dedicated a year and a half of his life to move in and care for his grandma. Because of him her final wish was granted.
A special thanks to Dr. Joe Garretto for his wonderful care and concern for both Rose and our family; Hospice Alliance, especially Kimberly for her love, help, dedication and for all the manicures that made mom so happy; and Shannon for helping us through her final days.
Funeral services will be held from Proko Funeral Home on Saturday, February 25th, at 10:30 a.m. Mass will be celebrated at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church on Saturday, February 25th, at 11:00 a.m. Interment will follow at St George Cemetery. Visitation will be held on Friday at the funeral home from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.
Proko Funeral Home & Crematory
Kenosha, WI 53144
Phone: (262) 654-3533
Visit Rose’s Online Memorial Book at: