Brattleboro, VT- Rose Mary Lewis, 86, of Signal Hill Drive, a resident of Brattleboro for the past twelve years, died Saturday night, December 9, 2017 in the comfort of her home following a lengthy illness.
Rose Mary was born at home in the Bronx, New York on August 14, 1931, the daughter of Silvio Eduardo and Mary (Maria Antonietta Helena Camuto) Castelli. The family moved to Brooklyn, where Rose Mary graduated from St. Rose of Lima School and St. Brendan's High School. She later earned her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn. She was hired as a teacher at Saint David’s School in New York City. There she met her future husband, Edmund B. Lewis, of Birmingham, Alabama and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, who proposed to her two weeks after they met, telling her he immediately recognized that she would be their means of doing God's will for both their lives together. She accepted his proposal only a full year later and the couple were married on October 20, 1956. They had six children, after which Rose Mary began her doctoral studies and eventually received her Ph.D. in Education from New York University. She became Professor of Early Childhood Education at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, where she taught until her retirement in 2005.
Rose Mary was proud to be a social activist and helped to establish the busing program to integrate the elementary schools in Brooklyn during the late 1960’s. A lifelong devout Catholic, she was a communicant of Saint Michael’s Roman Catholic Church in Brattleboro and was a member of the Daughters of Isabella, Ave Maria Circle #128.
Rose Mary was a faithful and devoted wife and loving mother, grandmother and great grandmother whose life centered around her family. In her leisure time, she enjoyed church and community activities, working with children, and her expertise in Italian cooking.
She is survived by her husband of 61 years, Edmund; her six children, Christopher J. Lewis of South Londonderry, VT, Edmund B. Lewis, Jr. of Mapleton, OR, Jonathan X. Lewis of Longmont, CO, Gregory S. Lewis of Berkley, CA, Dr. Maria F. Lewis of Davis, CA, and Andrew D. Lewis of Los Angeles, CA; her sister, Catherine Amante of Palmyra,VA; seven grandchildren, two great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her brother, Paul Castelli.
The Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated Thursday, December 14 at 3:00 P.M. at Saint Michael’s Roman Catholic Church with Fr. Justin Baker, pastor, celebrant.
Committal Rites and burial will be in Saint Michael’s Parish Cemetery in the springtime when the cemetery reopens.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Rose Mary’s name may be made to Brigid’s Kitchen, in care of St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 47 Walnut Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301.