Rose Vacca Kellington

Apr 5, 1915 – Nov 21, 2004

Rose Vacca Kellington obituary image 1



Rose Vacca Kellington

Our beloved sister, sister-in-law, aunt Rose died on November 21, 2004 after battling a chronic bone marrow disorder. She was born April 5, 1915 in Mirabella, Italy, and resided in Burien for over 80 years. Rose worked as a grocery checker at Sunnydale Market, Cushing’s, and Red Apple for over 55 years. Rose will be remembered for her energy, her youthful outlook, daily walks to Burien, and her love for the many trips to Reno and Las Vegas. Rose was preceded in death by her husband Kelly in 1981, and brother Angelo Vacca in 1995. She is survived by her sister Angelina “Babe” Frank Yellam; brother Tony Betty Vacca; sister-in-law Irene Vacca; 12 nieces and nephews; 29 great-nieces and great-nephews.

Visitation Tuesday, November 23, 4 – 8 p.m. at BONNEY-WATSON Washington Memorial, 16445 International Blvd. SeaTac 206 242-1787. Funeral Mass Wednesday, November 24 at 11 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 15226 21st Ave. SW, Burien. In lieu of flowers make donations to St. Francis of Assisi Church or School, P.O. Box 929, Seahurst, WA 98062.


Roxann Genzale
Burien, WA
Dec 6, 2004

We will miss our "Mother Rose" There will never be another like her! I am sure she is cleaning and sweeping in heaven right now! God Bless!

Love Roxy

Mafalda Scoccolo
Newcastle, WA
Nov 26, 2004

Our sincere symphaty to all your extended family, from the

Mondo Scoccolo family.

We will miss her friendly


JoAnn Luthy
Des Monies, WA
Nov 25, 2004

sincere condolences from the DePaino family

Patty Barber
Olympia, WA
Nov 29, 2004

Eulogy for Auntie Rosie

by Patty Barber

November 24, 2004

Rose Vacca was born in Mirabella, Italy, to Felix and Antoinetta Genzale Vacca on April 5, 1915 when Woodrow Wilson was president and a loaf of bread cost 7 cents. She traveled to America when she was 7 years old, her first home being in South Park. When my grandfather bought a farm in Sunnydale, she moved to the area she would call home for over 80 years.

Ro was the big sister to her three siblings: Angelo whom she nicknamed Nee, Angelina whom she nicknamed Babe—after a horse and Tony whom she nicknamed Nucchi shortened to just Nucch. They were always close and supportive of each other and when they would all get together there were always tears—not from sadness—but from laughing. For all of her life, she lived within a mile or two of each of them.

Rose went to Concord and Sunnydale grade schools and attended Highline High School through 10th grade. She was a worker her whole life, starting very young on her father’s farm in Sunnydale. Then she worked at West Hill Market with Tony Vivolo. She later worked at the Security Public Market for Jim Sacco with her cousin, Mary Craig.

From 1947-1968 Auntie Rosie worked with her younger brother Tony at the Sunnydale Market across the street from her dear cousin Tony Genzale. My cousins have many fond memories of that neighborhood store where Auntie Rosie would sack up our penny candy.

When Sunnydale Market closed its doors, Auntie Rosie worked across the street from it at Cushing’s, which later became Red Apple Market. Everyone loved the friendly checker with a big smile and she enjoyed hearing about her customers’ families. Auntie Rosie retired at the age of 75. When I would talk about me retiring she’d always say, “Pat, you’re just a young girl. Why do you want to retire. Working keeps you young. It sure did work for her!

Auntie Rosie married Squire John Kellington during World War II. They were happily married for over 40 years. They traveled to many states in America and Canada, where Uncle Kelly was born and raised. Together Auntie Rosie and Uncle Kelly shared a love for socializing and enjoying life. Saturday nights were always spent going out with friends and having cocktails at local night clubs.

We have fond memories of spending Sunday nights with them going to the airport and watching the planes come and go. Although Auntie Rosie had only flown on an airplane one time, she planted the seeds for travel in some of us and always loved hearing where we had been.

You could never find a more devoted or proud aunt. We remember spending Friday nights at “the shack” where Uncle Kelly would fry fish so the house would not smell, finding M & M’s in her candy dish, spending time at her cabin on Hood Canal, going to Sears on Friday nights and buying candy, or listening as she told us that she had run into someone who knew us. And then there were the holidays we all celebrated in Rainier Valley with the Genzales, Saccos, Craigs, Scarpellos and extended family. What cherished memories we have of a simpler time!

Adored by her twelve nieces and nephews and their children, Auntie Rosie has two namesakes—Andrea Rose Vacca and Hannah Rose Smith. They have quite a legacy to live up to!

I know Annie and the rest of the Genzales have many funny stories of “Mother Rose.” She loved to help them tie onions. That would be a perfect setting for her—sit and talk and work—fast!! She loved the time she spent with all of them.

After Uncle Kelly died suddenly in 1981 while on vacation in Lake Tahoe, Auntie Rosie, always independent, became more so. Having never gotten her driver’s license, she could be seen daily walking—not slowly—to Burien leaving her apartment on 152nd, the site of her former beautiful home with prolific fruit trees and yummy raspberries. She always gave us the scoop on “those Highline High School students.” Everyone in Burien knew and loved Auntie Rosie.

She was always interested in everyone, delighting in their accomplishments and sympathizing in their sadness. I wish I were as informed on current local and world events as she was. She was an avid reader of the daily newspaper, read People magazine while getting her hair done every Saturday, stayed up late, and got up late. She loved to tell us about celebrities and all the crazy things they were doing. She would often cut out interesting articles from the newspaper or magazines and send them to us.

Auntie Rosie loved her trips to California, Reno, Laughlin, and Las Vegas with my parents and Auntie Irene. Of course, she was very lucky in the casinos. My dad loved to razz her about money or anything, for that matter which invariably led her to comment, “They just don’t make them like my brother-in-law.”

Auntie Rosie was generous to all of us kids, even sending holiday treats or “treaties”—as she called the extra cash—to the college kids as far away as Italy and Australia. Never wanting them to waste a stamp, she’d say just tell your mother to tell Grandma you got it and she can tell me. She would be so proud of her great nephews as honorary pall bearers today.

A funny memory we all have of her is when we would draw names for personality gifts at Christmas. When it came her turn, she would pull her name out, make a funny face, and say, “Can we draw again?” I think one time she even threw her name back in and drew another one. However, on Christmas Eve, she would proudly stand grabbing everyone’s attention and explain the meaning behind her gift. She is the only one in the family to have a star named after her—a gift given to her for her personality gift one year. How we will cherish those memories.

Eight months ago, Auntie Rosie was found in her apartment by my cousins, Louise and Bruce, and Auntie Irene. She was suffering from a bone marrow disorder that none of us really knew about. She lost her independence that day and that was very difficult for a little lady who would not even let you help her out of the car.

This past Sunday Donna and Gary, my daughter Kari and little Hannah Rose and I were visiting Auntie Rosie with my mother. We did not know if she knew we were there but we still chatted with her. My sister had placed a beautiful lit up angel on her bedstand. When it was time for us to leave, my mother gave her a hug and a kiss and said, “Bye Rose. I’m going home now. I’ll see you tomorrow.” She passed away at that very moment very peacefully with her angel watching over her and all of us at her bedside. It was finally time for her to be in the presence of God and join Uncle Kelly. her parents, Uncle Angelo, Tony Genzale and other cousins, many other family members and cherished friends who have preceded her in death.

Are we sad for her? Not now. If we could all live the quality 89 years she did and be as with it, interested, as loved, and not be afraid to “tell it like it is”, we would be very fortunate. She taught us to work hard, save your money, and enjoy each other. As my Dad said, “We will surely miss her, but Heaven has a new and wonderful member.” Can’t you just see her putting on her lipstick and apron and then grabbing a broom. Sweeping was always her specialty!

Good bye, dear Auntie Rosie. You will always be remembered with fondness and a smile by your sister and brother, brother-in-law and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews and their children and grandchildren, cousins, and many, many friends. “They just don’t make them like our Auntie Rosie!” God bless and keep you.

Dave Vistaunet
Burien, WA
Nov 23, 2004

Spent 15 years at the store working with Rosie, will never forget. Will inform Eleanor tomorrow.

Babe,Tony very sorry Eleanor and I could not attend.

God Bless

Carmen Camerota Duppenthaler
Renton, WA
Nov 23, 2004

Auntie Rosie,

I had the privilege of seeing you on a regular basis the 9 year's I worked at Sunnydale Red Apple Market as well as at many family functions over the years. It was rare to visit Burien and not see you walking down the street. Everyone would say "there goes Rosie". You were truly loved by your many customers at Sunnydale Market and by everyone who knew you. God bless you.

Mrs. Dominic DiPietro Marian
Auburn,, WA
Nov 23, 2004

I shall miss her at the various gatherings, she was always so friendly to me.

Don't cry because she is gone,

Smile because she was here.

I shall remember her in my prayers.

I am so sorry for your loss.

This obituary is provided by Bonney-Watson, providing caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868. We have a professional staff, four funeral homes, two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle, as well as a comprehensive grief support program.