Early in the evening of Sunday, August 9, Rose Anzaldo passed gently into the arms of the Lord. Although she could not be surrounded by her family at the time of her passing, her death was peaceful because she knew exactly how much she was loved.
Rose was born Rosolia Brigandi in a house that still stands on Whig Lane in Upper Pittsgrove Township to Mary Gringeri and Frank Brigandi. Soon after she was born, her family moved to a farm in Mullica Hill, the town where Rose would live for the remainder of her life.
The Brigandi family lived off the land, tending a garden farm and raising chickens. They were generous in time and heart, holding services in the farm house before building a church on their land about 250 yards from the farm house. The spirit of magnanimity and self-sufficiency learned from her parents would serve as Rose’s defining characteristics.
She attended school in Glassboro and would often work on the farm before catching a train with her sisters to attend classes. Rose always balanced hard work with time with friends, and as an adult loved to visit and travel with family and friends.
Rose met the love of her life, Peter Anzaldo (also of Mullica Hill), and after exchanging heartfelt letters and gifts were married on April 8, 1945. They honeymooned for three days in Niagara Falls. For Pete and Rose, car trips east of the Mississippi would become an Anzaldo family tradition as each Fall the family would spend two weeks exploring a new part of America. For three quarters of a century, Pete & Rose made a life together and raised their family in the same home on South Main Street. They weathered storms big and small, global and personal, and throughout it all they never left each other’s side.
Rose was a woman ahead of her time. She had her own thoughts and opinions; she never shied away from making her unique perspective known. Her strength of character allowed her to act with courage and she was blessed with a strong moral compass that she used to care for and protect those she loved. Everything Rose did had purpose and was taken up in earnest with a sense of duty and love.
Her indomitable strength was balanced with a softer side: later in life, her love for the land meant that she developed a wildly talented green thumb at home. The house on South Main Street was known throughout town for its gorgeous flowers and meticulously tended lawn (best reflected by her proclivity to always be barefoot, unless a fresh pair of Keds were around). Most afternoons she could be found drinking a lukewarm cup of coffee on the back porch, and her favorite evenings were spent in her rocking chair watching a baseball game.
She is predeceased by her beloved husband Peter, her brother, Carmen, and her cherished sisters, Concetta Brigandi and Jennie Crupi. Rose is survived by her sister, Sylvena Ingoglia, of Long Island, New York. She leaves behind three children, David (Francine), Dianne Arena (Richard), and Denise DiGiandomenico (Frank); five grandchildren, Mariah Hale (Hank), David (Leica), Michael Arena (Shannon), Philip Arena (Christy), and Alisha DiGiandomenico, all of whom she cared for as children; and nine great-grandchildren, Hannah, Jackson, Nathaniel, Gavin, Rowen, Sophie, Austin, Corey, and Lia. Rose had many friends who she considered family, most notably Pete and Josie Scaffidi. She also leaves behind many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Due to the current restrictions on large gatherings, services are private. Having recently lost both Pete & Rose, the family plans to one day host a memorial service to remember them both in the place where they made a life together, Mullica Hill, New Jersey.