Mary V. Rose, 105

May 24, 2020

Mary V. Rose, 105 ½ years old, Wareham's oldest resident passed away peacefully on Friday, May 22, 2020, surrounded by her loving family at her home in Onset after a brief illness.

Born at home in Wareham on December 29, 1914, she was the oldest of seven children born to the late Edward and Mary (Barros) Vieira. She was under the care of her daughter, Marian June Rose, beginning in 2007.  

She was a devoted parishioner of St. Mary's Church in Onset. She was a member of the St. Margaret/St. Mary's Parish Guild, St. John the Baptist Club in Carver, the Secular Franciscan's - Our Lady's Chapel in New Bedford, and Our Lady's Rosary Circle in Onset. She was also the Historian for the Oak Grove Cape Verdean Cultural Center, Inc., a member of the Dudley L. Brown V.F.W. Post Auxiliary, and a volunteer for the American Red Cross. She also wrote for the Cape Verdean News, covering events when she lived in Rochester.

She is survived by her daughter, Marian, of Onset; her son Edward Rose of Cottonwood, Arizona; her sister, Alvina Camphina of Wareham; seven grandchildren, and many great, great-great, and great-great-great grandchildren. She was predeceased by her son, the late Bertram Rose, Jr., and her infant son, also the late Bertram Rose, Jr.; and her siblings, the late Manuel Vieira, Anthony Vieira, Julio Vieira, Viola Nunes, and Anna Vieira.

She moved to East Sandwich after her marriage and became quite the farm lady. She taught herself how to preserve foods in the freezer and with pressure cooker knowledge, each winter she preserved bottles and bottles of farm produce to sustain themselves. She became a familiar sight in her garden planting, hoeing and mulching to secure an abundant crop for each winter. This she enjoyed immensely, along with designing her children's clothing and sewing them up on her trusty sewing machine in the cellar. When the produce was ripe, it was picked and processed into the bottles that lined the shelves. Some produce was even quick-frozen for the large freezer awaiting nearby. They even raised chickens, both for sale and for their freezer for winter meals. They added turkeys later on.

Mary was an avid reader and could voice opinions on a myriad of subjects. She loved all the latest new authors and the aged ones, too. Just because she lived in the country, she believed you needed to be up in the know on all facets of living. Her favorites, though, were the English royalty scandals.  

She taught herself the art of canning veggies, making piccalilli, figured out how to create sweet relish and could slaughter a chicken in eight minutes flat. Mary was a quick learner and she was unafraid.

She was a great designer when it came to her children's clothing both for school and around the house.  She patiently sewed by hand many creations for her children to wear to school while keeping her family's life moving at a quick pace.

Mary loved animals and thus, her home appeared as a mini farm. She had cows, piggies, monkeys, a myna bird that talked, canaries and parakeets, geese, mallard ducks, turkeys, chickens and a chimpanzee named “Tony.”  Except for the birds, monkey, and chimpanzee, the rest of the animals were raised  for winter meal consumption. This was the way of life in the community, in that they were always preparing for the upcoming hellish winters they battled through. She was also a great cook and canned many vegetables for the upcoming winters. Of Cape Verdean heritage, she never complained about how much work it took to do things. She reveled in the results and how wonderful her shelves were stocked and the freezer was full when winter came snow blowing in.  

Mary was well-traveled. Her mind was like a sponge and soaked up knowledge at a moment's notice. She flew to Hawaii with her family. She sailed to Puerto Valletta and Cabo San Lucas, and was up in the planes again to the Bahamas for her niece's wedding. Then to her homeland, the Cape Verde Islands, for a fabulous visit with four first cousins. Then, wow! Off to Italy to meet the Pope. Yes, Mary officially met Pope Francis when she was 100 years old. She shook his hands and gave him a little hug.  Being a staunch Catholic, she spoke admirably of this visit for many years to come. In between all this traveling, she took some cross country trips to see her son and his wife in California. How brave this woman was. All these trips were taken after the age of 95 and she was always ready to go with a smile.  One of her last trips was going to Canada to see the Niagara Falls from both sides. No, she did not go over in a barrel, but yes, she did purchase that famous photo just to pretend. Mary had a great sense of humor.  

Anyone who met Mary did not forget her. She was a wonderful sweet vibrant soul always looking out for the safety and health of her fellow man. She loved children and always encouraged them to become good readers and experience the world.

If you ever met Mary, I again say, you would never forget her. She was a kind and gentle person and she would always have your back, as the youngsters say. She always had a soft spot for anyone in need and she was right there to help, no questions asked. She worked tirelessly so that the person was safe and not hungry. She was a great cook and you never left her home without having a snack for the road.

Mary received the Marian Medal for her many community acts of kindness to those in need from the Archdiocese of Fall River. If you ever met Mary, you also never would forget her. She was a fantastic woman, a fabulous mother and a terrific human being for humanity.  

Just recently,  the Oak Grove Cape Verdean Cultural Center, Inc. organization established the Mary V. Rose Scholarship Fund in her honor, which will help young students fund their educational goals in a timely fashion.  

Due to the current health crisis and restrictions in place, her funeral Mass at St. Mary's Church in Onset followed by burial in St. Patrick's Cemetery, Wareham will be by invitation only.

In lieu of flowers, please make donation to Oak Grove Cape Verdean Cultural Center, Inc.,  P.O. Box 1100, Onset, MA 02558.

Arrangements by Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Wareham.  To leave a message of condolence visit: