Rose Theresa Gambardella, 93, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by family on Sunday, June 18, 2023 in Raleigh, NC.
Rose was born August 10, 1929, to Angelo and Giaocchina DiMichele, the second of three children, in Corona, NY. As a child, she later moved to the upper east side of Manhattan with brother, John, and sister, Carmela, (Millie). She was loved by many and devoted her life to family and friends.
As a dedicated daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, sister and cousin, she touched the lives of many. She was strong in her Catholic faith which guided her throughout her life.
After graduating from Julia Richman High School in 1947, she worked several years in the Manhattan offices of Blue Cross. During that time, she met the man she would later marry, John Gambardella, upon his return from fighting numerous battles in the Pacific which ended World War II. They later married, welcomed and raised five children during their 56 years together, until John’s death in 2007.
Rose and John spent most of their lives in Bayside, NY, later moving to Florida, spending leisure years in Kissimmee. They later moved to Ponte Vedra Beach to be near their son’s family. Upon her husband’s passing, Rose relocated near her North Carolina daughters and their families.
Rose had an amazing and keen ability for remembering dates, birthdays, anniversaries, baptisms, communions, confirmations and graduations. She always sent beautiful cards and made endearing phone calls on your special day.
She was the glue that bound her family together, perpetually keeping up with the lives of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. If you were unaware of what was going on with family, Rose would bring you up to date.
Her Italian dinners were large and legendary. She also was known for summer cookouts. The Gambardella home in Bayside was always open to relatives, friends and neighbors, especially on Christmas Eve when all would gather to celebrate, enjoying her famous baked ziti, sausage and peppers and stuffed artichokes.
She was a huge fan of Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly and Tony Bennett, as well as Broadway theater and musicals. She enjoyed watching the 1940’s and 1950’s classic movies late into the night. Together, Rose and John were superb and graceful ballroom dancers throughout their six decades together.
She is survived by her sister, Carmela (Millie) Chiodo; daughters, son and their spouses: Silvia Gambardella, John Gambardella (Susan), Michele Sherman (Rick), Linda Serepca (Paul); plus eleven grandchildren, four grandsons-in-law and eleven great grandchildren. She is reunited in heaven with her husband, John; her daughter, Laura DiNapoli; son-in-law, Phillip DiNapoli; brother, John DiMichele; and, her parents.
The visitation will be at Ponte Vedra Valley Funeral Home in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, on Sunday, July 2, from 2-4pm and 6:30-8:30pm. A funeral mass will be held at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Ponte Vedra Beach on Monday, July 3, at 11am, followed by a burial at Ponte Vedra Valley Cemetery.