Rose Mary Dirienzo Cafferty

Rose Mary Dirienzo Cafferty

ERONA-Rose Mary Dirienzo Cafferty died August 23, 2017 at Badger Prairie Health Care Center in Verona, WI.

She was born August 29, 1929 in Madison, Wisconsin. She spent her childhood with her parents, Vincent and Elizabeth, and her brothers, Vincent Jr., Claire, and Charles Dirienzo. She graduated from West High in 1947 and then received an associate degree from Arizona College of Commerce, Tucson, where she was employed as a stenographer at the City Clerk’s office.

She married B. Leo Cafferty in November, 1954, and they settled in New Mexico. After first living in Albuquerque, they worked together to designing, build, and landscape a home in Corrales, NM, which she nick-named “Baby Number Five.” They had four children: Maureen, Lee, Colleen and Jeaneen.

Rose Mary spent much of her adult life battling a serious illness called schizoaffective disorder. The symptoms of this illness affected her ability to enjoy her life and cope with the challenges that naturally occurred. Nonetheless, Rose Mary was an intelligent, creative woman who had many gifts and talents. She traveled to many places including Rome, the Island of Capri, Washington DC and others. She spent considerable time writing books and letters. She was an excellent artist and it is indeed unfortunate that she gave up painting after completing only a few works. She enjoyed many types of dance, theater and costume parties.

Rose Mary truly believed that each of us should leave a small “foot print” on the earth we leave behind. She spent her money wisely and encouraged all to be generous and not to acquire more possessions than needed. She lived much of her later life in Madison, WI where she loved walking in the park at Lake Wingra and visiting the UW Arboretum. Rose Mary was proud of each of her children and grand-children and she loved them very much.

Rose Mary was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her children: Maureen Cafferty of Corrales, NM, Lee (and Susan) Cafferty of Kandiyohi, MN, Colleen Cafferty of Little Rock, AR, and Jeaneen Cafferty of Los Angeles, CA as well as two grandchildren: Danielle Sedillo-Cafferty (Albuquerque) and Shawn Cafferty-Lueck (Little Rock, Arkansas). Also surviving are her 3 brothers, Vincent, Charles, and Claire, all of Madison, WI, and other family and friends.

Celebration of Life service will be held on November 4, 2017 at Joyce-Ryan Funeral Home, 5701 Odana Road, Madison, with the time to be determined.