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Rosemary E. (Giordano) Peterson

Pause Timeless by Bruce H. Zimmerman (ASCAP)
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Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Peterson by adding your memories.

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Gately Funeral Home

79 West Foster Street
Melrose, MA 02176
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Memories & Candles

“Dear Christine and family. What a beautiful tribute to your Mom! I see her beautiful face and remember her so vividly ! She was a great lady and Mom...Read More »
1 of 19 | Posted by: Patty O'Neil - Sorrento, FL

“If I was adding a memory, it would take up pages and pages. Your mother and father were such an important part of our lives. We had many happy...Read More »
2 of 19 | Posted by: Jackie MacNeil - Ephrata, WA

“I wish to offer all of you my most sincere sympathy on the loss of your Mother. She was a lovely woman and a remarkable human being. Sincerely, ...Read More »
3 of 19 | Posted by: Sheila Tighe - Melrose, MA

“Rosemary was one of my best friends for nearly fifty years. She and I began a La Leche League Group, each in our respected communities at about the...Read More »
4 of 19 | Posted by: Mary Jeanne Hickey - Weymouth, MA

“I am very sorry for the loss of Mrs. Peterson. I knew her and Joel from St. Mary's and she was consistently a wonderful person. I pray God to...Read More »
5 of 19 | Posted by: Nunotte Zama - Melrose, MA

“To Rosemary's family and friends, please take comfort in each other during this sad time. My deepest sympathies go out to you all. ”
6 of 19 | Posted by: A friend

“Andy sorry for your loss my thoughts and prayers are with you your siblings and extended family God Bless ”
7 of 19 | Posted by: Stephen Cotter - Melrose, MA

“Tony and I are sending our thoughts and prayers to all of you. We share such wonderful memories of the years we raised our family in Melrose and,...Read More »
8 of 19 | Posted by: Gen Buzzotta - Barstable, MA

“To the Peterson Family: We were saddened to hear of Rosemary's passing. We first met her and Len years ago when they came to take ballroom dance...Read More »
9 of 19 | Posted by: Linda and Steve White - Melrose, MA

“Sending my sincere condolences to the family. May the God of comfort give you strength and peace during this difficult time. -Psalm 29:11 ”
10 of 19 | Posted by: A friend

“Dear Mark,Jane just sent me your Mom's obituary and I didn't read it until just now; otherwise I would have attended the funeral. Your Mom was a very...Read More »
11 of 19 | Posted by: Janina Murphy Glabicky - MA

“So very sorry for your loss. I always enjoyed seeing Rosemary,at Eileen's and Larry's house. She made you feel like she knew you for years. ”
12 of 19 | Posted by: Bonanno - Methuen, MA - Friend

“Please accept my sincere condolences for the loss of Mrs. Rosemary Peterson. Our Heavenly Father hears your cries for help during this difficult time...Read More »
13 of 19 | Posted by: M.S - MI

“Dan, so sorry for your loss. Please let us know if you need anything or how we can help. Eliana & Brian ”
14 of 19 | Posted by: Eliana & Brian McDonough - Bos6, MA

“Joe and I are so sorry for your loss. She sounds like she was truly a wonderful, giving person. Our love and prayers are with you at this very sad...Read More »
15 of 19 | Posted by: Joseph and Tickie Bechtel - MA

“I am so sorry for your loss. My deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Rosemary. May the God of all comfort grant you peace and...Read More »
16 of 19 | Posted by: J P

“Rosemary was such a wonderful person, and the whole Peterson family, such a lovely part of my childhood. My deepest sympathy for your loss. ”
17 of 19 | Posted by: Theresa Desmond Sajedian - MA

“Dear Peterson Family:What a beautiful person and a joy for us to have known her.As Christians, even though our hearts are saddened, we rejoice in...Read More »
18 of 19 | Posted by: Janet & Bill Coyne - SC

“The Gately Family and Staff wish to express our sincere sympathy to you. It is our hope that we may be able to make a difficult time more bearable....Read More »
19 of 19 | Posted by: John W. Gately, John H. Gately & Fred Sprague - MA


Rosemary E. Peterson, 91, of Melrose, died on Wednesday, May 15, 2019. Rosemary grew up in Everett. She graduated from Everett High School and the University of Massachusetts. Rosemary was the loving wife of Leonard, who died in 2008, and the devoted mother of eight children: Christine (John Horneff), Mark (Fay Reinhalter), John (Sheila Cody), Daniel (Joy Gould), Julia (Bruce McAllister), Ellen, Andrew (Patricia Dunn), and Joel. She was the proud grandmother of: Kathryn, Brian (Christine Kaufmann) and Emily (Michael Coyne); Seana, Kelly and Elizabeth Peterson; Christopher, Alexander, and Eric Peterson; Nell McAllister; Sarah, Megan and Noah Peterson; and great grandmother of Gavin and Brandon Coyne and Trevor Peterson. She was the daughter of Helene (Harder) and Bonifacio "Benjamin" Giordano, and the sister of William, Benjamin, Clara (Welch) and Lawrence Giordano (Eileen). She was loved by many nieces, nephews, cousins and her "honorary son" Rithy Uong of Lowell.

Rosemary was known for "walking the talk" by living out one's faith. She embodied intentional parenting, broad community involvement, and acceptance of differences. She was an ardent advocate for successful breastfeeding and child care, meaningful inclusion of those with Down syndrome into community life, hosting international students and others in need of hospitality, and the right-to-life movement.

In addition to raising her children with her husband, Len, she volunteered with La Leche League, supporting area mothers and babies. She later worked in several Boston-area hospitals as one of the first certified lactation consultants in the country. She volunteered at St. Mary's as a Eucharistic Minister, and, with Len, as a leader in the marriage preparation program. She and Len participated in the Christian Family Movement for decades.
Rosemary was ahead of her time as an excellent and health-conscious cook. She was a life-long learner, loved to read non-fiction, took continuing education courses, and always believed in choosing adventure. Her hobbies included caring for plants, and yarn handicrafts. She walked everywhere, exploring her communities, until shortly before her death. She and Len loved purposeful travel, including extended stints living in Chile (Association for International Development) and in Ecuador (United Nations) in the 1960's and '70's. They also loved to dance and took ballroom dance lessons well into their 70's.

A memorial service to celebrate her life will be held at St. Mary's Church in Melrose on Friday May 17 at 1 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made in her name to any of the following organizations: National Down Syndrome Congress @ www.ndsccenter.org; La Leche League international @ www.LLLI.org; Foster Kids of the Merrimack Valley @ www.fosterkidsmv.org; Massachusetts Citizens for Life @ www.masscitizensforlife.org; or the Center for Working Families @ www.c4wf.org.