Rosalia Petrone

1919 - 2021

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Rosalia Petrone on Monday, March 29, in the early morning.

Rosalia is survived by her daughter, Angela (grandsons Micha, Drury, & Conrad) and her son, Robert and wife Sharlene (grandsons Tyrone & Jayron).

Rosalia was born on December 14, 1919, spending her early years growing up in Dallas, Manitoba. When she was 12 years old, an older gentleman by the name of Mr. Rodwell, the superintendent of the Manitoba School for the Deaf, was out driving from town to town searching for children like Rosalia. He was asking residents if they knew of any Deaf children in the community and eventually he found her. With her parents’ permission, Mr. Rodwell picked her up on the spot and brought her back to the school. She remembered him as handsome and kind, and she was grateful for his help. She continued to attend Manitoba School for the Deaf for nine years and then one year at Saskatchewan School for the Deaf. During her later years at the school, when she was 17, she met her first love, Edward. He was 18, and they married on June 23, 1943.

After they married, Rosalia worked as a housekeeper for one year and earned ten dollars per month. Then she worked as a seamstress for North Shirt Company and made eight dollars per week. She was a house wife and mother for several years with her two children. She learned to drive when she was about forty-six years old. She worked at Manitoba School for the Deaf as a seamstress in 1965 till she retired in 1993. Edward and Rosalia travelled to Europe (including Italy where Edward was born), Mexico, Hawaii, a Caribbean cruise, Washington DC, California, Florida and Canada. They moved from Winnipeg to Calgary in 1989 and then moved to Edmonton in 1991. Edward passed away on December 27, 1991.

Rosalia had a lifelong passion for sewing. She learned how to sew at school to save money on clothes. She even darned holes in socks to make the most of them. She also made clothes for herself and her daughter until Angela graduated from college. Her sewing skills were wide-ranging, including knitting, crocheting and quilting – she even won several awards for her creations. She made banners for the Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf and the Youth Canada Tournament for the Deaf.

Our family greatly appreciates and thanks the staff of St. Joseph’s Auxiliary Hospital for the care they gave Rosalia during her time there. The family wishes to have a private gathering to honour her life. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Rosalia’s name to the Deaf Culture Centre online at:

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