An Ode to Radiant Rose

Picture of Rose in front of Ellsworth Hall

Although most of us pass by Rose at lunch on a daily basis, many are unaware of Rose’s neat story and character. She takes so much pride and joy in learning about the lives of her students, since she remembers what it was like to have her whole life ahead of her.

Rose grew up in Akron with her parents and four siblings, and her high school years were exciting. Rose was a social butterfly and loved to go to parties. She also had a high-school sweetheart named Gary, who worked at a factory near her home. Even at the young age of 18, Rose knew she didn’t want to go to college, but rather focus on enjoying life’s adventures and starting a family.

Shortly after graduation, Rose began working at the Western Reserve Academy’s dining hall on November 18, 1981. This has been her only job and aside from a few years of being outsourced, she has worked in the dining hall for about forty years. Interestingly, she never recreates the dining hall dishes at home. She says she’s a “Stouffer’s girl.”

Unfortunately, at the age of 27, Rose was told she couldn’t have children. This was difficult news, but Rose accepted that God had another path for her. Her job at the dining hall still allowed her to impact the lives of young people.

Rose has a strong faith, which she carries with her everywhere, but especially at work. Working in the food industry is often challenging, humbling work, where kindness is not always reciprocated. Yet, Rose recognizes the importance of a positive attitude, and through her kindness she is able to fill people’s gloomy days with sunshine, adding to the type of environment everyone loves at WRA.

Here at WRA, we spend a lot of time worrying about college, thinking that it’s a defining moment in our lives, a benchmark we have to hit. Rose chose a different path than many of us, but she can teach us a lot about what it means to be kind to others, more than any textbook. Rose often acts in a good-samaritan way by bringing meals to her neighbors. She says, “I love helping people who have less than I do; I don’t have much.”

Although she doesn’t have a lot, she is eternally grateful for the gifts God has given her: basic necessities, free will and an incredible sense of humor.

Her advice to all of the students at WRA is to, “Do that thing which is right. Do the right thing. Sometimes it’s gonna come at a cost. Love your neighbor.”

Here’s to Radiant Rose!

Twas the night before breakfast, when all through Ells,

not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

The teenagers upstairs slumbered, as the clock read five fifteen

But the kitchen was open, awaiting the queen!

She comes bright and early, wearing a smile,

Eager for what makes her job worthwhile.

She loves seeing young faces every day

For each one of you she loves and prays.

Charlotte Hooker ’23

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