July 19, 1919 ~ September 5, 2012
Rose Presciutti is remembered by her family and her many friends for her unselfish service to everyone that knew her. She never focused on herself or on her own problems, never complained and never blamed God for her difficult life. She instead continually praised Him. When she came to America in 1956, it was only 2 years later that her husband Raffaelle lost his left arm in an accident where he worked. In 1972, when Rose was only 53 years old, her husband died. She remained faithful to him, her family, her friends, and to her God throughout the last 40 years. She still would speak about her husband as though the relationship never ended. In her heart, it never did. Rose was a member of Congrega Santi Martiri, the Patron Saints of Celano Italy since 1958, and served as president from 1984-2008. She had more friends at age 93 after most of her friends had already died, than most people ever have in a lifetime. On Wednesday Sept. 5th, at age 93 Rose went home to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Predeceased by her husband, Raffaele Presciutti; brothers, Sigismondo Russo & Giacomo Russo; sisters, Rina Paris & Inessa Tacone; daughter-in-law, Linda Presciutti. She is survived by her children, Palma (Loreto) Paliani, Attilio (Dianne) Presciutti, Vincent (Mary Anne) Presciutti & Frank and Mary Presciutti; grandchildren, Joanne (Gary) Duell, John (Mary Jane) Paliani, Ralph (Julie) Presciutti, John (Natalie) Presciutti, Tammy (Brad) Pfister, Vincent Presciutti, Daniel Presciutti, Melissa (Jason) Patrick & Nicholas (Ashley) Presciutti; great-grandchildren, Jake, Julianna, Christian, Dante, Justin, Gianni, Anthony, Alexa, Andrew, Tyler & Leanna; brother, Alfredo (Santina) Russo; sister, Ernesta Baliva; many nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends. What most of Rose's friends do not know about are the many times Rose put her life on the line to help others during World War II. She seldom if ever talked about the war until she realized the importance of sharing her history with her family. On Oct. 13th, 1943, after having surrendered to the Allies, Italy declared war on Germany. As a result the Germans disarmed the Italian Army, declared Italy under German military rule and conscripted Italian men to primitive work camps. Many of those men were taken to the front lines and never returned. Many others, especially in northern Italy, were taken to prison camps and summarily executed. Rose's husband Raffaele was taken to one of those camps. Fearing that the men were going to be executed, Rose walked almost 20 miles to where she had been told the men were being taken. She was told that if the weather was good, they would be taken to the front lines, but otherwise they would be in the prison camp in Aiello. The 20 mile walk was bad enough for anyone, but Rose was almost 7 months pregnant at the time. She arrived at the camp and as she looked through the fence, her husband saw her. As he tried to get to her, he was beaten and taken away. Rose returned to Celano and was at least able to tell the rest of the women that the men had not been executed, but were in a prison camp. Still, she had no idea if or when the men would be executed. Raffaele managed to escape as the men were being taken to the front lines, and returned to Celano. As a result a tunnel was built where the men from Celano could take refuge when the Germans periodically rounded up the men for work camps. The thorn bush covered entrance to the tunnel was in Rose's back yard. Her husband Raffaele however did not make it to the tunnel on time on one occasion, and was once again taken by the Germans to a work camp, but the tunnel continued to serve many others. By age 24, Rose had lost 4 children, had no idea what would happen to her husband in the work camps, and had dealt with the deaths of many of her friends in the war. In January of 1944 the Allied bombing of Casino began. Rose could see the sky light up near Mt. Casino from her home town of Celano Italy. The town of Celano rests on a mountainside, overlooking the city of Avezzano, only 6 miles away. Avezzano and Celano were part of Germany's second line of defense; the Ceaser Line. Avezzano was home to the German 26th Panzer Division and also hosted a German P.O.W. camp. Avezzano was virtually leveled during this time. American soldiers dressed as civilians would hide in the mountains behind Celano to obtain and relay information regarding bombing targets in Avezzano. Many Allied soldiers had escaped from the P.O.W. camp in Avezzano, but had no place to go. They had to hide in the mountains. The mountains were crawling with escaped Allied prisoners, a small number of American soldiers, and of course, a large number of German troops. Imagine all of these Allied P.O.W.'s and American soldiers hiding in the mountains, trying to avoid being captured or killed by the Germans. What could a 24 year old Italian woman do, to be of any help? What Rose did was bring food to these soldiers as often as she could. They had to eat! When asked if she did this just a few times, she answered, no; all the time. One time, she was stopped and warned not to go any further because German troops were up ahead. Instead of returning to Celano, she took another route. Rose was always aware of the consequences but carried on with her mission regardless. Rose and her parents also kept 3 American soldiers overnight in their home after giving them a good meal and packing meals for the following day. Obviously, somebody told these soldiers they would be safe there. On another occasion, they helped a German soldier who had lost his father and 2 brothers in the war and wanted out of the army, to get out of Celano. The Germans would not have been pleased with Rose, had they found out about the tunnel in her back yard, the escaped German soldier, the 3 Americans who took refuge in their home, or about the many trips she took to bring food to Allied soldiers in the mountains. They would have executed her and everyone in her home, along with her husband Raffaelle. Rose knew this. She willingly risked her life and the lives of those she loved the most. One can understand why a young woman would willingly risk her life so many times, only if they knew the horrific details of what was going on in Celano under German occupation. That would require a book, and such a book was written and presented to Rose on Sunday Sept. 2nd, 3 days before she died. She was still able to read the dedication, which of course was to her and her husband Raffaele. On August 28th, The American Legion presented Rose with a Certificate of Honor for her service to the United States Military during World War II. The sum of the matter is this. As the Germans were retreating, Rose was outside her house when a truck filled with German soldiers stopped. One of the officers looked at Rose and said,' If my commander knew about some of the things that were going on here, you would all be dead' Thank God for that German soldier. Rose's visitation will be held Monday, September 10th, 2-7 P.M. at Vay-Schleich & Meeson Funeral Home, Greece Chapel, 1075 Long Pond Road. Her Funeral Mass will be celebrated, Tuesday, September 11th, 9:30 A.M. at St. Theodore's Church, 168 Spencerport Road, Rochester, NY 14606. Entombment in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery will follow Mass.