Rosemary Ciabattari, 94, of Basking Ridge crossed over into heaven while at home with her family by her side on Thursday, February 1, 2018. A memorial service will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, February 8, 2018, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 111 Claremont Rd., Bernardsville. Interment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, Basking Ridge.
Born in Sicily and emigrating at age three, Rosemary Ciabattari attended Evander Childs High School in the Bronx and earned her B.A. from NYU, focusing on liberal arts and Romance languages. She and her husband, John Joseph, both attended NYU, where he went on to earn his law degree. Her father, Carmelo Schepis, had emigrated to America from Sicily to fight in the US Army during WWI, and served as an interpreter in the European Theater. She was a United States Navy veteran of World War II (WAVES) and worked for many years at the Veterans Administration Hospital at Lyons. She was an avid golfer, swimmer, traveller and reader, who loved everything from travel literature to 19th century novels. A great music lover of 40s jazz standards and opera, Rosemary sang on the radio when she was a teenager and continued to lift her beautiful voice in song throughout her lifetime. A passionate Yankee fan, she loved nothing more than attending games at Yankee Stadium. She also adored food, especially homemade Italian meals. Although she never fulfilled her dream to become a pilot, she always wanted to fly. She also was a friend to all, believing in human rights and the Aloha spirit fostered by her immigrant upbringing and her time spent living in Hawaii with her family. She is survived by her adoring children - John Charles Ciabattari, Nancy Anne Ciabattari, and Kisha Rose Ciabattari, and her daughter-in-law, Helene Sara Oakley - who will all continue to carry her radiant smile in their hearts. She follows her husband in Spirit. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the ACLU or ACLU of NJ.