MARCH 14, 1950 – JANUARY 7, 2023

Rosann O’Connell

Roseann passed away, peacefully at home. She was 72.

Roseann was born in 1950, graduated high school in 1968 and attended a couple years of college before going into her banking career until 1978. Roseann was very fortunate to enjoy her childhood, her teen years and even her young adulthood, before she started experiencing symptoms of Friedreich’s Ataxia. She was not officially diagnosed with FA until 1990. By then, Roseann had already started her family and was busy raising 3 wonderful children, 2 of which are twins! The third just 2 years younger. She certainly had her hands full!

Roseann grew up in Massachusetts and raised her family there. When her children were grown and started families of their own, she moved to Marco Island, Florida to escape the cold winters and to be closer to her sister. Down there, she truly enjoyed living on the beach, reading, basking in the sun, and watching the sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico, as much as she could. Roseann made a lot of friends down in FL and developed a wonderful support system. They say it takes a village, and those friends were her village! She was truly blessed. She lived in FL for 10 years, before moving back up north, to Rhode Island, to be closer to her daughter. While in RI, she developed another wonderful support system! RI is where she called home for her last 3 years of life.

Roseann meant the world to everyone she encountered, especially her children and grandchildren. She was the strongest woman her children ever knew! She was determined, resilient, independent, brave, and fearless. She was a fighter. She had to be. She was also very smart (so sharp), loving, thoughtful, adventurous, and extremely generous. Not because she had to be, but because she wanted to be. When someone said she couldn’t, she said she could. And she did. Roseann was truly an inspiration to all.

Even though Roseann was dealt this difficult hand in life, she never let it stop her. She thrived as much as she could! She traveled a lot so she could spend as much time with her children and grandchildren as she could. She didn’t want to miss out on anything; certain milestones, birthdays, holidays, sporting events, school events, trips to the casino, you name it. Family reunions were her absolute favorite! As we look back at photographs of Roseann throughout her life, we don’t see someone in a wheelchair who struggled. We see pure joy of someone who lived her life to the fullest and enjoyed every minute of it. She was deeply loved and will be very sorely missed.