BILLINGS, Mont. - Rose LaHaie, 96, passed peacefully into eternal life Monday, Jan. 20, 2014, at St. Vincent Healthcare. She had been a resident at Westpark Village in Billings since 2007, after moving from Michigan to be closer to her daughter and son-in-law.
Rose was born in Iron Mountain on May 20, 1917, to Italian immigrants Domenic Tedeschi and Letizia (Colavecchi) Tedeschi. The Tedeschi brothers married the Colavecchi sisters and came to Michigan from Capistrano, Italy, to work and raise their families. They built a home together, affectionately known as "the white house" and raised their children in a happy, festive and loving household.
Rose married Dennis LaHaie in 1952. She waited many years to join him in marriage and 28 years to reunite with him forever in Heaven. They lived in Omro, Wis., and later returned home to Iron Mountain.
Rose enjoyed a long and rewarding life. Despite many mishaps and medical problems, she was able to rise to challenges and meet them with dignity, perseverance, and a positive attitude.
She loved to crochet and made hundreds of afghans, warming many cold laps and feet. Her occasional trip to the casino was a hopeful and fun adventure, especially when accompanied by her dear friends Joyce Mish or Linda Edwards.
The Green Bay Packers have lost one of their biggest fans. Rose would make the pilgrimage to Green Bay to watch the games, often in the bitter cold, and enjoy the fine Wisconsin cuisine in the form of bratwurst sandwiches. She was an excellent cook and continued to make homemade pasta and Italian cookies until a few days before her death. She taught many generations in her family the art and secrets of Italian cooking, and those who called her "Auntie Rosie" or "Grandma Rosie" will carry on those traditions.
Her faith was always important to her and as a Catholic she was devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. She would often call upon Her to help her beloved Packers or Michigan State Spartans as she watched the ballgames with her rosary clutched in her small hands.
After Rose was widowed she lived with and was preceded in death by her cousin Marge VanMieghem. Marge, her son Dale, his wife Diane and their wonderful son Ken, daughter Nancy and their families were a very important part of and source of constant joy in Rose's life.
She is survived by her daughter, Dr. Patricia LaHaie, rehabilitation physician at St. Vincent Healthcare; loving son-in-law, Paul Mish and precious grand-dog, Stormy. She is also survived by her cousin, Norma (Tedeschi) Christesen and husband Ellis Christesen of Green Bay, and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Dennis, in 1985.
Brothers, Tony Tedeschi, Joseph "Windy" Tedeschi; sister, Julia Tedeschi; cousins, Marge VanMieghem, Theodore Tedeschi and Rudy Tedeschi also preceded her in death.
She flourished and had an excellent quality of life at Westpark Village and she loved Tina Vauthier and the staff and had close friendships with many of the residents. She found her place in a caring and supportive community environment. Rose and her family are also grateful for the compassionate and excellent care provided at St. Vincent Healthcare, particularly under the watchful eye of Dr. Charles McClave. Our close friend and extraordinary nurse, Debbie Emslander also regularly and meticulously tended to Rose.
A memorial fund, the LaHaie Family Endowment for Rehabilitation, has been set up through St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation, 1106 North 30th St., Billings MT 59101.
Cremation has taken place. Funeral services and burial will take place at a later date in Iron Mountain. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www.dahlfuneralchapel.com.
We will all miss this small but mighty woman, but she has left us with countless memories and a legacy of selflessness, faith and kindness.