By Paula Green
When it comes to volunteerism, Rose Scheller of Freedom is one of the best. In April, Rose will turn 91 years old, and she just finished her 40-year reign of chairing the Over Fifty Club at Saint Aidan Parish in Wexford.
Rose is a founding member of Saint Alexis Parish, which opened its doors in 1961. In 2020, Saint Alexis merged with Saint Alphonsus, and the newly formed church is now called Saint Aidan Parish.
Rose and her family, husband, Bob, and five children, decided to join Saint Alexis back in ’61. “When we first opened, Father Francis Rodgers was our founding pastor. He and Bob became friends, and Bob decided to get involved while I was at home raising our five children,” Rose said.
Not long after the establishment of Saint Alexis Church, a parochial school was founded on the grounds, and it was called Saint Alexis Catholic School. A few of Bob and Rose’s children attended the new facility. Since Rose enjoys being involved, she utilized her culinary skills and ran the school cafeteria. “I loved doing it, and I ran it for 25 years from 1970 to 1995. I met lots of wonderful families along the way,” Rose said.
While Rose was running the cafeteria, she and her dear friend, Jean Kilhof, co-chaired a new group called the Over Fifty Club. “Jean was in charge of the trips, and I made the food for the social events. We had many square dances and big band dances that drew big crowds; we would get hundreds of people. The Over Fifty Club also hosted bingos, appreciation dinners, and Monte Carlo nights. Everybody seemed to have a great time. Then ten years ago, Jean, unfortunately, started to experience health issues, so I took over organizing the trips for the group. My favorite was going to Canada, where you had to venture on a ferry to tour the place,” Rose added.
Rose also found time to run her own catering business. “One day, I was booked for a catering event where I needed to feed 850 people. As fate would have it, Bob had a heart attack! But everything did manage to work out,” said Rose.
In 1998, Bob passed away, and Rose continued to volunteer to spend her time. She also worked with the Saint Alexis Ladies of Charity and even worked every other Thursday afternoon in the Saint Alexis Parish Center. She also keeps herself busy with her nine grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
Rose recently stepped down from running the Over Fifty Club; after 40 years, she decided it was time for some new blood. Saint Alexis/Saint Aidan community thanks Rose for her many years of serving the Wexford community. Pittsburgh Fifty-Five Plus commends Rose for all her hard work and wishes her many blessings.