Rosalie “Lee” Catalano

Rosalie “Lee” Catalano

March 15, 1932 - July 22, 2023

Rosalie “Lee” Catalano

March 15, 1932 - July 22, 2023


Rosalie “Lee” Catalano
1932 to 2023

Rosalie was born in Amsterdam, New York, to Anthony LaVella, and Anna Turo.  Along with her older brother Frank, they moved to the Los Angeles area during the depression years. Her cousin Frank Bruno was like a brother to her, and they remained devoted to each other throughout their lives.

She attended Eagle Rock High School, where she graduated in 1949.  She worked as a secretary at Occidental Life, and at Gladding McBean (home of Franciscan Desert Rose dishware) in Los Feliz.  In her later years she worked at Bendix in Sylmar, where she retired.

She met her husband Jim on a set-up date, and they were together for 55 years.  It was a short courtship; they were engaged after 3 months and married after 6 months, on February 11, 1956.  She had two daughters, Linda and Debbie, and four grandchildren, Stephanie, Tom, Weston and Diana.

She and Jim had a great love of ballroom dancing and then Square Dancing.  They belonged to the Square Dance club called the Squeeze ‘m Squares, in their hometown of Sunland.  They were very active in the club, and made life-long friends there, even after they stopped dancing.

She was an excellent seamstress and sewed all her daughters’ clothes as well as doll clothes for all sizes of dolls.  She was a talented needleworker and made everyone in the family a Christmas stocking.  She was a great cook and baker.  As she got older, she was very proud to be known amongst her friends as the ‘cookie lady’ because of her delicious cookies.

She and Jim eventually moved to a senior community in Murrieta, where they spent many happy years.  Eventually she needed to get closer to one of her daughters and moved to the Denver area.  Many thanks to the staff at Morningstar Assisted Living in Parker for taking care of her so lovingly.

You may donate in memory of our mom, to PBS, which she enjoyed very much, especially the travel and cooking shows.  The website link is:

A graveside service will be held on Tuesday August 15 at 9:30 AM at Ascension Cemetery, 24754 Trabuco Road, Lake Forest, California.  A Celebration of Life luncheon will be held at the Lido Sands Community Recreation Area at 4700 Lido Sands Drive, Newport Beach, beginning at 11.

Graveside Service

  • Date & Time: August 15, 2023 (9:30 AM)
  • Venue: Ascension Cemetery
  • Location: 24754 Trabuco Road Lake Forest, CA 92630 - (Get Directions)
  • Phone Number: (949) 837-1331

Celebration Of Life

  • Date & Time: August 15, 2023 (11:00 AM)
  • Venue: Lido Sands Community Recreation Area
  • Location: 4700 Lido Sands Drive Newport Beach, CA 92663 - (Get Directions)

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1 responses to Rosalie “Lee” Catalano

  1. Jeannie Cowan says:

    As a young adolescent teenager and BFF of Debbie, I enjoyed all the times I was able to spend over at the warm home on Oro Vista. Mrs Catalano always insisted I stay for dinner when Debbie and I were “hanging out”. Mrs. Catalano introduced me to my first homemade pasta. Cooking was an art form for her. After dinner cleaning dishes rotated between Linda and Debbie. Debbie and I always had a great time with the wash and rinse. Debbie and Linda’s Mom knew we had fun with a chore that most would dread. Her smile to me told it all. When we were camping in San Diego during high school, Debbie and I must have appeared odd to her since Debbie and I had a mission to tan over the summer. I’m sure now, Mrs. Catalano laughed in the shade. Over the many years to follow, I felt special to Mrs Catalano whenever she saw me. I truly loved my Mrs. Catalano.

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