Obituaries
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Stella Rohrmann (neé Chirchillo) was born on October 18, 1923, and grew up in Elizabeth, NJ. Her lifetime wish was to be a nurse, but though her dream was unattainable, she always tried to make sure her children respected the education she was unable to complete and spent her life as nurse/caretaker to her 5 children and 6 grandchildren, inviting anyone brought home through the years to eat at her table, stay in her home, and become part of the family. 

As a young woman, she sang in operettas, played badminton, rode horses, survived tuberculosis, worked at the Singer factory as a bookkeeper, and fell in love at age 18 with a German-born machinist, also at Singer, who decided to join the US Army in 1942 to help defeat a German named Hitler. Her new husband brought Mom to Germany after the war; she set up household while he interrogated Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg. Mom learned a new language and culture, made lifelong friends, and began her life as an army wife, with two of her children born in the country her husband helped liberate. Her German skills never left her, but her children are grateful that her kitchen remained Italian. 

Back in the US, she was an insurance underwriter, member of St. Anthony’s church for decades as a member of the choir, St. Anne’s Society, and Lazarus Ministry and - in her 80’s - retired from singing and started selling bagels at the church café after Sunday Mass. A lifelong seamstress, at age 95 she responded to a new calling: sewing blankets for babies in a war zone because her heart always embraced those who were suffering. 

Her children, grandchildren, and faith were the touchstones of her life. She passed away peacefully at age 97 and will join the one she called her Heavenly Mother Mary, the comfort and strength to her that she was to her family.

Mass of Christian Burial and Visitation will both be held on Saturday, July 31st. Mass will begin at 11:30 am at St. Anthony of Padua of Red Bank and visitation will be held from 4 to 7 pm at Thompson Memorial Home, 310 Broad St, Red Bank, NJ 07701. Stella will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery with her deceased husband privately at a later date.

 

 

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Bruce S. Thompson, Owner & Manager, NJ LIC #3740

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