Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Obituary: Rosemary Troia-Baker

MADISON - "Rosie" Troia-Baker, age 72, passed away on Saturday, April 23, 2005. She was born in Madison on Dec. 16, 1932, to Natale and Santina Troia, growing up in the Greenbush neighborhood of Madison, graduating from Central High and receiving her elementary education degree from Juneau County Normal College. She was united in marriage in 1954 to Mitchell P Baker. Of that union, five children were born that were her pride and joy. Mitch and Rosie lived in Plattsburgh, N.Y., for a few years, returning to Madison where Rosie cooked at area restaurants, including Amato's. Rosie was a member of the Italian American Women's Club, joining at age 16, later to become president. She started working for Head Start in the 1960s as a cook, which led her to become a part of a group of concerned citizens for young children at St. Martin's House. Rosie became involved in the inception of a building dedicated solely to quality child care, working with the Attic Angels, to become known as Child Development Inc., which at her retirement became the "Rosie Troia-Baker Building." Rosie started with GDI as a nutritionist, eventually becoming executive director in 1983. Her primary goal throughout her professional career was to help families by providing affordable, high quality day care to children of all nationalities and income levels. Over the years, Rosie has been honored for numerous contributions to the Madison community - to name some - introduction into the Children's Advocacy Hall of Fame, YMCA Woman of the Year, Wisconsin Child Administrator of the Year, Wisconsin State Journal's Know Your Madisonian, J. Martin Wolman Youth Services Award, Outstanding Service Award from the Italian Workman's Club and the first Rotary South Madison Club woman to receive the Paul Harris Fellow Award. Rosie's community/ volunteer activities were varied and numerous ranging from chairperson of the fund drive for the South Madison Neighborhood Center to tending Rotary South's brat stand at the Wisconsin football games, the Mayor's Task Force on Human Service, Family Service Board Member, Dane County Task Force on Early Child Development, South Madison Boys and Girls Board Member, honorary member of the Board of Directors of Employment and Training Association, Wisconsin Child Care Admintrator Association, Oxford "Who's Who", and was presented the "Key to the City" by Mayor Paul Soglin in 1987. No one could meet Rosie without being affected in some way by her. Upon retirement, a scholarship for young children was set up in her name. Rosie is survived by five children, Judy (Joe) Lottes, Sandy (James) Baker-Banks, Mitchell P. (Debbie) Baker Jr., Joey (Anthony) Baker and Robbie Baker; six grandchildren, Michelle, Santina, Mitchell III, Tony, Jasmine and Niko; three great-grandchildren, Sunshine, John and Starr; two brothers, Mel (Judy) Troia and August (Edith) Troia; many other living relatives; and special friends, Betty Smith, Cybil Whitesel, Dr. Golden, Nicole and Vanessa. She was preceded in death by her parents; her loving husband; and two brothers, Joe and Phil Troia. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at ST. JAMES CATHOLIC CHURCH, 1128 St. James Court, at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 29, 2005, with Monsignor Thomas Baxter officiating. Burial will follow in Resurrection Catholic Cemetery. Family and friends may call from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 28, 2005, at the CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 6021 University Ave., and at the church one half hour before the time of service. MOM - Thank you for instilling in us the value and importance of family. You have helped us to become who we were born to be, in our own ways, as you have done. Thank you for your lessons in living and loving. You are now with Dad and Nana. We all love and miss you. Cress Funeral & Cremation Service 6021 University Ave. (608) 238-8406

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on April 27, 2005

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