Ellen Rossi (McCarthy)
June 19, 1922- September 15, 2017
Ellen passed away at her home in San Francisco on September 15th surrounded by the love of her family. Ellen McCarthy was born in Ross, California in 1922 to Nora and William McCarthy. Her family moved from Sausalito to Sonoma during her youth. She graduated from Sonoma Valley High School and moved to San Francisco to attend SFSU. During that time, she met Victor Rossi and together they shared their love of the outdoors.
She is survived by her children, Catherine RossiRoos (Mark), Dr. Judith Rossi (Virginia, Brandon, Jared and Melissa), Victor Rossi (Eileen), Robert Rossi (Jane, Alexandra, Tess, Jack and Graham), Carol Rossi, five great grandchildren: Austyn, Gracey, Aubreanna, Lucille, and Tipton, many nieces and nephews and sister-inlaw, Susan Gans-McCarthy.
A veteran and a member of the greatest generation, Ellen was preceded in death by her husband, Victor, their first child Ellen Carol, sisters Lillian Matulich, Lucille McCarthy, Catherine Theberge, and brother William McCarthy.
Upon graduating from St. Mary’s School of Nursing in 1944, she enlisted in the US Navy during World War II and served as an officer and nurse at Whidbey Island, WA. After her military service, she married Dr. Victor L. Rossi and together, they made their home in San Francisco and were married over 50 years.
As her family grew, she became a full-time mother, raising her five children. She served as a Girl Scout Leader, PTA member, distinguished president of Loyola Guild and a chapter officer of the California Retired Teachers Association. Ellen loved life and was an excellent seamstress, chef, snow skier, water skier, swimmer, hiker, and avid traveler.
She and her husband Victor, built a vacation home in South Lake Tahoe in 1953 and created a lifetime of cherished memories with family and friends. Strong bonds of Tahoe friendships are still part of the family circle. Mom and the family enjoyed lifelong friendships with several school administrators, teachers, school staff members all of which shared the Rossi family experiences through Victor’s professional relationships.
She was a warm and generous person. She guided her children through many life lessons including learning to swim the cold waters of Lake Tahoe, skiing with wood tip skis at Echo Summit, hiking in Yellowstone, riding mules in the Grand Canyon and so much more.
A teacher at heart to her children and grandchildren, Ellen set lofty goals and had high expectations. She taught us how to live a good life, embody a strong faith, be courageous and treat everyone with respect and dignity, regardless of differences.
In recent years, she enjoyed family time with children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She hosted many parties at her homes in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe where friends, family and neighbors were always welcome to join in the fun. Her sense of humor and welcoming spirit created lasting memories for all who met her.
Our family would like to thank the dedicated staff at Irish Help at Home for the amazing care provided to Mom. We would also like to thank Catherine Domingo for her dedication and compassion in her care for Mom.
Family and friends are invited for visitation on Tuesday, September 19th, starting at 4:00PM with a Rosary at 7:00PM at Duggan’s Serra Mortuary, 500 Westlake Avenue, Daly City.
On Wednesday, September 20th at 10:00AM, a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Saint Stephen Church, 451 Eucalyptus Drive in San Francisco. Internment at Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma, California.
In lieu of flowers please donate to the charity of your choice.