Vita Ann Rose

November 3, 1944May 26, 2018
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Vita Ann (Ragusa) Rose, age 73 passed away peacefully, surrounded by many of her loving family, on Saturday, May 26, 2018 after living with frontotemporal dementia. Vita’s greatest joy in life was her family. She is survived by her husband of 52 years, Sam Rose Jr., her daughter Karen Rose Racey, son-in-law Allan and grandchildren Nathan & Rachel; her son Sam Rose III, daughter-in-law Morgen and grandchildren Sam IV & Nicholas. Vita is also survived by her father, Jake Ragusa Sr. (98 yrs young); her sister Christine Montalbano, brother-in-law Paul; her brother Jake Ragusa Jr. and sister-in-law Elysia. She was preceded in death by her mother Rose Ragusa and her sister Rosemary Ragusa. She is also survived by a large family of nieces, nephews and cousins that she adored and loved spending time with.

Vita attended Incarnate Word Academy graduating as Class President and throughout her life she maintained friendships with many of her IWA classmates. She went on to attend the University of Houston where she met and married her college sweetheart, Sam. Vita’s foundation in her Catholic faith from her youth inspired her into a lifelong career serving the church community. She worked many years in the St. Matthew’s Catholic Church office as well as 25+ years as bookkeeper at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church/School. She treasured the friendships, families and students that enriched her life while living her Catholic Faith. Vita was also a member of St. Ignatius Loyola Catholic Church and graciously volunteered her time and talents by supporting the annual St. Joseph Alter, counting offerings on Sunday and serving as Eucharist Minister.

Vita was a lover of life. She valued connecting with others by really listening and being in the moment with the person at her side. She loved traveling to cities all over the world from small-town bluebonnet festivals in Texas, to Vancouver, California, the Ragusa Ranch, Colorado, Mexico, France and especially to visit her Italian family in Bisacquino, Sicily. The name Vita means “Life” in Italian. She treasured her Texas-style Italian traditions such as making homemade sausage and Italian fig cookies.

Love. The truest expression of unconditional love is what Sam and Vita expressed to each to each other on a daily basis. It started with their wedding anniversary on the day before Valentine’s Day. They shared this idea of unconditional love with their children…a treasured legacy passed on. And then there were the grandkids…and MawMaw was born. Her four grandchildren were the light of her life. They filled her with joy and she gave it right back to them. Pure love. Laughter, playing, eating lots of Mexican food (and ice cream), carousels, “come on cars” and a never ending supply of hugs and kisses.

And if you know Vita, you know… she loved to shop. A lot. Sometimes with a full and indexed bag of coupons. What started with weekly trips with her mother to Foley’s became a lifetime of shopping trips with her best shopping buddies. Shopping was about finding the deals but really spending quality time with the people she loved.

Throughout Vita’s life, she always made true friends and loving relationships. A lifelong list of true friends never ends. From UH Newman Club, IWA, Church Youth Groups, Marriage Encounter ….everyone loved Vita.

Vita’s family would like to take this opportunity to thank the amazingly wonderful people at Silverado Memory Care facility. More than just taking care of Vita for 4+ years, they loved her. They treated her like family and they appreciated the essence of everything that was Vita. As important as Vita’s Italian heritage was to her, this outpouring of love and support was exactly what she needed. Vita’s family will forever consider the staff at Silverado a part of their extended family.

A visitation and rosary service will be held on Friday, June 1 from 5:00 - 8:00pm at Earthman Funeral Home, 8303 Katy Freeway, Houston, Texas. The rosary service begins at 7:00pm. A funeral mass will be held at 1:00pm on Saturday, June 2 at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church, 11720 Joan of Arc Drive, Houston, Texas with interment services to follow at Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery.

In honor of Vita, the love she received at her Silverado home and the location of her passing, a Rose Garden will be constructed and dedicated in her honor at Silverado Memory Care Facility - Cypresswood. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to “Vita’s Rose Garden” at . Please click on link below to make donation.


  • Visitation Friday, June 1, 2018
  • Rosary Friday, June 1, 2018
  • Funeral Mass Saturday, June 2, 2018
  • Committal Service Saturday, June 2, 2018

Vita Ann Rose

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Claudia Banks

June 1, 2018

My condolences to the entire family of Vita Ann Rose. May God shower all of Vita's family and friends with his grace to comfort them at this very difficult time. She will be missed by so many. What an awesome, loving, caring lady she was.

Vita and I were classmates at Incarnate Word Academy for four years and graduated together in 1962. Those four years were so fun and that infectious smile of Vita's made us all so proud to be associated with her. We loved Vita!

God Bless her soul and keep her forever in your care.

Claudia Banks

Loretta Kasowski

June 1, 2018

I graduated from IWA with Vita in 1962. Vita was such a kind and caring person, always with a kind smile on her face. My husband and I were members of St. Matthew Parish while Vita and Sam were there so I got to talk to her over the years. I am sorry that I won't be able to attend the funeral or the rosary as we have previous obligations. However, your entire family are in my thoughts and prayers during this most difficult time. Heaven now has another beautiful angel!
Loretta Prazak Kasowski


June 1, 2018

I met Vita when I came to work at St. Cecilia Catholic Community, in my eyes she was a classy lady; always well dressed and I cannot forget her smile... I send my prayer and condolences go to her family... Blessings, Mirta

Dela Garza

June 1, 2018

The face of an angel, the heart of a saint,
God blessed my life by letting me share in yours.
My heart and soul will remember you forever,
your kindness, your love of family and friends,
I am priviledged honored and humbled to be able to say
"Vita Rose, You are my precious friend",
Thank you for all you did for me, and for my family,
for all at St. Matthew's, and for all who crossed your path.
Heaven is rejoicing at the sight of you coming!
Welcome Home, and now you can rest!
Love you!


May 31, 2018

I met Sam and Vita while Vita was at Silverado Memory Care.
Sam's love and devotion for his wife, even though many times it could not be acknowledge or reciprocated, was an inspiration to me, as I cared for my wife at the same facility.

The gentleness and love in which Sam carefully fed her, held her hand and whispered his love to her, was an inspiration to me. Care Givers at Silverado also noted Sam's love for Vita.

Sam set the standard for spousal care that was noticed and admired by the staff. Several times I heard someone say: "If I ever have to enter a memory care facility, I hope my husband cares for me like Sam cares for Vita."

I hope that our friendship; forged through years of tragedy does not end with the death of both our spouses. It is too precious to lose.

Rick Baker

May 31, 2018

Always remember the beautiful speeches by both Mrs and Mr Rose at out wedding. I’ll miss you.

Claudia Rigamonti

May 31, 2018

I have the very best memories of the fun days we had in the Newman Club at the University of Houston. I had never taken business classes in high school, and you came to my rescue typing my term papers. You were an angel always ready to help. I was from out of town, and lived in the dorm and many times I was invited to your home to have dinner with your wonderful family. You had the most gracious and welcoming mother and father. Vita, you were blessed at birth with a loving family, and you truly lived their values though out your life.

You were in my wedding in Orange and my dad would tease you speaking in French and making you laugh. He often commented that you had the most beautiful smile. We later spent time together when Sam and Tom were in basic training in the US Army.

Our friendship meant so much to me. You had a loving influence on everyone you touched. All the good times and memories of you are truly cherished in my heart. You walked with grace and we were all blessed to have had you in our lives.

Christine LaRocca Farell

May 29, 2018

My sweet friend,
There is no one who could ever be so caring, accepting and loving as you, Vita - you were truly special to all who knew you! Everyone was drawn to your beautiful, genuine smile! There are so many memories I have - camping trips to the Guadalupe River and to Colorado, marriage encounter sharing, the "Shop 'til You Drop" days at the mall, and just catching up on Friday nights at Ninfa's. - things I will always cherish! I miss having you to call when I need advice or just a good ear. You always knew just the right thing to say and were always so supportive and positive. You were the best at giving encouragement. We hit it off the first time we met at St. Matthew's and I knew I had found a "forever" friend and by extension your whole family - the Ragusa clan- opened their arms and welcomed us. Heaven has a new Angel and I feel so blessed to have known you and to call you my friend. Thank you for being you!
Love and miss you, Christine

Lolly Baker

May 29, 2018

Vita, you will always be in my heart and I will cherish our monthly visits to the Galleria after work. We would have dinner and walk the mall shopping, confiding our life's joys and hardships with each other and just loving being together. My visits to the Ragusa's for sausage making, Christmas and Easter were always so wonderful.
Your dear friend, Lolly



If anyone ever cared, really cared for someone else it would have to be Vita Ann Rose. She was a warm hearted and well liked individual, and these wonderful traits came easily to her because she was such a sociable and amiable person, someone who was always making certain that those around her had whatever they needed. Vita was a talkative person who was tactful at all times but typically said what she meant.

      Vita was born on Hendrick Hospital in Abilene, Texas. She was the daughter of Jake and Rose Ragusa. Vita was raised in Houston, Texas. During her childhood she learned to be reliable and respectful. Vita was an obedient child who wanted to win the favor of others. She found it easy to show sympathy and to perform kind acts for others. These admirable qualities would become a part of Vita's personality throughout her life.

      Though Vita was frequently the one to initiate games and activities with her family, she was also quite often the family member who took the role of referee. Vita was a peace-maker with an ability to resolve all sorts of family conflicts. In fact, Vita worked conscientiously to keep those typical family spats at bay. Vita was raised with three. She had two younger sisters, Chris and Rosemary and one younger brother, Jake Jr. Vita and her siblings had the typical rivalries while growing up, but they cared deeply for one another.

      For Vita, the school routines were never a problem although she generally preferred variety to structure. She seemed to be able to start a project and work right through to its completion. And she was able to do it quickly and efficiently. Vita was also adept at details. Vita was very observant and was generally quick at picking up new things. She graduated from Incarnate Word Academy in 1962. She enjoyed some courses more than others, having favorite classes and teachers. Vita was President of the Class of 1962.

      There was one thing that all of Vita's friends knew and will still remember, and that is that she was a talker. She could pretty much talk to anybody about anything. This quality is one of the primary reasons that Vita was such a popular person throughout her life. But Vita was also dependable, loyal and trustworthy. Vita was the kind of person who simply radiated good fellowship. While she maintained personal standards and her own personal values, Vita was very accepting of others. With a distinct skill for working things out, Vita was often the person who would organize events. In fact, Vita was fairly comfortable playing the role of “host” for just about any occasion. When Vita made friends, she made true and lasting friendships. Later in life, she became friends with Tom and Claudia Rigamonti, Judy Carrabba, Lolly Baker, Christine Farell, John and Ria Perkins, Fr. Joe Gietl, all her neighbors and co-workers at St. Cecilia Catholic Church and School.

      Vita was a faithful and loving person. Some would even call her sentimental and a romantic at heart. Her kindness and consideration radiated an aura of warmth to those around her. Vita cared for what others thought and carried that into her marriage. On Febuary 13, 1966 Vita married Samuel T. Rose at Annunciation Catholic Church of Houston, Texas. Compassionate and devoted, Vita worked hard to make her new life partner happy.

      Harmony was important to Vita and she made every effort to maintain it with her family. Vita was blessed with two children: one daughter, Karen and one son, Sam III. They were also blessed with four grandchildren, Sam Rose IV, Nicholas Rose, Nathan Racey, Rachel Racey. Vita was always conscious of the feelings others had. She was reasonable and understanding. As a result, Vita was quick to solve disputes and did so without much fuss. Her secret of success in this area was simple: Vita would listen before she would act.

      Taking her work seriously came naturally to Vita, and she expected the same from those around her. Vita was a good team player, someone who was born to cooperate with others. She was what some would call a “people person” and it was demonstrated in her good communication skills. Vita was a steady worker, one who was realistic about schedules. The kind of details that would give family members and work colleagues fits were situations that Vita handled well. She could understand the details without getting lost in the broad “big picture.” Her primary occupation was bookkeeper. She was employed for 25+ years at St. Cecilia Catholic Church and School. She brought harmony to her work environment, doing what was necessary in order to get the job done, while always maintaining respect for her colleagues.

      A methodical woman, Vita enjoyed spending time working on her various hobbies. She had no problem following all of the steps and instructions on a given project and was proud of the fact that she could have something to show for her efforts. Her favorite pursuits were shopping, collecting antique dishes, and traveling.

      Vita was one of those people who took pride in constantly putting forth her best effort. Nowhere was that more visible than in sports. Vita was always enthusiastic and a great team player. In high school, Vita played volleyball. In her college years, Vita continued to stay active by tennis. Recreational sports included tennis. Vita also liked being a sports fan and enjoyed following her favorite teams whenever she got the opportunity. Tops on her list were football.

     Her keen interest in things that affected the lives of other people led Vita to become actively involved in professional and community organizations. Because she was outgoing and worked well with others, Vita did her fair share of volunteer work. And she wouldn’t shy away from taking the lead on committees or events, either. She was a born list maker and was great at creating and sticking to schedules. In college, Vita joined the Newman Club at the University of Houston. Throughout her later years, Vita was an active member of the St. Joseph Altar Society.

     Her high moral standards and traditional values served Vita well with her faith. Religion and faith were important to her. She was a member of St. Ignatius of Loyola for 25 years. During that time, she was a Eucharistic Minister, money counter, Marriage Encounter, couple sponsor and St. Joseph Altar Society. She was well respected because she was such an outgoing individual who sought to help in any manner she could.

      Not only did Vita enjoy traveling, but she also seemed to enjoy planning all of those trips and vacations. She was a facilitator who could easily make up a near perfect schedule of all of the things to do and see. She rarely tired of going back and revisiting her favorite places. Her favorite vacations included Italy, France, Canada, Colorado, numerous locations in Mexico and Germany.

      Vita was a lover of animals and cherished her pets. One of her favorites was Peewee, a mutt dog, who was a best friend for 10 years.

      Since it was easy for Vita to meet and get to know new people, she quickly made friends, even in retirement. Once she met those new friends, she loved sharing stories and talking about the good old days. Since she was practical and cost effective, Vita was ready when that day to retire finally came in 2008. In retirement, she found new pleasure in shopping, traveling and church activities. Even in retirement, Vita stayed in touch with her old friends and made plenty of new acquaintances. She was active in the community and felt fulfilled with the opportunities that retirement offered her.

      Vita passed away on May 26, 2018 at Silverado Memory Care Cypresswood in Houston, Texas. Vita fought a brave battle against Frontotemporal Dementia for 8 years. She is survived by her husband Sam, her children Sam III and Karen; her sister Chris and her brother Jake Jr. and father Jake Sr. Services were held at St. Cecilia Catholic Church. Vita was laid to rest in Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery in Houston, Texas.

      Vita was a fantastic conversationalist who could engage just about anyone in a discussion. And whenever she said something, she meant it. Vita was a down to earth person, outgoing and gregarious. She was without question the type of person who enjoyed experiencing things first hand. She was practical and sensible, but what friends and family will remember her for most is the fact that she was so understanding and kind. Everyone whose life she touched will miss Vita Ann Rose.