After a four-month battle with pancreatic cancer, Rose M. Spinna of Southampton died on April 10. She was 81.
Rose Marie (DiCarlo) Spinna was born on August 11, 1933, in the Wakefield section of the Bronx. She was the daughter of Salvatore and Catherine (Castro) DiCarlo, immigrants from Corleone, Sicily. She graduated from Evander Childs High School in 1951 and attended classes at New York University. A lifelong movie buff, she fondly remembered her years working in Rockefeller Center during the 1950s, first for RKO, one of the big five studios of Hollywood’s Golden Age, and then for the WOR radio station.
She married Robert Spinna, then a professor of civil engineering at Manhattan College, on June 14, 1959, at St. Anthony of Padua Church in the Bronx. The wedding was followed by a reception at the Grand Ballroom of the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan.
After starting their family in the mid-1960s in Crestwood, the Spinnas moved to North Salem in 1971. In North Salem, Ms. Spinna dedicated herself to raising her family until her youngest child entered high school, at which time she was appointed deputy receiver of taxes for the Town of North Salem. After serving 12 years in the tax office in North Salem, where she made many friends in the town government, in 1999 Ms. Spinna and her husband retired to Southampton, where her son and daughter-in-law had already established a residence.
Ms. Spinna enjoyed movies, opera, travel, the music of Frank Sinatra and the classic sitcoms and variety shows of the 1970s and 1980s (her favorites were “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “The Carol Burnett Show”). She was also an avid New York Yankees fan, from the days of DiMaggio and Rizzuto right up through the era of Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter.
Survivors said they will remember her as a devoted wife, mother and grandmother, all roles that came naturally to her and brought her joy. She never felt the need to be the center of attention, and was always willing to lend a helping hand. Right up until the last months of her life, when she barely had the strength and balance to stand, and long after she had earned the right to be waited upon, she would repeatedly ask her children at family gatherings, “What can I do to help?,” insisting that she—the matriarch—participate in the after-dinner clean-up. Her modesty, loyalty and devotion to family serve as an inspiration to all who knew her, survivors said.
Ms. Spinna is survived by her husband of nearly 56 years, Robert J. Spinna Sr.; a son, Robert J. Spinna Jr.; her daughters, Rosemarie C. Kirchner and Christine S. Keenan; daughter-in-law, Emily C. Spinna; sons-in-law, Albert Kirchner and Michael Keenan; and grandchildren, Rose A. Spinna, Eliza Spinna, Sara Spinna, Robert J. Spinna III, Abigail Kirchner, Albert Kirchner IV, Blake Kirchner, Eloise Kirchner, Carsen Kirchner, Samantha Keenan and Michael Keenan.
After a service held at the O’Connell Funeral Home, her remains will be interred at a family plot in Sacred Hearts Roman Catholic Cemetery in Southampton.
Memorial donations may be made to the Rogers Memorial Library, 91 Coopers Farm Road, Southampton, NY 11968.