Obituary of Roselyn B Wolff
Roselyn Wolff, 92, of Frelinghuysen Township, passed away peacefully in her home on Tuesday, February 15th.
Roselyn was devoutly religious, a dedicated family woman, a lover of animals, and a caring neighbor. Although she was also shy and reserved, those who knew her best know what a marvelously interesting person she was and what a full life she led.
Roselyn (née Bohnenberger) was born in Elizabeth, NJ and grew up in Union, NJ. Mischievous and fun-loving as a child, Roselyn was a marble-playing champion who didn’t back down from schoolyard bullies. She loved playing softball as a teenager and spending time outdoors with friends picnicking and hiking. It was on a picnic in Stokes State Forest that she met her future husband, Fred L. Wolff (d. 2003). She and Fred shared a love of the outdoors, hosting many outdoor parties for friends during their time living in Berkeley Heights, playing yard games with family (Roselyn was a mean croquet competitor), gardening (particularly rose bushes), and walking in the woods on their property when in Frelinghuysen Township later in life.
Not only an outdoorswoman, Roselyn was also a talented artist, and attended art school at Newark School of Fine Industrial Arts before getting married. She shared this love of art with Fred, who was a professional artist. Roselyn’s talent never left her, although she did not pursue it as a career, and throughout her life she found pleasure in various artistic pursuits. She enjoyed sewing, and sewed or altered much of her wardrobe. She also was a fabulous interior designer, with her taking on the work of both decorating and construction. (Roselyn could lay tile like nobody’s business, and spent one season building stone walls by herself while pregnant!) In fact, her newly-redecorated home in Frelinghuysen was featured in Popular Mechanics magazine several times between 1978 and 1981. She also encouraged her children to pursue artistic hobbies and careers, and all of her children played musical instruments as teenagers.
An abiding religiosity carried Roselyn through many tough times in her life. A devoted Catholic, Roselyn was known as the person one could count on to pray for someone - “a prayer warrior,” as her parish priest called her. Roselyn was sure to have Masses said for anyone she thought needed it, whether they were sick, grieving, or celebrating a life event. She prayed the Rosary several times a day - in fact, she was found with Rosary beads in her hands at the time of her passing - and found solace in the deep waters of her faith. She shared that faith with her family and friends, and was an active member of the St. Jude’s Church Ladies Guild and Bible Study, and the Medugorje Prayer Group.
Perhaps her favorite “pastime,” however, was the time she spent with her family. Roselyn and Fred married in 1955 at St. Michael’s Church in Union. Roselyn was a beautiful bride. She and Fred loved each other deeply, and served as a model of what a loving relationship should look like for their children and grandchildren. Roselyn was the mother of five children, grandmother to 17, and great-grandmother to four with a fifth arriving March 2022. (That’s to say nothing of the countless cats, dogs, horses, goats, chickens, ducks, geese, and hamsters she welcomed into her heart as furry and feathered family members over the years. The woman adored God’s creatures!) She spent the early part of her married life as a homemaker, and even after she went back to work in the late 1970s, she still made her children the focus of her time, answering her home phone as “Wolff Taxi Service!” and giving rides to anyone who needed one while making sure there was always a hot meal on the table - despite hating to cook. Roselyn’s dislike of cooking was a bit of a family joke, but she did it anyway, and even insisted on hosting large holiday gatherings up until her later years, as she loved seeing her family all together.
That was Roselyn: always giving of herself, always selflessly thinking of others before herself, always wanting more time with her family around her. Her grandchildren will remember her as both the most stubborn person they will ever know, and the most giving, and will remember her attending as many of their dance recitals and sports events as possible, along with her hosting “Saturday Night Pizza” at her house, where she single-handedly made 17 cousins with a 30-year age range as close as if they were siblings.
Simply put, Roselyn was her family’s rock. Her unflinching strength, sharp wit, and unwavering moral compass have guided the family through many troubles. They’ll all be lost without her sometimes-exasperated, but always kind and sincere, responses to their questions and problems. What will they do without her to tell them to “be good, have fun, work hard, and be careful,” her favorite saying to shout as they dashed out the door? They will all hear that echoing in the wind whenever they miss her most.
She is survived, and greatly loved, by her children: Jeanne Gingles; her daughter-in-law, Diane (née Dellaventura); Glenn and his wife, Wendy-Sue (née Elliott); Wendy and her fiance, Rick Straway; and Scott and his wife, Jeanette (née Bozarth); her grandchildren: Vincent; Thomas and his wife, Michelle (née Moody); Erin Andersen (née Gingles) and her husband, David Andersen; Robert, Jr.; Michael Gingles and his wife, Kate Gingles (née Venner); Daniel Pagano; Zachary and his wife, Kierra (née Montgomery); Erich; Christopher Pagano; Glen Gingles; Rachel; Mark; Kristen; Jessica; Keith; Luke; and Anna; her great-grandchildren: Trevor Hernandez; Ian; Della; and Amelia Gingles; her sister-in-law, Muriel Hansen and her husband, David Hansen; her nieces: Carolyn Iacoviello (née Hansen) and Suzanne Hansen; her great-nephews: Jeffrey Iacoviello and Drew Iacoviello; three horses, three cats, and 20 chickens. She is predeceased by her brother, Richard Bohnenberger (d. 1979), her husband, Fred (d. 2003), her son-in-law, Thomas Gingles (d. 2019), and her son, Robert (d. 2021).
Relatives and friends may gather on Monday February 21, from 2-4 & 6-8 PM at Newbaker Funeral Home, a Mass will be held at 11:00 AM on Tuesday February 22 at St. Judes RC Church, 7 Eisenhower Road, Blairstown, NJ 07825, Interment will follow at Pequest Union Cemetery in Great Meadows, NJ.
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