Rosetta Mary Louise Desrosiers


Rosetta Mary Louise Desrosiers, 96, a lifelong reader and contributor to the Warwick Beacon, died on Wednesday, May 15, 2019.

Rosetta was born in Providence on January 25, 1923, the daughter of Henry Furey and Amelia (Retzloff) Furey. After her father’s untimely death in 1929, she and her mother moved to Warwick, where she was raised. She resided there, off and on, for the remainder of her life.

On May 18, 1943, Rosetta reported for active duty in the U.S. Coast Guard. She attained the rank of Yeoman 2nd Class and was stationed in Florida, Chicago and Minnesota. She was discharged in 1945. After her service, she attended the University of Wisconsin, where she met her first husband, William Gillett. They were married in 1946 and divorced in 1956. They had two children together, Maureen Claire Gillett Bignell, born in 1947, and Geoffrey Bruce Gillett, born in 1949.

After her divorce, she worked a number of clerical positions in Providence. In 1964, she married Joseph Desrosiers, and they resided in Warwick until his death in 2000. She was employed for much of this time at the Rhode Island School of Design. She retired in 1987.

Throughout her life, Rosetta was an avid writer. She wrote numerous articles, newsletters, poems and a play. She belonged to the Blackstone Valley Writer’s Guild and served for a time as their vice president.

She is survived by her son, Geoffrey and his wife, Gail, of Orono, Maine, their sons, their sons’ wives, and four great-grandchildren, William and his companion Tamara Becker of Sacramento, Calif.; Paul and his wife Mary and their children Jack and Helen Rosetta, currently residing in Naples, Italy; Philip and his wife Marissa and their children Adelaide and Asher, of Hartford, Conn.; and Thomas of Orono. She was predeceased by her husband, Joseph, her daughter, Maureen, and a grandson, Maureen’s only child, David Kain.

Rosetta was especially proud of her service in the Coast Guard. She, along with fellow “Spar” and lifelong friend Evelyn Cohen, organized Waves (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service) National Unit 118 in Rhode Island. In April she participated in Honor Flight Victory, a visit to Washington by former service members – in this case all women – to honor those who served and to be recognized for their service. She had a wonderful time – certainly the highpoint of her 96th year! – and we, her family, thank those women who helped her on this journey. We thank them as well for their service.

Her family would also like to thank the dedicated and professional staff at Brentwood Nursing Home, where Rosetta resided these past three years. She was very happy there and loved her nurses and caregivers.

Friends may call between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Friday, May 24, at Barrett & Cotter Funeral Home, 1328 Warwick Avenue, Spring Green, Warwick. Burial with military honors will follow at Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery in Exeter. Visit


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