Obituary: Rosemarie Castelli Shalek Aug. 31, 2019


Rosemarie Castelli Shalek, 92 of Los Alamos passed away on August 31, 2019.

She was born in Mark, Illinois to Virgil and Enis Castelli, immigrants from Italy. Rosie graduated from Illinois State University with a master’s in counseling and received a bachelor’s degree in teaching. She worked as a guidance counselor in Lyons Township, Illinois and taught Business Education for many years and then Home Economics at Cumbres Jr. High School when they moved to Los Alamos.

Rosie was married to Peter Dean Shalek in 1957 and they were devoted to each other for 61 wonderful years. She was a staunch advocate of people in need, whether it was those with special needs, mental health challenges, or her school students. She loved to attend musical and other cultural events in town, talk on the phone to her children and grandchildren, do all kinds of crafts, volunteer, entertain, and decorate.

Rosie found a friend in everyone she met and reveled in learning their whole life story in one sitting. She always had a kind word, a warm smile, and the ability to make you feel loved and appreciated for just being you.

Despite life’s challenges there was never a day when she didn’t see the good in the world. In Rosie’s world strangers became friends and friends became family. There was always room for one more and no one ever went without: a good meal, a good word, friendship, kindness or love.

Her inspiring presence and positive outlook on life will be missed by all who knew and loved her. She left a legacy of love and the world a better place.

Rosie was preceded in death by her husband Pete in 2018 and her daughter Tina unexpectedly last week. She is survived by her two other daughters: Meg McKnight (Phillip) of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin; Sara Anderson (Mike) of Tulsa, Oklahoma; and eight loving grandchildren who will miss her dearly. She is also survived by her brother Virgil Castelli, Jr. (Louise) of Georgetown, Texas and a devoted nephew Phillip Castelli (Barb) who visited often with their dog Maggie.

In lieu of flowers the family is requesting donations be made to: Los Alamos Group Home P.O. Box 1093 Los Alamos, NM 87544, c/o Los Alamos Group Home Board.

A Celebration of Rosie’s Life will be held at the United Church of Los Alamos on November 2, 2019 at 11:00 am.