Rosa Maria Rios
Rosa Maria Rios passed away peacefully at the age of 76 from complications related to Alzheimer’s.
Her unexpected journey led Rosa to spend her final year in Dallas, Texas, under the care of family and new loving friends at the Juniper at Preston Hollow Memory Center. She shared her favorite desserts and often made everyone laugh with her colorful facial responses. Few know that Rosa received her nursing assistant certificate many years ago – in her final months, she “helped” the caregivers watch over the other patients as best as she could. She clearly loved caring for seniors.
Born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, the daughter of Rosa Morales and Esteban Rijos, Rosa was part of a large vibrant family that included eight children. She is predeceased by her parents, and her brothers Rafael, Tito, and Johnny. Her sisters and brothers, Julie, Chique, Santo, and Ileana love and miss her dearly. She often spoke to her children about the wonderful memories the siblings and their families shared.
Fayetteville, North Carolina was Rosa’s home for over 50 years. There she raised her daughter, Bernice (Rios) Newton, and son, Jose Luis Rios. She was a devoted military wife for 35 years maintaining the family unit through the Vietnam war, overseas tours, and many deployments associated with the 782 nd Airborne Division and her Command Sergeant Major husband.
Her best friend Stuart and the loving FoxFire neighbors brought smiles and laughter to Rosa’s life as she did for them. She liked to work in her yard, mostly to take breaks and chat with her friends. She found joy in watching movies, listening to music, and reading about nutrition.
She loved animals, with a specific passion for cats. With gratitude, Thundering Paws of Fayetteville, and the faithfulness of the staff, her cats — Oreo and Andy — found loving homes when Rosa could no longer care for them. While in Texas she enjoyed visiting Bernice’s dog, Willow, who predeceased Rosa by a couple of days. Her youngest granddaughter noted that “Willow had to go to show Grandma the way to heaven.” The thought brings comfort to the family.
She is survived by her immediate family, Bernice (Bernard) Newton, Jose Rios, Toni Rios, and granddaughters, Alli Rios, Natalie Newton, and Brett Newton. She is predeceased by her infant son, Luis Jose Rios, Jr.
A Memorial Service for Rosa will be held Friday, June 9 at 1 PM at LaFayette Memorial Park,
Fayetteville, NC 28301, 910-488-5422.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Visiting Nurse Association
(https://www.vnatexas.org/) or your local animal shelter.
It was such a nice pleasure to meet you, and what you had planned for my father just took my breath away. It was so special to hear you tell us how he would just come over to talk with you. I think it brought him much comfort. Tha you for putting that Air Force article of him on your website. I am going to have a replica made of the painting of his plane to give you. Thank you again for all you have done to honor our dad. Love, The Gillilands
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