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Rosie Tellone: Serving Wraps By Day and Artist by Night

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Rosie Tellone: Serving Wraps By Day and Artist by Night

Kessel dining hall's Rosemarie

Kessel dining hall's Rosemarie "Rosie" Tellone is a student-favorite who enjoys celebrating life and festivities.

Callie Anderson

Kessel dining hall's Rosemarie "Rosie" Tellone is a student-favorite who enjoys celebrating life and festivities.

Callie Anderson

Callie Anderson

Kessel dining hall's Rosemarie "Rosie" Tellone is a student-favorite who enjoys celebrating life and festivities.

Callie Anderson, Contributing Writer

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One server in Kessel’s dining hall is always ready to make students a sandwich with a smile on her face. Rosemarie “Rosie” Tellone has worked at Pace since her husband’s retirement in 2006. 

Growing up in the Bronx, Tellone has worked in the food industry since she was a teenager. After high school, Tellone worked in a bakery. Once she got married, she helped her husband run the deli he owned, even taking her children there when she worked long days.

Because she has worked while standing on her feet for most of her life, Tellone now experiences knee problems.

“My knees hurt now from standing up all the time,” explained Tellone. “I’ve been constantly on my legs standing. This part of the body [gestures to upper body] says, ‘Oh you can go, you can run,’ but then your legs can’t catch up.” 

Even though she experiences some health issues, Tellone is still pushing through to continue working at Pace and provide for her family.

“I enjoy working here,” said Tellone. “I’m the breadwinner of my family now. I had to find a job with insurance.”

Tellone supports her family with money, but also with love, time, and care. Before she arrives for work in the dining hall, she drops both of her sons off at their jobs in Eastchester. Then, she visits her parents for a bit. Her father suffers from dementia, so the Bronx-native ensures she visits often to help her mother out.

When she is not working at Pace, Tellone likes to bake and play guitar. She also keeps herself busy with painting, completing puzzles, and making crafts.

“I’m not very good with portraits, but I like doing scenery,” Tellone said.

Her creative talents come in handy every year when Halloween rolls around. Tellone goes above and beyond with decorations for the holiday.

“I’ve always liked Halloween,” she explained. “Once I had kids that brought me to be more creative, and I’ve done it ever since.”

Tellone creates mannequins, coffins, and scarecrows to go along with her spider and skeleton decorations. Her mannequins are not scary and gory because she likes her house to be kid-friendly. She has made mannequins to resemble Dracula, a vampiress, and a court jester.

“I still have my first mannequin from the Bronx,” she said. “She was hanging in the front of my house. I got a Styrofoam head, and I painted it and put a black dress on her. She was hanging right in front of the sink in our house.”

This year, Tellone shared her Halloween spirit with the Pace community when she dressed up as a clown. She enjoyed seeing people’s reactions to her costume throughout the day.

It was cute. Some didn’t even recognize me because I was sitting there with a pink nose,” said Tellone.

Tellone used to put as much effort into Christmas decorations; however, putting up those decorations has gotten more difficult with her knee issues. One of her sons helps do some decorating during the Christmas season. He puts up big wreaths, decorates the railings with ferns, and places a few inflatable decorations in the front yard.

Throughout her years of working in various kitchen environments and dedicating her time to getting into the holiday spirit, Tellone has displayed that she has spent her life making others smile and laugh. She is an appreciated member of the community at Pace.

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