Share this article

print logo

Rosemary Castellani, teacher, gift shop partner

May 16, 1942 – May 11, 2016

Rosemary Castellani, of Grand Island, a teacher, volunteer and partner in a gift shop, died Wednesday in Roswell Park Cancer Institute after a long illness. She was 73.

Born in Niagara Falls, the former Rosemary Genovese attended Niagara Falls High School and was a graduate of Brockport State College.

She taught elementary school on Long Island and in Niagara Falls for several years.

Mrs. Castellani was a founding member of the Roswell Park Alliance Community Advisory Board and worked in many ways to improve amenities for patients and their families.

She was instrumental in opening and operating the Roswell Park gift shop and helped start the Holiday Card Project, which has become the Paint Box Project.

For her dedication to the hospital, she was presented the Katherine Anne Gioia Inspiration Award in 1995.

A Grand Island resident for more than 40 years, she was active in St. Stephen’s Catholic Church and baked and volunteered for many church and community events. With friends, she opened and operated Gazebo Gifts on Grand Island Boulevard for several years.

She enjoyed reading and traveling, particularly visiting quaint small towns where she would acquire keepsakes.

She and her husband, Robert, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last July.

In addition to her husband, survivors include three sons, Robert, Marc and Bryan; a brother, Joseph Genovese; and three grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Monday in St. Stephen’s Church, 2100 Baseline Road, Grand Island.