Rose Fresques Dinelli was born on August 30, 1921 in Chacon, New Mexico. She passed away on September 6, 1997 at the age of 76 after a five-year battle with breast cancer. Rose Fresques Dinelli left a legacy of love, family, character, compassion for others, and true courage in the face of adversity, struggles and even death.
My mother Rose came from a family of 7 raised in Chacon, New Mexico with 4 sisters and 3 brothers. They were dirt poor with my grandfather being a “carpenter” and a field laborer when needed. When the depression hit, she remembered that her family would say “What depression, we’re already poor! During World War II, she saw her older brothers Fred and Mac Fresques go off to war and they both saw action. She told me that during the war, she took off to California and worked on an airplane assembly line to help build US war planes. She worked as a “riveter” on the planed assembly line and she said she would laugh when people called her “Rosie the Riveter”.
“Harvey Girl’s” were trained at the Alvarado with dormitory facilities provided to young woman in need of work. A very young Rose Fresques Dinelli in her mid-twenties lived in the dormitory and was trained to be a Harvey Girl. Many years later, she would meet Paul Dinelli at the Alvarado Hotel. Again, many years later Rose would again become a waitress at other restaurants after Paul became seriously ill and she initially supported the family of five on the minimum wage. Paul and Rose were married for 27 years before Paul passed and she never remarried. Rose Dinelli was a waitress for some 30+ years before she passed away in 1997 at age 76. Rose Dinelli passed away in the very same Mossman-Gladden home she had purchased with her husband Paul around 1962.
Rose Fresques Dinelli supported a family of 6 and was able to kept us together when my dad became 100% disabled from a WWII service-connected disability when I was around 12. For a number of years, she had to work “split shits” from 11:00 am to 2 pm to work lunches and then working from 5:00 pm to 12:00 pm to work dinner hours. My mother returned to work as a waitress working for minimum wage and tips to support her family. She loved being a waitress for over 34 years. My mother loved people and the restaurant industry! She was one of the most independent, hardworking, determined people I have ever known. Sure, there was love, but just as important there was immeasurable respect for someone who sacrificed so much for her family. I have no doubt she lived the meaning of “woman’s liberation” many years before the term was ever coined. She was part of “America’s Greatest Generation” who lived through the Great Depression and World War II.
Mom worked at some of the best places in Albuquerque, including the Four Hills Country Club, the Sundowner, Diamond Jim’s Restaurant, the 4 Seasons Crystal Room and Maria Teressa restaurant she helped open and the closed after working there for so many years. She often told me the restaurant business was one of the few places to work where you would always see people at their very best behavior and their worst behavior in the manner of a few hours. She also said that a measure of a person is reflected on how they treat people who work for them.
It was not until many, many, years later when I was an adult and after she had passed that I came to really appreciate how many young woman’s lives she had touched and influenced over the years. Many would approach me and tell me what she had done for them. One woman in particular has opened a very well-known restaurant in Albuquerque with her husband and has told me of many memories she had of “Rose”. What I found is that there were many times young, struggling woman would turn to her for guidance and help who were struggling to make a living, needing help handling a crisis in their personal lives and struggles.
I remember Winrock Shopping Center growing up as a kid. My family lived on San Pedro north of Menaul in a red brick Mossman Gladden home across from Quigley Park. My mother worked as a waitress at Diamond Jim’s Restaurant at Winrock until the day it was closed.
A branch of First National Bank was in the North area outside the mall with a Safeway Grocery store and a Value House Jewelry Store. Many years later, when I was an adult and running for Mayor in 1989, I ran into a teller who retired from the bank and who was working at a retail store. She asked me in an affectionate tone of voice if I was the son of the “ones” lady.
I looked at the woman very puzzled. I did not understand until the she told me she knew my mother Rose. They had become friends when she was a bank teller at First National Bank and she said my mom would deposit her tips daily from her job as a waitress at Diamond Jim’s when she worked “split shifts”, the lunch and dinner shifts. All of her tips were always in one-dollar bills. Bank tellers who did not know my mother by name would call her the “ones” lady.
My mother instilled in me the importance of getting an education, honesty, integrity, hard work, the true meaning of family and the meaning of character and courage in the face of adversity and doing what is right in life. I talk to my mother every day and thank her for what she did for our family and for me over the years.
The white peones flower was my mother’s favorite flower of all time. The peones has the sweet smell of a rose when it blooms only once a year. My mother had a very large group of peones “bulbs” in her back yard she cater to for years at the very house where we grew up. In late October, 1997 after she passed, I remember one very rainy, muddy and cold night going to her home and digging up the cluster of bulbs and then taking the ball of dirt and transplanting the bulbs in the front of our home. I had serious doubt the plants would live. To our delight, my mother’s flowers survived the winter transplant, grew and on Mother’s Day, May 12, 1998, the white peones were in full bloom as they have done each year around Mothers Day!
HAPPY MOTHERS DAY ONE AND ALL! GIVE YOUR MOMS A BIG HUG AND A KISS!