euskal diaspora eta kultura


Rosalie (Garaicotchea) Cartwright

Rosalie (Garaicotchea) Cartwright
Rosalie (Garaicotchea) Cartwright

2017/03/16 - Tucson, AEB

(2017ko martxoaren 28an Chico Enterprise-Record-en, eta argitaratua)

Rosalie G. Cartwright of Dayton, CA passed away March 16, 2017.

She was born in Red Bluff, April 4, 1926, to Basque sheepherders, Frank and Jeanne Garaicotchea. As a child, she spoke no English, only Basque, the dying language of her parents native Basqueland. She spent her first years in the sheep camps, where her family worked until they moved to Durham when she was six, and she attended school for the first time, learning English in the process.

Shy and private by nature, she was also smart and studious. She was a freshman at Durham High at the same time handsome, athletic and outgoing Leroy Cartwright was a senior. Romance bloomed between them when he returned from Iwo Jima after World War II. It was to last a lifetime.

They lived in Chico until 1950 when Leroy finished building the couple's house in Dayton, next to Leroy's parents, Jesse & Eunice Cartwright. Situated on a portion of the Cartwright family farm, Rosalie and Leroy put down deep and strong roots in the community. If he was the unofficial mayor of Dayton, her kitchen table was the town hallconstantly filled with talk and laughter of family, neighbors and friends.

Rosalie and Leroy had their son, Lyle E. Cartwright, in December of 1955. At the death of Leroy's sister, Lois Cartwright Sitnik, Rosalie and Leroy became guardians of Roger, Gary, Nancy & Monya Sitnik in 1970.

Rosalie earned her bachelor's degree in education, graduating from Chico State College in 1948, the first in her family to complete college.

She married Leroy December 21st of 1947, a year before her graduation.

Rosalie taught multiple grades in Durham for thirty-six years. Children in her classrooms often had parents who had studied with her earlier. Uniformly remembered as patient, kind, imaginative and thorough, Rosalie was a rare gem who left a lasting thirst for knowledge in generations of children.

Rosalie defied conventions of the time and traveled solo to Mexico for immersion classes in Spanish so she could become Durham's first Spanish teacher.

She served for over 60 years in the American Legion Auxiliary and was a Boys & Girls State-American Legion counselor. She was an activist for Northern California water issues and stayed heavily involved with Durham & Dayton community activities.

Rosalie was honored by many, including President Ronald Reagan, but her most treasured accolades were the quilt given to her by her students upon her retirement in 1985 and being named Durham's Woman of the Year.

She loved birding, travel, learning and food. She and longtime friend, Melba Bailey, founded the Durham Foreign Dinner Club, which hosted monthly meals from far-flung global locales along with educational talks by members and guests. Meeting at members' homes for almost fifty years, the group published a cookbook, titled "100 Dinners Around the World in 37 Years," highlighting the best meals of the club up to that time.

Rosalie and Leroy enjoyed a long and happy marriage. Witty, kind, a bit shy and very caring, she was the perfect foil to his outgoing, fun loving soul. He died in 2013, just a few weeks shy of their 66th wedding anniversary.

Rosalie moved to Tucson to be with her son, his wife and her granddaughter. She passed away peacefully of complications from pneumonia.

She is survived by her son, Lyle E. Cartwright (Donna Rae), granddaughter, Sheena Cartwright, nephews Roger & Gary Sitnik, nieces Nancy Sitnik Byrne (Mike), and Monya Sitnik Robicheau (Curt), Grandnephews Nathan & Shayne Byrne & Austin Robicheau, grandnieces Megan Byrne Smith, Bailee & Jenna Robicheau, and Rosalie's grand-dog, Chloe.

Graveside services will be held at 11:30 am, Sunday, April 2, 2017 at the Dayton Cemetery and celebration of life at 1:00 pm at Chico Eagle's Hall on 20th & Mulberry, Chico, CA. Donations can be made in Rosalie's name to the Durham Volunteer Fire Department, c/o Durham Community Foundation, PO Box 454, Durham, CA 95938.

Published from Mar. 28 to Mar. 29, 2017in Chico Enterprise-Record, and in


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