Rose Carolyn Balsega Cox, 99, of Virginia Beach, passed away in her home at Water Oaks on Tuesday, October 10, 2023. Rose was born on April 9, 1924, in Baxter, West Virginia, the youngest daughter of the late Sebastian and Anna Prych Balsega. Rose grew up in Pennsylvania with her six brothers (Joseph, Frank, Michael, John, Stanley, and Walter) and 3 sisters (Julia, Catherine, and Mary).
Rose Carolyn Balsega Cox, born during the roaring twenties, was a true flirt: the neatest, trimmest, smartest dresser; an accomplished homemaker; Mother of five; and loving “Au Pair” to Kelly, Jerri Robin, Joshua, and Chloe. In addition to “Mother and Mom,” Rose also held other important titles: Momma Rose, Grandma Rose, Great-Grandma Rose, and Aunt Rose.
The men in her life were numerous. She particularly fancied smart, handy men. But she married her main squeeze Claude Richard Cox, a naval airman, 78 years ago, with whom they had two girls – Patricia Ann of Virginia Beach and Claudia Rose (Barry) of Alexandria; and three boys – Claude Richard Jr. (passed away in 1948), Richard Keith (passed away in 2013), and Douglas William (Debra) of Norfolk. She taught them to fish, to select a quality hammer, to keep a clean house, to cook, to love nature, and to just be thankful. Rose taught all her children many things that have always helped them flourish and thrive.
Rose, Claude, and their children grew up with little money, but always lived within their means, enjoying great meals. Rose was at her best in the kitchen. Rose excelled at growing all things green. She was locally sourcing her food and eating farm fresh years before the chefs filling up the Food Network. Rose had a life-long love affair with fresh garden vegetables, good seafood, a big pot of beans, and ice cream served in a big soup bowl and garnished with her favorite nuts or fresh fruit. As a point of pride, Rose prepared many, many of her meals with fresh grown fruits and vegetables provided by her two sons’ fruit trees and gardens. That is a key point to remember about Rose. She took extreme pride in her two sons for whom she would crow like a rooster when they did things that pleased her. Rose’s two sons were her true love.
Rose’s family especially remembers their holidays together. Rose spent hours in the kitchen preparing holiday dinners for her family. Rose knew how much Claude wanted everyone to be together, and she worked her magic every time to make sure Claude was happy with all their family at the dinner table. Rose was especially thrilled when her grands would arrive for a swim and some eats: Jason, Darby, Brigid, Gillian, Kia, Clayton, Anna, Aurelia, August, Douglas Jr., Jessica, and Jacob.
Patricia and Claudia can say that they were always well dressed. Rose spent hours at her sewing machine making them beautiful outfits. Rose used the scraps to sew their dolls matching outfits. Patricia and Claudia loved it. And when Claudia was much older, Rose took her to the best dress shops and outfitted her from head to toe.
Rose was at her best embracing her children and their spouses. But what brought a twinkle to Rose’s eye were her Grandchildren, Great Grandchildren, and her loving family from Pennsylvania. She was never one to lose a game she set out to win, and always read the daily newspaper from start to finish. And she loved to use her remote control to flip on any version of CSI or better yet, CNN.
Rose was thoroughly interested in politics (even though she waited until her 98th year to cast her first ballot in Virginia), religion, and the New York Yankees – things that Claude also enjoyed. She would always rely on Claude for updates on current events and looked forward to their many conversations around the evening news or weekend ballgame. She took pride in Claude’s service during World War II and the Korean conflict, hoping that he would stay in the Navy even though Claude was ready for a change in career before she was.
Rose took fashion cues from no one. She had her signature style: polished nails, beautifully applied make-up, hair just so, a perfectly tailored outfit that was always paired with a stunning pair of sexy shoes and coordinating handbag.
Rose had no time for phonies or know-it-alls who put on airs. She would just say cut the BS and get on with it.
Rose brought joy and fulfillment to many. We will carry forward the many gifts that Rose shared with so many of us.
May God and the Blessed Mother bless Rose Carolyn Balsega Cox. She is so deserving. Please rest in peace.
A Memorial Mass for Rose will take place at 10:00AM on Wednesday, October 25, 2023 at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church with her inurnment taking place on a later date.
The family has requested in lieu of flowers, a memorial donation be made in Rose’s name to The Shriner’s Children’s Hospital or St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital. Donations may be made by clicking “HERE” for The Shrines Children’s Hospital or clicking “HERE”
(IN CASE OF ANY TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES THE SERVICE WILL BE RECOREDED AND UPLOADED AFTER THE SERVICE)