Rose Carolyn Balsega Cox

April 9, 1924 - October 10, 2023

04/09/1924 - 10/10/2023

Past Services

Memorial Mass
Wednesday October 25, 2023
10:00 am
St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church
5345 Virginia Beach Blvd,
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
757-497-8330 | Directions

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 clickingHERE” for The Shrines Children’s Hospital or clicking “HERE”



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Jacob Wolfe
3 months ago

Suddenly, a rogue wave comes in and sweeps the grandson out to sea. Distraught, the grandmother looks to the sky and says, “Oh god, I have always been true and faithful to you. Please bring my grandson back.” And with that, another wave comes in and deposits the grandson safely on the shore. The grandmother once again looks to the sky and says, “He had a hat.” Grandma, you always shared with me your best jokes. I loved laughing with you. Love Jacob

Pat Johansen Keilty.
4 months ago

Beautiful tribute to mamma Rose! She would always slap my fingers when I would sneak a piece of salad🤪. She worked harder than anyone else on earth♥️💕❤️

Catherine L Solorzano
4 months ago

I have many fond memories of visiting you as a child. While you and my mother were in the kitchen, the rest of us were going to the beach or fishing. Always something to do at your house. You made me several dresses, and I loved getting Patricia’s hand-me-downs. You left a beautiful legacy, Aunt Rose, and you will be missed. Sincerest sympathy to Patricia, Claudia, and Douglas, and their families. I am keeping you and your family in my prayers..

Patricia Cox Colthurst
4 months ago

I have so many things to thank you for but just to give you an idea, I will mention the most important to me. The first is my Faith. You had me baptized into the Catholic Faith, and sacrificed to send me to Catholic schools, and took us to Church each Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation. The second is my Polish heritage. You spoke Polish in front of us, made Polish recipes for us to eat, and told us stories about growing up in a Polish household. I was proud to say I was 1/2 Polish. You were always available to help me with my children, whenever I needed a babysitter. They loved coming to your house because you made it exciting. They got to do things that were fun and different from home, like play with the different kids in your neighborhood, and get to see Jerri Robin and Kelly. So many times you helped me when I was planning to have people over. You would make flower arrangements, help me clean, or even sew me a new dress. You took care of our cat so often, when we would go away, and one time we came home and you were painting the house on de-la-Fayette. You were a treasure to me Mom, and I hope that you could feel how much I loved you. I was always so different from you, Mom, and I had a difficult time measuring up, but I want you to know that you made me very proud to be your daughter. Love forever, Patricia

Carolyn Balsega
4 months ago

Aunt Rose, The best of the best…Thank you for your unconditional love, opened door, good food, lessons, many long talks, memories and laughs. We love you very much & will miss you…Godspeed RIP.
The Family of Bruce A Balsega, Sr…

Claudia Cox Wolfe
4 months ago

My Mother kept a garden.

A garden of the heart;

She planted all the good things,

That gave my life it’s start.


She turned me to the sunshine,

And encouraged me to dream:

Fostering and nurturing

The seeds of self-esteem.


And when the winds and rains came,

She protected me enough;

But not too much, she knew I’d need

To stand up strong and tough.


Her constant good example,

Always taught me right from wrong;

Markers for my pathway

To last my whole life long.


I am my Mother’s garden,

I am her legacy.

And I hope today she feels the love,

Reflected back from me.

“My Mother Kept a Garden” – Author Unknown
I love you, Mother. I love you. Forever. Claudia