Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared

Jean Rossi

February 7, 1929 - April 20, 2017
Kalamazoo, MI



Friday, April 28, 2017
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900

Food and drinks will be served.

Driving Directions


Saturday, April 29, 2017
11:30 AM EDT
St. Monica Catholic Church
4408 S Westnedge Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 345-4389

A luncheon will follow the mass in the Life Story Center (located in the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home).

Web Site


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Family & Children Services
1608 Lake Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
(269) 344-0202
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


A loving matriarch, with a wicked sense of humor, and always the one to be the calm in the center of any storm, Jean M. Rossi leaves behind an amazing legacy. She was a loving wife, a caring mother, a cherished grandmother, and friend to all. We will greatly miss Jean in this life.

The year of 1929 had notable highs and lows. The most historic event of the year was the rise and fall of the stock market. The Wall Street Stock Market reached its peak creating an economic boom. Soon though, the market began to fluctuate and eventually crashed. This crash caused the United States to join the rest of the world in The Great Depression. Remarkably, this is also when the country hit a new population mark of 120 million people. Not all was bad though, in fact, many exciting events still raged on. Charles Lindberg flew 3,400 miles from Detroit to Cape Horn, and many people heard about this amazing news on their car radios first introduced in this year by Motorola. Americans were also entertained by the first Academy Awards. Closer to home, Ralph and Elaine (Hazen) McCarty were preparing to meet their first sweet baby. Jean was welcomed to the world on February 7, 1929.

Soon, Jean was joined by her little brother, Ralph, to complete the McCarty family. She and Ralph experienced the adventures of childhood together doing what most siblings do - they played and laughed and mostly enjoyed the company of the other when they were not bickering about everything else. Their earliest days were spent in Kalamazoo, but during the war, the family moved to Bay City. Jean attended Bay City High School, but the family actually moved back to Kalamazoo, so she ultimately graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School with the class of 1948.

Not long after graduation, she found love which helped direct her future. His name was Edward Rossi, and he was attending Western Michigan University on the GI Bill. He proposed to her on the pitcher's mound at WMU! The happy couple exchanged wedding vows on September 3, 1949. As newlyweds, they always looked for the opportunity to earn a little extra living money, so Ed actually pitched a game on their wedding night! Jean did encourage him to do so, and as luck and love would have it, he pitched a no-hitter that night!

Once Jean and Ed settled in more comfortably as husband and wife, Jean took to becoming a homemaker like a natural. Soon, their family expanded in size with 5 beautiful children. Jean was a remarkably patient and caring mother. She even lovingly tolerated the many pets the family welcomed into their home throughout the years.

When Jean was not attending to the needs of her family and home, she and Ed started a very successful State Farm Insurance Agency where she managed the office for several years. Once her family matured enough, Jean went back to school earning her Social Work degree from Kalamazoo Valley Community College. With this education, she worked with single mothers at Family & Children Services until 1984 when she finally retired. Part of the reason for such an early retirement was to take advantage of the travel opportunities Ed's work provided. They traveled all over the United States and also abroad. She loved to travel and always had a great time at the many conventions and on business trips.

Jean and Ed were very active and involved with Western Michigan University. They generously created the Edward and Jean Rossi Scholarship. Together, they were certainly no strangers to many sporting events, especially the home football games. When they were not cheering for the Broncos, they spent a lot of time at their cottage near Delton. Initially, the getaway was the cause of much hard work, but all the time and sweat paid off, for it became a place of cherished memories for family events both big and small. Jean always welcomed friends and family to the cottage and her own home, for that matter. She made anyone visiting feel right at home. Holidays were very important to Jean, and she spent many hours cooking delicious meals.

As their children grew up and found love of their own, Jean and Ed looked forward to the future. One by one, they celebrated the joyful gift of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Jean took pride in each and every one of them and never showed any favoritism - only an abundance of love for all of them. She adored spending time with them and always made sure to enjoy the simple moments and fun times. Jean and Ed also spent time in Florida to get away from the Michigan winters. They first went to Venice and later traveled to Lakewood Ranch.

When Jean was not thoroughly enjoying her time with family, she had many personal interests. She was an avid reader; in fact, she entirely filled three Nooks, and her favorite genre was romance. Having a quick mind was very important to Jean, and she helped encourage this by working crossword puzzles regularly. She was also a knitter and made baby blankets and a few afghans which are left behind as artifacts of her love. Though she loved to spend time at the cottage, she was never one to actually step foot in the lake. She loved to shop! She was always up for going for some new clothes, shoes or purses. Her favorite place to shop was Jacobson's.

As life moved along, Jean was forced to say goodbye to Ed in 2015. Holding the memories of her loving husband close to her heart, she found the goodness in life again with support from her family and friends. Earlier this year, she also sadly endured losing her daughter, Susan (Rossi) McGrail.

Jean will forever be remembered for being the one who would remain constant and unfazed even when others would throw up their hands in despair. She was always the one to be quick to laugh while remembering to enjoy life. She was the best wife, mother, grandmother and mother-in-law or friend for which anyone could hope. Her memory will live on forever in the hearts of all those who were fortunate enough to cross her path. Sadly, she passed away on April 20, 2017, in her home. She was 88 years old.

Surviving are her children: Mary (Bruce) Livingston, Thomas (Conni) Rossi, Nancy (Wendell) Trantham and David (Gitte) Rossi; grandchildren: Heather (Eddie) Diaz, Jay (Karin Meier) Livingston, RaNae (Chris) Reed, Ross (Sarah) Trantham, Rylee (Ryan) Koole, Tyler and Amanda McGrail, and Peter and Thomas Rossi; great-grandchildren: Jacob Diaz, Charlie and Samuel Trantham and Sienna Yates-Livingston; brother, Ralph McCarty and many nieces and nephews.

Requiescat in pace.

Visit with family and friends while sharing food and drinks on Friday from 4 – 7 PM at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday 11:30 AM at St. Monica Catholic Church. A luncheon will follow in the Life Story Center with private burial at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Family & Children Services. www.betzlerfuneralhome.com