Worcester: Rose M. Barker (Kaletski), 90, of Worcester passed away on October 17, 2017 at the Jewish Healthcare Center in the company of her family. Rose was born on December 7, 1926 in Worcester, MA, the daughter of Simon and Mia Kaletski of Worcester. Rose is survived by her beloved husband of 64 years, David Barker, her son Brad Barker and his wife Judy Pugh of Boylston, and her sister, Sonya Akaydin of Worcester. Rose was predeceased by brothers Jack and Ben Kaletski. She leaves one grandson, Jarod Barker and his wife Amber, and two great-grandsons, Nathan and Ryan. Rose was the matriarch of a large family of cousins, nieces, nephews, and life-long family friends who brought her much happiness and joy and whom she loved dearly.
Rose graduated from Commerce High School and Worcester State Teachers College graduating in 1948. She had a 42-year teaching career in the Worcester Public Schools retiring in 1991. She earned her Master’s Degree in Education and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study from Boston University in Reading Education. She began her career as a fifth grade teacher at Woodland St. School and advanced to become a Reading Consultant and Reading Supervisor working across all the public schools in Worcester.
Teaching children to read was Rose’s life-long passion and she is responsible for teaching hundreds of students with serious reading impairments to read so they might go on to attain success in their careers and lives. She was always delighted to learn of her former student’s achievements resulting from their improved reading skills.
Rose was an accomplished singer and actress. She loved opera and once studied under the famous operatic director Boris Goldovski of the Metropolitan Opera in NYC who told her she sang like Renata Tebaldi, one of the most well-known operatic stars of the 20th century. However, she chose not to follow a career in opera but rather focus on her family and teaching. She appeared in theater productions in the Worcester area including the lead in the Worcester County Light Opera’s production of “The Merry Widow”, a role which she cherished throughout her life. She sang for many years in the choir at the First Unitarian Church and other churches in Worcester. She frequently sang at family events altering the lyrics to well-known songs with humorous family anecdotes to everyone’s delight.
The core of Rose’s life was her husband, David, and her large extended family. She grew up helping out in the family businesses of a grocery store on Lamartine St. and later the Washington Beverage Company, distributors of Moxie and Virginia Dare sodas, located on Gold St. in Worcester. Nothing brought her more happiness than to host parties at “The Pond House”, their home on Ramshorn Pond in Millbury. These parties with family and friends included huge quantities of food, games, laughter, great conversations, boating, fishing, and the famous group swims. Family gave Rose special energy and she loved watching the family grow as younger generations had kids of their own. She will be dearly missed.
Services are private. In lieu of flowers, donations in Rose's memory may be made to Worcester State University. To leave a condolence message, please click link.