Rosalia Gorgie was born in Youngstown, Ohio April 19, 1936. She was baptized in Holy Name Roman Catholic Church, and the baptismal papers say, “Rozella,” the way her father said it. Both parents came from Czechoslovakia. Her birth certificate says “Rosalia.” And her husband called her “Rosie.” She is comfortable with anything that sounds close to her name.
It was Easter time when Rozella was born at home. Her mother was sick at the time with double pneumonia. When she was born, people avoided going to the hospital. Because in those days if you went to the hospital, you did not come back. When her Mom’s husband came home from church with the girls, they found that Rozella had been born without any help. The Doctor told her father he never has to worry about “that baby, because that baby is a strong baby.” She describes herself as “stubborn.”
She grew up exposed to the Church. She went to a parochial school. But she attended church with her mother, who was Byzantine Orthodox. She preferred her mother’s church. The Roman Catholic priests were too strict for her.
When she was 12 years old, she babysat for her husband, Frank’s niece, and she was introduced to the Pentecostal church. She reported to the Nuns at school that the priest was a woman. And oh, the Roman Catholics took issue with that. She grew up exposed to Catholic, Orthodox and Assemblies of God. She knew all her life that she belonged to Jesus.
Well, Frank’s. niece would always have him take Rozella home after Sunday dinner. Now mind you, she was 12 and he was 32. She told a friend that when she grew up she was going to marry Frank. She said he did not look good, but she really liked him.
Throughout the years, they would see each other in town, and he would always respond to her “hello, do I know you?” And she would remind him, “Rozella.” One time when she was 19, he saw him coming out of the bank and said “hello.” And you know how he replied, “Do I know you?” And, of course, she would again say Rozella. His response was how pretty she had grown up to be. He offered to take her home, and on the way, he took her out to eat. There’s more to this journey toward marriage. Well, eleven years later in March 20, 1964 they got married. She prayed for 25 years, but enjoyed 49 years with him.
For most of their marriage they attended Garden Grove Assembly of God, which was Frank’s mother’s church. When Frank died in 2012, Ken Schoening conducted the funeral service, and she’s attended WCA ever since. She is currently unable to attend church because of severe rheumatoid arthritis. She can’t sit in our chairs. But she continues to pray for and financially support our church. Please remember to pray for “Rozella.”
She currently goes to physical therapy. Remember, she described herself as “stubborn.” Well, on one occasion a 70-year old man was complaining to the therapist declaring that he could not do the exercises requested of him. They told him to look over and look at her doing the exercises. And when he found out she is 81 years old and doing the exercises, he decided he could too.
And of course, there is more to her story…